What to watch at All-Star weekend - East Valley Tribune: Sports

What to watch at All-Star weekend

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Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 5:24 pm | Updated: 1:49 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program - Where Will Thou Wind Up, Amaré Stoudemire - to bring you NBA All-Star weekend.

Is Sunday's All-Star game important? Of course not.

Are Saturday's festivities - the Slam Dunk contest, the 3-point Shootout, etc. - usually a letdown? No question.

But the stars will all be out. And, once in a while, something spectacular happens.

Michael Jordan taking off from the free-throw line. Larry Bird, his index finger in the air, knowing he's won the 3-point Shootout. Spud Webb defying gravity.

That's why we watch. To see the impossible.

So, for a moment, let's forget about the Suns and their problems. All-Star weekend is upon us.

The slam dunk contest

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard donned the cape last year and became Superman. What will the defending champ do for an encore? Howard isn't saying, but you know he has something up those large sleeves of his.

Look out for New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson. At 5-foot-9, he could wow the judges much like Spud Webb did in 1986.

LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant

The two best players in the game will almost certainly try to top each other Sunday. How great would it be if we were treated to a duel at 94 feet? Perhaps commissioner David Stern could order the other eight players off the floor and let James and Bryant go one-on-one for a few minutes.

H-o-r-s-e competition

We'll overlook the fact the losers actually will spell out G-E-I-C-O. We're just thankful this childhood game finally has been added to All-Star weekend. Joe Johnson, Kevin Durant and O.J. Mayo won't be limited by the dimensions of the basketball floor. Backboard from Row 4. Swish.

Suns' trade rumors

Unfortunately, we won't be able to completely escape the Stoudemire watch. Both he and Shaquille O'Neal are on the Western Conference team. Here's guessing there won't be a lot of basketball-related questions when they meet with the media Friday.

Mike Brown

Why is the Cleveland Cavaliers and Eastern Conference coach on this list? Because he's a local boy, having played at Mesa Community College under coach Tom Bennett.

Brown is the front-runner for Coach of the Year. That would be a nice addition to the MCC yearbook.

Celebrity game

Normally, watching B-list celebrities try to pretend they're basketball players is about as appealing as passing a kidney stone. But Friday night's game could be fun. Magic Johnson and Julius Erving are the coaches, and Clyde Drexler, Dominique Wilkins and Dan Majerle will play alongside celebs such as Terrell Owens (over-under on passes he drops is three) and Chris Tucker.

Plus, three Harlem Globetrotters, including former University of Arizona forward Eugene Edgerson, will compete.

The best part: At halftime, legendary Globetrotters showman Curly Neal will dribble the night fantastic to "Sweet Georgia Brown." That alone is worth the price of admission.

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