Tag Archive: Derrick Rose

A great occasion losing its way?

So what can we take away from All-Star Weekend?

The battle between Kevin Durant (left) and LeBron James became the story of the 2012 All-Star Game

Kevin Durant and LeBron James going head-to-head in the All-Star Game itself was the highlight of my weekend. Each scored 36 points and anchored their teams’ offense. The athleticism on show by both men, surely the two leading contenders (along with ‘Bron’s East teammate, Derrick Rose) for MVP honours come post-season, was just as incredible as their ability to get to the rack with ease – even if the All-Star Game isn’t exactly a defensive Mecca. James’ careless late-game turnover shouldn’t blemish his performance over 48 minutes, in my opinion.

The All-Star Game is a tradition as old as organised sport itself in the major leagues of North America. The first NBA season ran through the winter of 1947-8, and the first All-Star Game arrived in 1951. Ever since, it’s been the ultimate individual honour for a player to be named to the All-Star teams, representing their teammates, their cities, and their conferences.

I’m a fan of the All-Star Game. I got a huge kick out of seeing Gerald Wallace represent my Bobcats (first all-star in franchise history) in 2010, even if he hardly played and didn’t do much. It’s a great measure of not just the players, but also the teams, whose stocks are rising among league coaches and, for the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge and Luol Deng this year, gives deserved recognition to players who all too often get overlooked.

Unfortunately, 21st-century America is torturing the All-Star Game, forcing it to drag behind it the ever-greater burden of more new crappy events and sponsorship opportunities. Yes, the All-Star Game (hereafter ASG) is an unmovable institution – but All-Star Weekend (ASW), as far as I’m concerned, can go to hell.

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Dwyane Wade’s ongoing injury problems are forcing the Heat to switch style

Given that the season started just one month after the NBA’s damaging and embarrassing lockout ended, and that teams had one week for training camp (not two) and two preseason games (not the usual six or seven), it was unavoidable, even expected, that there would be injuries around the league – but boy are they coming thick and fast. Already, Miami’s Big Two-and-a-Half has been reduced to the Big One-and-a-Half, as Dwyane Wade struggles with various nagging leg injuries, and on one occasion, even the Big Half as LeBron James joined his running mate on the sidelines and left Chris Bosh to lead an otherwise rather short Miami roster. (As a Bosh sympathiser, if not supporter, I feel obliged to point out that he had a massive game – 33 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks – to lead the Heat to victory over the Hawks.)

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