Mindless Displeasures

First, read Shoals and Joey on AI’s life-altering haircut. Then, relive the parts of Saturday night’s festivities you forgot to complain about with Ty Keenan and Carter Blanchard.

Shooting Stars

Carter Blanchard: Do you think teams like the Bobcats or Grizzlies are upset that they don’t ever get to do Shooting Stars?
Ty Keenan: Shooting Stars exists to respect tradition. Greg Anthony would be great on the Grizzlies team.

CB: Is it more embarrassing for Dan Majerle or Lisa Leslie to be in the Celebrity Game?
TK: Leslie, because she still plays. Majerle is basically a celebrity now anyway. He could be on Confessions of a Teen Idol.

CB: The Spurs are pretty good. Do they practice this?
TK: It might be like the South Park episode where the good baseball teams do badly on purpose so they don’t have to keep playing.

CB: It’s a shame the Suns lost that after making the first five baskets. Majerle's halfcourt shots are impressive just because he swishes them.
TK: I also like that Leandrinho shot real halfcourt set shots. They are definitely the most FD Shooting Stars team.
CB: Great interview by Cheryl with Detroit. This win is grouped with MVPs, championships, and gold medals.
TK: Will Cheryl shave her rows now that Iverson did his?

Skills competition

TK: Did they pick four scoring point guards on purpose? Harris is probably the closest thing to a pure point guard in this group.
CB: I’m just shocked that Mo was in this and he was bitching about not being in the game. This is as prestigious, if not more so.

CB: Do you think someday kids today will look back on the TNT theme with the same nostalgia we attach to Tesh?
TK: There are too many networks with basketball these days. Plus it's hard to compete with the Pussycat Dolls.

TK: Didn’t Wade have a turnover in this last year? That’s probably when he decided to turn it on.
CB: I actually think Jason Kidd’s performance in this last year was a significant moment.
TK: Devin Harris is really dealing with those demons even though the Nets don’t have great history in this event. But Mark Cuban would still take Kidd's performance.

CB: Reggie needs to stop acting like this event that has historical significance. Although he really is perfect for pretending this matters.
TK: I’m just not sure why he keeps saying everyone is too nonchalant.
CB: What is he expecting them to do, scream?

CB: Rose is not excited that he won. He just sighed like his dad was trying to take prom pictures.

CB: Why does the Rookie Game feature incessant screams?
TK: They give seats to kids with terrible diseases.
CB: People could be getting slaughtered.
TK: Did they yell during the Celebrity Game?
CB: No.

Three-Point Shootout

CB: The three-point competition is more pressure than taking game-winners, according to Reggie.
TK: Kapono will win because this is all he does. I’m not sure he knows this is different from a real game.
CB: Do you think he insists on practicing this during the season? They try to run plays and he says “No, I need to work on my moneyball!”

TK: Kenny just called Roger Mason ashy.

Carter’s internet dies for a while

TK: Cook and Lewis tied! More boring shooting!
TK: With two Florida teams in blue and red jerseys, this is like the recount.
TK: There is nothing more depressing than talking to yourself about the Three-Point Shootout on Valentine’s Day.

TK: Reggie definitely makes all-star scrapbooks. The dunk contest is one page in each, but the three-point competition takes up fifteen.

Dunk contest begins

CB: "To me, it’s gonna be all about his props" is proof positive that Reggie should be fired.
TK: Reggie asks for Carrot Top's autograph at every celebrity game.

TK: Cedric Ceballos being a judge gives us a peek at how the NBA would deal with PEDs.

CB: That first dunk by JR was awesome. Has anyone ever done a double-bounce before on the toss?
TK: No, yet he got pretty bad scores. I fear what’s to come.

TK: What’s with Rudy’s jersey? Is that a LaRue Martin reference?
CB: Are people booing Rudy? That dunk was awesome. How is that just a 42?
TK: Oh, Fernando Martin. I still like it as a LaRue reference. And these judges are xenophobic.

CB: Nate gets way too much credit for being short. He did the same thing as JR with one fewer bounce and not on the first try, but he got better scores.
TK: Kenny says it’s for extension. Apparently the dunk contest is now gymnastics.
CB: I hate short people.

TK: Why is Pau helping Rudy? Sergio Rodriguez must be crying right now.
CB: This dunk is taking way too many tries.
TK: They are arrogant like the Spanish Armada.
CB: Why wouldn’t he do the foot thing?

CB: I know people who did Nate’s boost dunk in middle school.
TK: He's totally pandering. Maybe Dwight will dunk off a ladder to show that he's tall.

CB: Isn’t it against the rules for Dwight to dunk on a non-regulation rim?
TK: That is not 12 feet.
CB: Why are they acting like it isn’t common knowledge that he can dunk 12 feet? And why are they letting him use so many props? I’m so angry.

TK: Nate is wearing green because he’s doing something involving a leprechaun. Oh wait, it’s for kryptonite.
CB: I’m just angry. I can’t enjoy this.
TK: Nate is the guy from Superman IV.

CB: Reggie thinks the free-throw dunk from a 6'11'' guy won’t look good.
TK: Wasn’t that just the Superman dunk last year?

CB: I’m done with Nate Robinson. JR had the best dunk.
TK: Cheryl asked him what his strategy was. That’s easy: “I am short.”

TK: That was identity politics at its worst.

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At 2/15/2009 5:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People we have a new Slam Dunk Champion, and he'sa person acquainted. New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson, who won the competition in 2006 won the competition again last night during a Slam Sprite Dunk Contest.

At 2/15/2009 5:31 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Did anyone else catch, on the TNT feed, Nate being asked to remove his 'Kyptonate' shirt by some admin guy during an ad break, presumably for bullshit copyright reasons? That was really depressing.

At 2/15/2009 10:23 AM, Blogger themarkpike said...

kryptonate must've read last year's "two americas" post.


the improv everywhere imagery ("your mascot hurts my feelings") is absolutely perfect. nice, TK.

At 2/15/2009 11:07 AM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

C'mon, man, Nate jumping over Dwight Howard's head wasn't cool?

J.R. Smith, though, did get robbed, and for a very FD reason: his sense of what's actually stylish in the game is a little too real. "Two bounces? What? He doesn't have a cape on, what the fuck."

One does have the sense that, if he doesn't get a mysterious hamstring pull at the last minute, that LeBron next year is going to be impressive.

At 2/15/2009 11:38 AM, Blogger dizzle said...

the logical follow-up to lebron saying he could do better is next year's contest involving lebron, kobe, and in if he were at all competitive, vince. pretty sure they would make everyone forget all about props.

At 2/15/2009 12:07 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Forget Kobe and Vince- their dunking king days are over. I want Josh Smith and Lebron to dunk from the high school three point line!

At 2/15/2009 3:03 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

I'll admit that we were both too angry by the time of Nate-over-Howard to really appreciate it. But I still don't think it was the best dunk of the night.

At 2/15/2009 5:00 PM, Blogger Steve said...

It's great that 2 bounces hasn't been done before, but the reason is probably just that it's not that great looking a dunk. I don't remember how good Smith's dunk was after the 2 bounces, but that must mean it wasn't that special. Not that Nate's bounce dunk was anything special either (and it was only 1 bounce.)

Nate jumping over Dwight Howard was sick. Hell, Nate jumping over Spud Webb a couple of years ago was pretty sick. I think some front office people were watching in horror, praying there wasn't going to be some sort of freak double-injury.

I like the theatrics and the props, because to be honest the dunk contest had sort of run its course a few years ago. I only hope that with LeBron entering next year and who knows who else, we don't get corporate endorsement props. I'll puke in my mouth if LeBron grandstands and pops open a Sprite before his dunk (or whatever soft drink he pitches.)

At 2/15/2009 8:28 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Anybody else bothered by CNN's "legends rate Obama's game" piece? I don't remember Bob Feller and Curt Schilling critiquing Bush's pitching technique on television.

There's seems to be a racialized element to it that's beyond my ability to describe. Or are a majority of Americans just that ignorant about basketball?

Why does Obama have to compare to the greatest basketball players of all time, while W just got to go out and toss the ol' ball around?

At 2/16/2009 1:48 AM, Blogger tray said...

Bush played baseball in his spare time? I don't see the analogy. Yeah, it would be ridiculous if Obama threw the jump ball in Game 1 of the Finals and legends rated Obama's jump ball throwing game on CNN - which is the correct analogy to Bush throwing out an opening pitch. Except not even, because the opening pitch isn't actually part of the game and doesn't have to be any good. Moreover, when white Presidents actually play sports in their spare time, like golf, great golf pros do go on TV and talk about their game. So yeah, your comment's retarded.

At 2/16/2009 10:20 AM, Blogger avery said...

don't know if this has already been said, but NYT mag has Michael Lewis doing his moneyball bit on the Rockets and Shane Battier.


Worth the time.

At 2/16/2009 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Star weekend sucks. Very difficult to convince me otherwise. I forget that I hate it and then watch it and then skip the next year. I think I have been doing this forever.

Minus Shaq and Chris Paul last nights game was terrible. Eat would have upgrade their roster with Zaza .

Did anyone look worse than AI...maybe Rashard Lewis. Jesus.

At 2/16/2009 11:36 AM, Blogger Carlos Destrroyo said...

This could probably be its own FD post, but I think Nate is the perfect embodiment of the dunk contest. He's clearly out there to have fun, which makes him endearing, but it comes across as scripted, phony, or just too much. He's occasionally spectacular, sometimes likeable, but irritating in the end, and he leaves you with an unshakable bad taste in your mouth.

At 2/16/2009 12:53 PM, Blogger jochbe said...

I think that dunk contest was clearly fixed. The judges were paid off (why else would they have so undervalued Rudy and J.R.'s first dunks relative to Nate and Dwight's). Pau and whoever they guy was who threw J.R.'s pass were paid off. Rudy was paid to not do the rainbow dunk... Nike put pretty much into Nate's hideous shoes and his t-shirt etc... could they afford to not have him win, or at least get into the finals?

At 2/16/2009 10:49 PM, Blogger goathair said...

If you really think the dunk contest was paid off you're as wrong as the guy who said All Star weekend sucks. 2008's All Star weekend was great. This year's wasn't. It happens.

Of course Nate and Dwight are going to get better scores. People want to see them against each other. But the concept of paying off Cedric Ceballos is as stupid as I feel about responding to this.

At 2/17/2009 11:18 AM, Blogger jochbe said...

The fact that you took my comment so seriously--and, better yet, apparently made yourself feel stupid--made my day. Ahh, the joys of the internets!


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