Saturday, February 17, 2007

More NBA All-Star stuff

Dinner was just okay. We were a little disappointed but it's the thought that counts, right? Well, maybe that's the wrong Hallmark quotation. We'll have to work on that.

Charles Barkley's race against 67-year-old NBA referee Dick Bavetta was pretty anti-climatic except that the Rounder Mound of Rebound won pretty easily. It's one of those crazy stunt things that was more fun in the leading up to period. We heard you could get odds on the race in Vegas and judging from the crowd at the arena last night, we're sure the money wasn't being laid on Charles. Seriously, if you're putting your hard-earned coin on a silly stunt for charity, you need help. Call these people. Now.

The three-point challenge was fun for like five minutes. We felt sorry for Damon Jones, the journeyman who favors loud attire, because he lobbied hard to get into the contest. He might have done okay if he didn't run around his shooting racks, wasting precious seconds each time. It's possible his bulb is not very bright, though it's just our wild guess. The defending champ -- a 7-footer -- acquited himself well in making the finals as did the NBA's newest hot shot, the man they call Agent Zero. But the night belonged to little-known Jason Kapono, who looked like an NBA wash out after only his second season until he found a home in Miami. Not bad, even for a kid from UCLA.

The slam-dunk competition was a lot more to our liking, mostly because we love Nate Robinson, the little guy with a big leap and an even bigger smile. Alas, he did not repeat as champ -- that title went to high school-to-pros player Gerald Green, who showed a lot of style and forethought in coming up with his array of dunks (we LOVED the Nate Robinson cut-out - very, very clever), the last of which -- a running leap over a table -- scored him the night's only perfect score of 50.

You can read all about that here.

S.O.L. wants to talk about how Dwight Howard got robbed and jobbed and gypped. S.O.L. loves Michael -- we share the same birthday (happy birthday to both of us!) -- but we are just flabbergasted at his (and the rest of the dunk contest judges') refusal to see the beauty, style and creativity in this dunk. Dude caught a ball thrown to him by his teammate and then slapped the backboard, putting a sticker he had in his palm on it, and then flushed the ball through the hoop. That's an ohmygod dunk if ever we've seen one.

The man is tall. I give you that (6-11 to be sure) -- the tallest man to ever enter the contest. But he put a sticker of his own smiling face at almost the top of the backboard. That is like 13 or 14 feet above the ground. A seven-footer has to reach to a length almost twice his height, which the judges ought to have taken into account when they favored the 5-foot-9 Robinson over Howard. And it's fucking clever people and stylish. It has serious game. Go to and watch that dunk and his first one too, and come tell S.O.L. you don't think he was jobbed. We accept all comers.

S.O.L. is not alone in her assessment as the TNT guys seemed to agree. Here's what Charles Barkley said in reaction to Howard's "sticker" jam.

"Michael has lost his damn mind. He really is the Russian judge."

"You could put three Nate Robinson's together and he might not be [as] high [as where Howard placed the sticker].

That's S.O.L.'s take. More tomorrow....

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