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Chillin' with Dylan - My take on the All-Star Game

February 20, 2014

By DYLAN MALONE
    Another All-Star Weekend in the books for the NBA and even though the casual sports fan may not know much about the league, there was definitely a huge number of them watching the city of New Orleans putting on a show.
    In every major sport the All-Star game (or Pro Bowl in the NFL) is a chance for the casual fans to see all of the big names in action on the same forum while also seeing the budding new stars shine. This season in the NBA is no different and it was awesome to see Portland’s Damian Lillard compete in all of the events in just his second season. That kid is the next big thing I’m calling it right now.
    Between John Wall winning the dunk contest, Marco Belinelli stroking his way to a three-point contest crown, and the highest scoring All-Star game ever, fans were treated to one of the best ever in my opinion.
    So why was I bothered so much after Sunday night was over? LeBron James, that’s why.
    I want to like LeBron. I do. I can’t seem to get past his facade though and how it seems that his ego grows faster than his talent can. He was the first to revolutionize Twitter in the NBA realm and he is definitely marketable I can’t lie about that. It’s his marketability that has me peeved off, however.
    The man can flat out fly. He is one of the best dunkers in the game if not THE best but I guess we’ll never know, will we? He simply refuses to join the dunk contest.
    What’s the hold up, King James? All the greats did it. Michael, Dominique, Kobe, Spud and Vince Carter and a slew of others.
    He has made the bold claim recently that he would put himself up on the “Mount Rushmore” of greatest NBA players when he finally calls it a career. He’s got quite a long climb to go before I put him in the top 10 greatest players in NBA history let alone one of four four faces on an imaginary mountain top.
    Am I saying he has to be in the dunk contest to be one of the greatest ever? Not at all. I will say, however, that if you’re going to host your own dunk contest and put it on YouTube, you owe it to the fans and the rest of your NBA brethren to add your name to the dunk contest ballot.
    He had some really amazing dunks that he put on display a week before the actual dunk contest and it would have been a great addition to All-Star Saturday night. As it happened he not only let the fans down again by not participating, he hurt the NBA by posting dunks on his own.
    How did the actual dunk contest participants feel when James released the YouTube video? Were they put out that they were upstaged by the King?
    I would have no problem with this if LeBron was afraid of getting injured but since he’s putting on his own show it’s clearly not the issue here. I’d have to lean towards the fear that his image would be tarnished if he entered the dunk contest and actually lost. Wouldn’t that be something?
    I think out of all of the All-Star games in major sports, basketball does it the best. They really know how to put flare into the atmosphere and the cities that host it tend to do a good job of filling the place up with rabid fans. The Pro-Bowl is a joke, really. As a defensive player named to the Pro-Bowl, what’s it like to line up and pretend to play hard?
    The NHL All-Star game is awful as well because there really is no room for showmanship on the ice. The NBA has amazing dunks, passes, and flash. Hockey is NOT a finesse sport and therefore there tends to be no flash save for the occasional pass through the legs or wrap around goal that makes it to the Sportscenter top 10 list.
    That leaves baseball. I could say the same thing about the MLB All-Star game as the NHL version. There is some flare when the right moment arises such as the double play when the shortstop dives up the middle and flips the ball to the second baseman for the slick turn. Outfielders robbing homeruns is a good show as well. It just doesn’t happen enough.
    On top of that the pitchers really get put out during the game. What are they out there for? Moral support and just a name on a list really. The one unique thing about the MLB All-Star game that really sets it apart from the other major sports is that it actually means something towards the season.
    The winner of the All-Star game, NL or AL, gets home-field advantage in the World Series. If the NBA had that perk you’d see guys playing a lot more competitively BEFORE the fourth quarter. The fact that it’s simply an exhibition is really the only shortcoming of the NBA All-Star game. Other than that it truly is the best spectacle of the major sports.

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