Depending on your definition of the term, there were approximately 20 successful alley-oops in last night’s game. That is approximately 50% of the alley-oops attempted. Yes, in 2016, as in almost every year, the NBA All-Star game was a beautiful disgrace to the sport. For the duration of the game the Eastern Conference matched the Western Conference’s non-defense with un-defense, and in the end it all came down to the team that was able to sink more shots from seven feet beyond the perimeter. This game was so much of a barn-burner that there is no longer any sign that there was once a barn at all.
For fear of injury, players cannot be expected to put much effort into the All-Star Game. What makes the NBA All-Star game better than all other All-Star games is how impressive it is what the players can do effortlessly. For example, DeMar DeRozan executed a baseline reverse 360 dunk while “guarded”, and that doesn’t happen in a regular-season game. The NFL Pro Bowl is garbage, as we all know. The MLB All-Star game is your average game of baseball. Apparently the NHL has an All-Star game, but nobody knows anything about it. But the NBA All-Star game, despite its meaninglessness, is still an impressive exhibition of offensive skills.
Much of the night’s narrative was dedicated to the fact of it being Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star appearance. With the Lakers at 11-44, Bryant’s somewhat questionable selection to the Western Conference team will undoubtedly be the highlight of his farewell tour. And while there are, to say the least, better-loved basketball players, the game-long tribute to Kobe was deserved. It was fun to see Mamba sink his signature fadeaway a couple times, and it was really quite touching to see his excitement at sharing the court with his old teammate Pau Gasol.
Despite the presence of Toronto Raptors’ “global ambassador” Drake during the interminable pre-game player introductions, the task of introducing the halftime performance was left up to Carmelo Anthony. Why? Dunno. The halftime performer was Sting, which was fine because he did a couple Police tunes. We here at The Renaissance Fan assume that both Drake and Carmelo Anthony prefer Sting’s work with the Police to his solo stuff.
In the end the game ended. The Western Conference was just two shots away from a cool 200 points, about double what one expects from four quarters of basketball. Russell Westbrook was dubbed All-Star Game MVP for an unprecedented second year in a row. A good time was had by all. Congratulations to you, Russell Westbrook. Bon voyage, Kobe Bryant. Also present at the game was Von Miller, sitting courtside at the NBA All-Star game the day after appearing on Saturday Night Live and a week after being named Super Bowl MVP, just to show us that right now his life is perfect in every aspect. Congratulations to Von Miller. On with the rest of the season!