I was discussing the Super Bowl with a co-worker last week, and we focused on the two terrific catches of Julio Jones and Julien Edelman. Our conclusion was that the pressure of the moment brought out another level of greatness for two tremendous players and gave us as fans a moment. Competition.
This All Star weekend gave us nothing because it lacked competition from the Celebrity game to the final whistle Sunday night. It was a disservice to the game and the fans.
I watched the Celebrity game because my guy Jason Williams was playing. Two minutes into the game, I knew his team would win because having played with him, he has a way of pushing everyone to do better…even third tier celebrities. His frenetic basketball mind, when engaged, is a thing of inspirational beauty. Selfish point aside though, even the celebrity game should be competitive. Get people that can play basketball and who would care to do so on that stage. It will be more entertaining.
The dunk contest last year was amazing. Two hungry, athletic guys went after each other and elevated each other’s performance. It was that visceral vibe as much as the great dunks that made that event matter. This year it just wasn’t there.
The three point competition lacked Steph Curry and will be a diminished event whenever he chooses not to compete. He is the best shooter the game has seen, and even while Klay Thompson won head to head last year, the act of beating Curry validated just how great Thompson was that night.
The best players must choose to compete. This is what the All Star weekend is about. The best players in the World showing out, not sitting out.
Finally, there was the game itself. I get an up and down game with moderate effort level….for exactly three quarters. At the start of the 4th, the best of the best get out there and decide things. The lack of intensity, effort and pride on display was an insult. You do not get to the level any of these guys get by playing this way. The notions of avoiding injury or putting on a show are horseshit. Indulge us for twelve minutes.
This is a failure of leadership on the part of the game’s senior stars….LeBron, Curry and KD. They should take pride in asserting their dominance in that setting if only briefly by demanding to play in the forth and getting after it. The young players would follow their lead and take pride in being caller upon to play decisive minutes.
Be better and don’t waste our fucking time.