Friday, February 12, 2010

All-Star Game vs. Olympics

Today kicks off a sports-filled weekend. Up in Vancouver, the 2010 Winter Olympics begin, and frankly I don't give a shit. Wake me up when the hockey starts. Sure, some of the stuff is pretty cool and all — skiing, snowboarding, Cool Runnings — but unless Doug E. Doug is kissing an egg, I really don't care.

But the NBA All-Star weekend, fuck and yeah. For all the NBA detractors out there, there's one thing even they cannot deny: The NBA knows how to do an All-Star weekend. And it knows how to do it better than any other professional sport. The Pro Bowl is a joke. The MLB All-Star game is dumb because there is no freaking way home field advantage for the World Series should be decided by some guy on the Royals or Pirates. The NHL All-Star is OK, and the skills competition is pretty cool, but there's no hitting and no intensity. Plus, every four years it gets bumped for the Olympics (Olympic hockey is tits, by the way), at least for now. But the NBA All-Star game, and weekend, is the shit.

You have the dunk contest, which, even when it's played out and seemingly dead, still provides some electrifying dunks and the possibility that you'll see something new.

Plus, there are those moments when a transcendent performance makes the whole world drop everything and watch in amazement.

Add in the fun of the skills competition and the classic three-point contest, not to mention a sneak peek at the future of the NBA in the Rookie/Sophomore game, and you have an enjoyable spectacle all weekend long.

Then comes the game, which is by far the most competitive of any sport. Sure, things usually start out ugly early, with sloppy turnovers and no defense, but once the second half and especially the fourth quarter rolls around, the game becomes intense, almost like a playoff atmosphere. Players start D-ing up, every possession becomes tense and the players show how much they really want to win. Often, that has made for some incredibly memorable moments, like the East's comeback led by Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury's offense and Dikembe Mutombo's rebounding and defense, as Iverson took home the MVP.

And MJ's final All-Star game, where he hit a ridiculous shot over Shawn Marion to give the East the lead and presumably go out really on top, only to see Kobe come back and spoil everything.

You'd be hard-pressed to find another All-Star competition that provides as much drama, as much excitement, as much entertainment. Not even the Olympics can draw me away from that.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. You know, this will be the time I give Kobe a pass. Jermaine O'Neal ruined everything, with that dumb-ass foul on Kobe at the end of the game. I honestly think Kobe didn't wanna make the free throws. You could tell he was embarrassed, and as big an asshole as I believe him to be, he didn't wanna be remembered for ruining The Jordan's going-away party.

    I heard Barry Melrose say that if it isn't Canada-US in the finals in Olympics hockey, then the negatives outweigh the positives of hockey being in the games. I don't know shit about hockey, so you tell me.

  2. I didn't hear Melrose said it or the context in which he said it, but my guess would be that the U.S. and Canadian players will be more worn out down the stretch by playing so many extra games because of the Olympics.