So what are you doing for Valentine's Day? I'm spending it watching the classic, yet epic drama that is the NBA All-Star Game. Every year, we talk about who got in and who didn't, who started and who didn't. And to tell you the truth, I agree with the starting line-ups in both the East and the West. However, it would have been nice to see Chris Bosh in that top five. It's too bad the coaches deciding his fate couldn't consider how the Raps have surged foward in the last 5 games. This is his fifth straight all-star game, tying Vince Carter for the most appearances in Raptors history. He's going to be busy between now and the 14th since the game will be played in his hometown of Dallas and everyone will want tickets.
NBA ALL-STAR SELECTIONS - Eastern Conference
As you all know, the coaches making selections in both conferences cannot vote for members of their own squad. This year, they've repeated themselves by picking four first-timers as All-Star reserves. Young, too - 23 years old and younger. Al Hortford (23) of the Hawks, Rajon Rondo (23 - he has teammate Paul Pierce for support and guidance in his first all-star appearance) and Bulls point guard, Derrick Rose. Now, Rose has had some injuries to deal with this season and has had to battle back. Since Christmas he has helped the Bulls to a 12-5 record and his personal stats (23.1 points, 6.5 assists, 50% shooting) are totally worthy of a spot on the All-Star Team in the East.
I think the biggest story out of the Eastern Conference Selections with only 6 teams above .500, I don't see any serious snubs. I'm thinking New York Knicks David Lee should have been at least considered. But when you consider the Knicks record so far this season (18-25), you might think this is what held him back. Is this why Chris Bosh was left out of the starting line-up? because of the Raptors record? Some of you might tell me Hedo Turkoglu was passed over, but when you're up against Lebron James, Paul Piece and your own teammate (Bosh) in the forwards category, that's a tough nut to crack. At least he made the list of considerations. Let me know what you think.
NBA ALL-STAR SELECTIONS - Western Conference
Deron Williams must be over the moon to be selected this year. He's led the Jazz to the play-offs for the last 3 years, named to the U.S. Olympic Squad, all-around awesome career so far for someone who's just 25 years old and now he's an all-star. Totally agree with this choice. Other new comers in the Western Conference? Thunder forward Kevin Durant - yes. Zach Randolph of the Grizzlies - yes. But here's where I begin to question things. Of the all-star vets that were chosen (Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Brandon Roy and Pau Gasol), Gasol is the surprise for me. I know you are probably thinking he would be the first one from that list I would defend. This is his third time being selected as a back-up centre but he wasn't even the "every day center" for the Lakers (Andrew Bynum is). Gasol has also missed 17 games so far this season. Are we thinking his superior games played aside from those missed games were so incredibly awe-inspiring, it out-weighed even his dip in the scoring category? Hmm. Something to think about.
Overall, the selections by the West coaches went pretty much according to schedule. But I thought for sure Chris Kaman was going to get the nod since he's been snubbed for the second time. Just looking at the stats and comparing him to other centres in the West, he's having a great season. Plus, the Clippers are making a real run for the play-offs (just ignore the 20-25 record part of that equation).
Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the Dream Team
Yes, there is a connection - sort of. So I was reading an article recently talking about where all the 2010 Winter Olympic Athletes will stay while the games are on. Guess who said this: "I'm a black millionaire - I've earned the right to stay where I want to stay". Give up? Charles Barkley. He was responding to all the hoopla surrounding the U.S. Olympic Basketball team staying at a $900-per-night hotel rather than the Olympic village back in 1992. In 2004, the "Dream Team" stayed on a luxury cruise-liner during the Athens games. Seriously? This SO bothers me. Sure, some countries competing have more money, resources and talent, but it becomes a level playing field when the athletes stay together in the Olympic Village - away from the fans and the media. It takes away from the experience and the spirit of the games when we go galavanting around five-star hotels, whining there isn't a mint on the pillow. Bad move by Team U.S.A. organizers - hope they get it right next time. There - I've said my bit.