Tag:2011 All-Star Weekend
Posted on: February 18, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: February 18, 2011 7:06 pm

Pictures: Jerry West statue unveiling

A statue for Los Angeles Lakers guard Jerry West was unveiled at Staples Center on Thursday. Posted by Ben Golliver.

During a ceremony on Thursday afternoon, a statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers guard Jerry West was unveiled outside of the Staples Center.  The ceremony last for more than an hour, and included statements from NBA commissioner David Stern, legendary Boston Celtics center Bill Russell, legendary Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hall of Fame center Bill Walton, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, Lakers owner Jerry Buss and appearances from Lakers great Magic Johnson, Lakers big man Pau Gasol, former Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis and Miami Heat president Pat Riley.  

In typical L.A. fashion, fans and many media members were cordoned off from the ceremony and VIP seating areas. To accommodate hundreds of interested Lakers fans, many of whom showed up in West or other Lakers jerseys, the presentation was televised on a giant monitor on the side of the Staples Center. Lakers founds loudly cheered for the current and former Laker greats; some even booed Russell, who was given the President Medal of Freedom this week, when he was first introduced. (Later, when Rusesll rose to speak on West's behalf, he received polite applause.)


After everyone - and I mean everyone - had a chance to honor West with personal vignettes and tributes to his importance as a player, executive and man, a curtain was dropped to reveal the statue, which shows West attacking off the dribble, in a pose similar to the NBA's logo.

The statue, which organizers say weighs 1,500 pounds and stands almost 14 feet tall, joins similar statues previously dedicated to Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, Chick Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya.
Posted on: February 17, 2011 4:03 pm

All-Star: Harden replaces Evans for Sophomores

James Harden replaces Tyreke Evans in Rookies-Sophomores game.
Posted by Matt Moore

The NBA announced today that James Harden will replace Tyreke Evans in the Rookies-Sophomores game (the "T-Mobile Rookie Challenge") on Friday.  The announcement is no big surprise considering Evans' injury history this season. He's suffering with plantar fasciitis, which doesn't really heal except with time and rest, two things not afforded franchise point guards.  Evans has missed the past two games for the Kings with the injury, and realized he needed the time off to try and get a leg-up, so to speak, on rest for the second half of the season. 

For Harden, he should have probably been on the squad in the first place. Harden's numbers are pedestrian (10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists), but he's the composite role player, who defends, hits from the perimeter and helps the Oklahoma City offense function to the best of its ability. Plus, he's got that sweet beard. 

The advantage was thought to lie with the rookies regardless, due to, well... Blake Griffin. But with Evans out, the weight shifts even more significantly to the Rookies' advantage. But on the flip side, this is a huge opportunity for Stephen Curry to step up, or, please, Lord, Brandon Jennings to show something comparable to the potential he showed in the first half of last season. 

This game gets almost no play, but it also always features one player taking over in a spectacular way. Chances are it won't be Harden, but he'll still be a worthy representative. 
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