Wednesday, January 18, 2006

NBA All-Star Additions & Lineups

See how these two can spice up All-Star Weekend

That's right everyone, the 2006 NBA All-Star festivities are just 32 days away. Can you believe it? I know, I know, not all of you are as pumped as I am for this. So let me ask you, what would it take for you to really look forward to this event? I decided to come up with a few ideas to appease your viewing pleasure. Let's start with Saturday night and present some more exciting activities to sandwich around the 3-point Shootout and Slam Dunk Competition.

Drinking Contest: Vin Baker vs. Shawn Kemp
Nothing like an old-fashioned case race between two NBA veterans. And to spice it up a little, maybe when they finish chugging Natty Lights, the competition will conclude with each contestant having to nail Ron Artest with a full beer from the 10th row. Imagine the fun? David Stern should reward the winner with a roster spot on the Hawks.

Hot Dog Eating Contest: Takeru Kobayashi vs. Latrell Sprewell's Children
The best hot dog eater in the world vs. the hungriest children on Earth! Refereed by none other than Sally Strothers with hundreds of those flies from Kenya buzzing around her face. (PS-How can Spree turn down a deal with the Clips when he’s so desperate for money? Does he not realize the contradiction here?)

Ebonics Battle: Diana Taurasi vs. Jason Williams
Two people who love to talk like they're fresh out of Compton get to put their skills to the ultimate test. (That is, if Taurasi isn't busy taking part in a gang-bang with half of the Phoenix Suns team. Did you see her flirting with every single player last year? My God, I wonder what she did when she got Geno Auriemma alone at UConn. And how come more people aren't named Geno? I wonder about things like this). The competition will involve people like Rick Carlisle and Marv Albert providing sentences, and Taurasi and Williams translating them into ebonics. Most ghetto words wins.

Frightening of Children Competition: Michael Ruffin vs. Calvin Booth
Simple rules: 1 point for tears, 2 for urinating one’s pants, and 5 for a bowel movement.

And now some more serious options...

Arm Wrestling Tournament: Shaq, Ben Wallace, Kendrick Perkins, Erick Dampier, Kenyon Martin, Theo Ratliff, Alonzo Mourning, and Elton Brand.
The League could air clips of Sly Stallone in Over the Top to fire up the competitors. My money’s on ‘Zo, but Perkins would be my long shot.

Main Event: 1 on 1: LeBron vs. Kobe
Is this long overdue, or is it just me? Wouldn't every sports fan want to check this out? Arguably the best two players in the game duking it out to 11; it's unbelievable that I’m the only one who thinks of these things. (Actually I'm not...Simmons did a piece on this years ago that still remains one of my all-time favorite articles. I tried to find it, but I'm just not seeing it. Look in his archive)

There are thousands of different ideas I could delve through and so I'll try and throw up a few more over the coming weeks. Now, on to my All-Star rosters (subject to change):

Eastern All-Stars

G - Allen Iverson (PHI)
G - Dwyane Wade (MIA)
F - LeBron James (CLE)
F - Chris Bosh (TOR)
C - Shaquille O'Neal (MIA)

G - Chauncey Billups (DET)
G - Vince Carter (NJN)
G - Gilbert Arenas (WAS)
F - Paul Pierce (BOS)
F - Jermaine O'Neal (IND)
C - Ben Wallace (DET)

Close but no cigar: Rip Hamilton (DET), Michael Redd (MIL), Gerald Wallace (CHA)

Notes: I wanted to take Rip, I really did, but Arenas is the only reason Washington remains in the Playoff hunt. While Hamilton is getting a ton of help from Billups, Prince, and the Wallaces, Arenas has to be the go-to guy on a nightly basis, and thus should be awarded appropriately. You also might also be surprised with my selection of Bosh over Jermaine. Sure, O’Neal has held that Pacer team together amidst the Ron Artest saga, but I’m always one to choose the up-and-coming star on a struggling team over an injury-plagued veteran. Plus I’m just sick of Jermaine getting that starting nod by default. Soon, Bosh and Dwight Howard will be neck and neck each year for this honor.

Western All-Stars

G - Steve Nash (PHX)
G - Kobe Bryant (LAL)
F – Tim Duncan (SAS)
F- Elton Brand (LAC)
C- Marcus Camby (DEN)

G - Tony Parker (SAS)
G - Jason Richardson (GSW)
F - Shawn Marion (PHX)
F - Carmelo Anthony (DEN)
F - Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)
F - Kevin Garnett (MIN)
C - Yao Ming (HOU)

Close but no cigar: Tracy McGrady (HOU), Pau Gasol (MEM), Andrei Kirilenko (UTH), Chris Paul (NOR), Baron Davis (GSW)

Notes: It was extremely difficult for me to leave T-Mac off the roster with the game in H-Town, but I’m not one to give a guy the nod based on reputation. McGrady has already missed 12 of his team’s games thus far and doesn’t appear ready to suit up anytime soon. On the other hand, Carmelo, Gasol, and AK-47 are having stellar years and shouldn’t be passed over for a guy that might not even play. Here’s how I broke it down: Gasol has this Grizzly team sitting comfortably in the 3 hole, but has had much more help than Anthony. Kirilenko has been great in the last few weeks (including a trip-dub on Tues), but has missed too many games (10) for me to give him the nod. Thus, I'm taking Carmelo who has done a fantastic job keeping his team around .500 amidst the frequent injuries to Camby and K-Mart. Not to mention his eight 35+ point performances, including that 43 and 11 dominator vs. PHX. Can't wait to see him in his first All-Star game...


At 3:13 PM, Blogger Ryan Kinkade said...

I'm having a little trouble seeing how everyone has said KG is a reserve. Obviously I am bias, but it's still clear as day that he's putting up the best all around numbers of any Western Conference forwards. I know Dirk, Duncan, and Brand are all having great years, but I think KG's got a leg up on all of them, though be it slight. I really don't think team performance should have much to do with this decision either. I can see not giving KG the MVP because the Wolves are hovering around .500m but that shouldn't take away from the individual performance he's been having... which is what the all star game is really about.

Personally I think Brand and KG should be starting... Duncan is overrated because of his rings. There is no way he is having a better individual year than KG.

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Curtis said...

Here's an idea...pick the players that will actually play in the game. The starters are more or less set except for the Duncan/Garnett battle for voting as a starting forward. I want to know who makes the team.

And for the record, Arenas hasn't been the reason the Wiz are in the Playoff hunt. Take a look at the numbers, when he shoots and scores less, the team is better. I'd take Rip or Redd over him. Of course you take Pierce though, but I can live with that.

Melo and Richardson over Baron and Gasol is shear nonsense. Baron is the catalyst for that team, anyone who watches that team will tell you Richardson is a much better player BECAUSE of Baron and not vice versa. You can't entirely blame Baron for the poor shooting percentage and turnovers-- that team asks him to do so much.

As for Melo, please. The Grizzlies are what? 23-13? 5th best in the ENTIRE NBA?! There's no way they get stiffed out of having their star player, Gasol on that team. And if you want to go by numbers, Gasol's are actually all-around better than Melo's anyways. The Nuggets have been disappointing, injuries or not. Even when Camby was healthy, they were hovering around .500 just like they are right now. I'm not saying Melo isn't deserving of an All-Star nod, but over Gasol? Watch the Grizzlies sometime-- their entire offense goes through Pau, and yes, maybe he has more help (albeit not by much), but he's the main reason they're a surprising 23-13. He's answered critics by becoming a tougher, go-to player on both ends of the floor and voila, the Grizzlies are 23-13. If that's not deserving of an All-Star bid, please tell me what is.

Oh, and for the record-- that 43 and 11 "dominator" by Melo happened in TRIPLE OVERTIME. It's a lot easier to put up numbers like that when you're alloted an extra 15 minutes of burn. Dumbass.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Up until this dominant last week or so, KG's numbers were down across the board. Also, of the three big men, his team was faring the worst even though Wally Z is playing his best basketball of his career and Jaric has been a nice addition at the point. I can't give him the nod over Brand, no way no how. But if he keeps up his Player of the Week-type play, I'll highly considering swapping him for TD. Remember that I dislike the Spurs more than anyone, so don't think I'm partial to Duncan in any way. I'd rather give Zarko Carbakapa the nod, but you have the realize how nasty Timmay truly is. Later bro

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Vote Now! Vote Pau! said...

2 Nuggets and 0 Grizzlies. Wow.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Ryan Kinkade said...

I can agree with you on Brand. He's played amazingly this year and has been waiting for an all star nod for far longer than should be. As far as saying KG's numbers are down across the board, I think that's a little unfair. His qualifications for the 2006 all star game should not be based on his numbers as compared to those of his 2005 season, but solely on what he's done this year. His numbers may be a little down from last year, but he still has sizeable advantages over Duncan in Points, Assists, FG%, FT%, and Steals and is catching the big fundamental awfully fast in Rebounds. The only real edges that Duncan has is blocks (and he doesn't have Eddie G swatting everything that comes into their lane) and teammates.

I don't want to come off like a Duncan hater or anything, because I'd have no credibilty as a basketball fan if I couldn't see how great he is. I just think that in the past couple years, his reputation as the greatest player is due a lot more to his teammates, system, coaches, and management than his actual performances... and those are 4 very important things that KG has not consistently had, if at all.

I didn't realize you disliked the spurs so much... well props for that. Also, I think KG has turned it on finally. I think he was content with getting new people involved and spreading the wealth for the first month, but now he can clearly see it's not going to work that way.

And by the way, nice article on the whole.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Hey Curtis (sick name by the way), I understand the entire offense flows through Gasol, he's gotten tougher, the Grizz are 23-13, yada yada yada. But 'Melo has a lot more pressure to succeed in this league and is finally living up to his hype--let's give him his due. Being the primary shadow of LeBron James is no easy task. Playing in Memphis, Tennessee where they have Skoal night every other week is hardly pressure. Plus, it's really hard to compare these two guys since they play completely different positions. Either way, I don't think you can say picking 'Melo over Gasol is "shear nonsense". Perhaps you're right with that Baron davis over J-Rich statement and I'll certainly keep that in mind as the weeks wear on.
Ok DDDDumbass?

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Curtis guy is a chump. Arenas and Pierce are NASTY!

Those two match up against AI and Wade any day.

Rip and Redd both suck. They are simply shooters that don't help their teams in any other category.

Watch some games Curtis.

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

hey ant i wanna see ur ideas for the olympics? do you think they should get role players or stock up the roster with well derserving super stars?

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Curtis said...

Yeah nice call, "anonymous". I never watch any NBA. I've probably attended more games than you've watched.

Arenas and Pierce are both "NASTY" players, I don't disagree with that. But here's my question and here's what truly matters-- if Arenas and Pierce are so come both their teams are below .500?

Redd is the go-to guy on a Bucks team that is overachieving at 19-17. Sure, he's more of a shooter than anything else, but I don't care how the fuck you score your 25 PPG as long as its contributing to your team winning.

Hamilton is the top scorer on BY FAR the best team in basketball. He is in essence, the key offensive component for a 30-5 team, and he's no slouch on the defensive end either. When you consider this, I think Rip has contributed more to the balance of the NBA this season than either Pierce or Arenas, and that to me makes him more deserving of an All-Star bid.

And oh yeah holmes, Rip and Redd "don't help their teams in any other categories"? Are we talking a fantasy All-Star Team or a real All-Star Team here? I don't give a shit what categories you're contributing in, I care about how many wins you're helping your team notch. Wins and losses are by far the most relevant category in basketball. Statistics are way, WAY overrated in the NBA and it really pisses me off when a high school idiot like yourself slips up and makes it blatantly clear that he's judging a player's value based on numbers. Give me a fucking break. You go watch a game you anonymous shithead.

And Anthony, c'mon man. The fact that Melo is playing under more pressure is a moot point. You don't think Gasol feels the pressure of carrying the load of an entire COUNTRY? That's totally irrelevant anyways. Are coaches really going to say, "Well, you know 'Melo really has it tough being in the shadow of LeBron and all, I think I'll pick him. Gasol has it so easy in Memphis, so he's not as deserving." Please.

Bottom line, I don't think Gasol or 'Melo is going to make the team. With McGrady and Duncan almost certain to be the starters, I think it's a bit much to expect their to be 5 forwards coming off the bench. And since there's simply no way you can take Gasol or 'Melo over Garnett, Nowitzki, Marion or Brand, I think they'll both get shunned.

I honestly hope they decide either to just go ahead and take Camby despite all the games he's missed or that the Garnett/Duncan/Nowitzki trio is enough size that they don't have to take on a Brad Miller or Mehmet Okur (who wouldn't be a terrible choice), and thus have the option of taking on Gasol or 'Melo. It'll be interesting, but one thing's for sure-- someone is going to get a serious, serious snub.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Ryan Kinkade said...

Damn... judging by what KG's done against your Celts in the first 15 minutes, I'm expecting that KG-Duncan swap pretty soon. hahaha... we both know, however, that whatever Ticket does tonight will be overshadowed by the much anticipated Olowakandi vs. Blount match-up.

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with 'anonymous'. Curtis is a bitch. Get this guy off of the site. He knows nothing about the game.

Rip and Redd both suck. All they do is shoot. Take Rip off the Pistons, Arroyo and 'Deyss get more minutes, and they're still the best team in the NBA. Take Redd off the Bucks and Bobby Simmons picks up right where he left off and they are a game or two within where they are now.

Curtis, does the fact that you swear a lot make you feel more like a man?

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curtis sucks.

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

now wait wait. stop ripping on curtis.
wtf are yall talking about? rip and redd suck?!
ok ok. maybe yall should watch some basketball

rip hamilton- for a guy that "only shootS" he actually shoots a freaking high percentage. remember the bouts he took shooting 60%+ does that really suck? u try scoring 20 points a night while making 60% of ur shots. and for the only shooting part, rips a underrated defender. and he gets his team involved. and arroyo and deiss getting more minutes and the pistons are still first?! WAKE UP!!!! rips their leading scorer. arroyo sucks crap and deiss is getting old man. dude seriously shut up. u dont noe anything

and redd- with 3 outstanding guards around him (ford, simmons, williams) hes still their leading option. he catches fire like gasoline and hes a crazy person to defend. simmons has sorta underacheived this season, but thats not bad considering hes got a awesome team with him. and with simmons and ford getting injured alot and the opposing team being able to double team easier, id say redd has done nicely.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

but just cuz i defended curt doesnt mean i agree with him. mehmet okur on the allstar team?! errr. does the word inconsistent come up anywhere in ur head? plus if i was on the jazz i could score those kinda points too. AK47- even though hes doing awesome right now- isnt known for his offense.. i think every1 agrees. and there are some ugly plays that he makes. anyways. deron hit his wall and no1 else can really score on that team.

oh yeah and by saying arenas and peirce are nasty do you mean they suck or they're really good. cuz its kinda confusing me lol

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

HAHAHAHAA, I'm almost as proud of you guys as I am of Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins tonight. You got me all FIRRRRRED up for NBA action. Nice work boys. Keep up the good rants. And Curtis, as for you bashing high school kids, give it a rest man. I encourage everyone to read my material. And you're right, I just chose 'Melo because he gets overshadowed by LeBron. That's my only reason. That and because he wears Jordan brand shoes. Those are cool. But you're right, I should have picked Gasol because he's playing for the hearts of ever Spainiard. Hahahaa, what is this Cinderella Man? Go CELTS!!!

PS-Ry where was the Big Ticket in the 2nd half?

PPS-Will, I'll get to that Olympic article in the very near future.

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of confusing, try to read Will's post. Can this dude speak english or what? No one's taking hoops advice from someone who uses the word "noe". LOL, what an assclown!

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anthony, great article once again. However, I'm so sick of reading Curtis' ignorant comments disagreeing with every article you write, especially the terrible language he uses. He takes a good amount of credibility away from your site.

Keep up the good work.

At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diana T is smokin!

Curtis sucks.

At 1:07 AM, Anonymous ET said...

C-Webb should get consideration for the all-star game. Yeah, he limps around on one leg, but even so he pulled off probably the play of the year against the Celts, dribbling between his legs then alleying it up to Dalembert. That was SICK. Plus, 19.5 ppg and 10.2 rpg is pretty solid stats for a power forward. It won't trump Chris Bosh or Jermaine O'Neal, but if, say, O'Neal goes through his annual injury bugs then C-Webb should be the first guy to get the nod. I would say Rasheed would be that guy but he already said he doesn't want to be there.

At 3:27 AM, Blogger Paul Benedict said...

Curtis sucks. Bring Paul back!

At 3:28 AM, Blogger Paul Benedict said...

(Wishful thinking)

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

ET, play of the year? Maybe on Dalembert's part. His head was in the freakin net with that reverse jam. And how hard is it to toss an alley-oop to a 7-footer? I'd give it the same difficulty as buttering a roll. But I think you're right, C-Webb would definately have to be highly considered if Mrs. O'Neal is out with another injury.

Haha, how come everyone hates Curtis? I wondered how Paul would handle this?

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Bob Shurtleff said...

Anthony, great article as usual.

After reading through the posts, I'm just wondering when Rip Hamilton shot 60%? He's a career 45% shooter and shooting 50% this year (which is amazing by the way) but his numbers have dropped in every other category besides scoring and FG%. And I disagree with the fact that he's an underrated defender - anyone could look good surrounded by the Wallace brothers and Tayshaun.
I'm not trying to take anything away from Rip, but you can't justify taking any one of those guys off to put him on the squad.

Also, I do agree with the Webber comment. His numbers are right there with Bosh and JO's. The fact that he's doing it all while limping around is a testament to how talented he actually is. If Jermaine gets injured again (likely) you have to look at Webber or Dwight Howard. Howard's averaging 12.5 boards and he's only 20! That's pretty sick. But I'd rather see Webber get it because you know Howard will be there for the next 10-11 years anyways.

Unfortunately, it will always just be a popularity contest with the fans voting for starters (T-Mac and Yao will start). And, it's very tough to pick just 24 players in a league that is just stacked with so much talent right now, so you'll always get debates no matter what.

However, based on my record in the picks challenge, I probably shouldn't even open my mouth!

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, look who it is. I'm guessing it's actually him because of the icon. How come you can't write anymore, holmes?

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Hey Bob,
Nice post man, how come you don't write in more often? Let's just be thankful we're all fans of a league with such an abundance of talent so we can have these healthy debates. I'll be getting something else up before 5 (hopefully).

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Paul, what are you doing with yourself these days?

--Nick (long-time reader, big fan of the site)

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melo shoots, that's it. No rebounding, assists, defense.

He is at best still a year away.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

you know what anonymous? so what if ive been a US citizen for less than a few years? are you gonna kick me off the site or make fun of me? i dont make fun of you for being a dumbass redneck now do i?

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Will said...

You know, Curtis actually makes some great points. What exactly does Gasol need to do to get onto the All-Star team? His team is winning, he's having a career year, and he has the best beard in the League. He's got my vote.

Jason Richardson does not belong on the team by the way. I am totally on Curtis' side with that argument.

As for the Melo "pressure" argument... I've never read such nonsense. Every NBA player is under pressure - all great players carry the weight of their respective franchise on their shoulders. Gasol is no exception. A throw-away comment if ever I heard one, Anthony.

Anyway, keep up the good work. I enjoy reading this blog.

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Will said...

Just to clarify, I'm not "Will Shu". Thanks.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

First of all, I'm convinced that Curtis has adopted a new name (Will). Regardless, I still need to offer my counter argument. You don't think players like 'Melo, Darko, Marvin Williams, etc. face added pressure due to the success of the players they were drafted ahead of or around? You think 'Melo enjoys being considered the 3rd or 4th best player in that draft when many of us thught he would be just as good as LeBron? If Carmelo fails he gets shit until the day he retires. If Gasol fails, he goes back to Spain and 2 seconds later no one cares. How is this "nonsense"? I'm not sure how any rational sports fan can consider that nonsensical. Have a nice afternoon Curtis/Will

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Curtis said...

No, I'm not Will. Ant, you know my schedule. What are the odds I'm actually awake at 9:47 AM?

At 12:16 AM, Blogger Will Shu said...

what the crap? you again accuse me of being 2 people? just because we both agree pau is a good player? fyi i dont agree with all of curtis's choices. and i usually post around 5-6 PM (when i get home from school. whats gotten into you ant? cmon man. first you think im archiboing or w/e, Jerm, Barry, and Eric. if you really want proof i can send you a scan of my student ID or something. and this will said guy... ionno who he is. wow two people have the same name! they must be the same person! ill just wildly accuse them of crap. and i thought this site was pretty good with awesome insight, but now adays you just lash out at anyone with different opinions. i liked it when that other guy was here, paul.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Will Shu,
you ever seen one of those Southwest commericals, "wanna get away?" You just officially made an ultimate ass of yourself. If you took more than 10 seconds to lash out at me, maybe you'd realize there was a "Will" who responded a few days ago. Big difference from "Will Shu". He even wrote a post saying "Just to clarify, I'm not "Will Shu". Thanks." Chill out man.

At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Will said...

Anthony, no, I am not Curtis. I don't even know who Curtis is. Hell I don't even know who you are. I just stumbled across this blog a few months ago and have enjoyed reading it since. My post above was the first comment I've left on your blog.

For your information, I am 23, I live in the United Kingdom, and I am a die-hard basketball fan.

I'm guessing that Curtis is a die-hard basketball fan too but it'd be somewhat of a surprise if he's 23 and lives in the United Kingdom.

Anyway, back on topic…

So then, you think Carmelo faces pressure due to expectations that he should be on the same level as LeBron? Fine. I agree, to a certain extent anyway. What about Gasol? Don't you think he might feel pressure too? He's probably the best foreigner in the League not named Dirk. He is probably the greatest Spanish basketball player of all time and has his entire homeland watching his every move, just waiting for him to dominate in the NBA like he does for his country. Not only that, but he's a foreigner playing in a country with a different culture to his own. You don't think that's pressure?

Regardless, even if you're correct on this issue (which you're not), it's still a bizarre point. After all, when was the last time an All-Star was elected due to "playing under higher pressure". Give me a break. All I (and the fans) care about is who is putting up the best numbers on the best teams, and who is the most entertaining to watch, etc. I'm not saying 'Melo shouldn't be in the All-Star Game. I just think your arguments for his inclusion are silly to say the least.


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