“Greatest NBA Players Of All-Time: 30-21” (DTS Podcast #106)

ESPN’s greatest 74 players of all-time list is so bad, it inspired me to construct an actual list….A GOOD LIST.

MY LIST!!!!

Today, I break down Part 1: 30-21 (with some honorable mentions).

Enjoy.

Oh, and take notes if you need to.

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Somewhere..Bill Russell Is Doing His Happy Dance

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And the winner of the 250 Million Dollar Lottery is……….The Boston Celtics?! Yes, you heard that right. The team set to take on former lottery prize Lebron James in the Eastern Conference Finals was awarded the #1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. And there’s no cash by the way, only the rights to Markelle Fultz out of the University of Washington. Hey Danny Ainge, how’s the view from up there?? Ainge, the President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics, orchestrated a masterful trade with the Brooklyn Nets back in 2013. The Nets received Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (both were WAY past their prime) for a pile of players and future draft picks. Enter last night’s lottery win by the Celtics. Paul Pierce didn’t wait long to say you’re welcome.

As with any lottery, there must be winners and losers. First, let’s take a look at the lottery results:

1. Celtics (via Nets)

2. Lakers

3. Sixers (via Kings)

4. Suns

5. Kings (via Sixers)

6. Magic

7. Timberwolves

8. Knicks

9. Mavericks

10. Kings (via Pelicans)

11. Hornets

12. Pistons

13. Nuggets

14. Heat

Thanks to this ridiculous system, the winners and losers are self-explanatory. Land above your projected draft spot..you’re a winner, fall below your projected draft spot..you’re a loser. Of course, none of this guarantees you a superstar player. The Knicks can attest to that (I wonder what Frederic Weis is doing right now?).

Sooooooo, why does the NBA select the draft order this way rather than award the best pick to the team with the worst record? The answer is simple; MONEY. Amidst a so far underwhelming NBA playoffs, the NBA machine has people talking about the draft, and the draft lottery, and the draft combine, and that kid with the expensive shoes (no I will not say his name here). Ratings, the all-mighty money grab, ratings, and more ratings. That’s what it’s all about. And once the buzz around the draft lottery ends, the Cavaliers/Warriors saga will commence. And once the NBA Finals is over, the actual draft will happen. And once the draft is over, free agents will be on the move. Hmmmmm..sound familiar? Seems like the NBA is doing their best NFL impersonation. Good for you Adam Silver, good for you.

The biggest winners of the night included the Boston Celtics (obviously) and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers received the #2 overall pick. If the Lakers had fallen outside of the top 3, they would have lost their pick to the (Orlando) Magic, so it’s a good thing Magic (Johnson) is on their side. And now for my favorite part of the program..THE LOSERS!! The biggest loser Tuesday night was the Phoenix Suns, as they dropped 2 spots (from #2 to #4). So much for Tank Mode.  

And last but certainly not le…Oh okay, maybe they are least. Enter my New York Knicks. They can’t win right. They can’t draft right. They can’t tank right. And they certainly can’t get lucky right. The Knicks fell 1 spot from #7 to #8. I know it’s only 1 spot, but it’s just another bump in a long line of bumps in Knicks history. Let’s see how Phil Jackson screws this up. Hey Phil, Danny Ainge is running a General Managers Camp. I heard it’s a great way to improve your people skills. Want me to sign you up?? As for players we can land come draft day, the Knicks should have their choice between French guard Frank Ntilikina and NC State guard Dennis Smith Jr. As long as we don’t draft another big man, I won’t lose my mind.

Did you watch Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery? Who do you want the Knicks to draft? Tell me in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One Liner Friday’s

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Hello and welcome to another edition of One Liner Friday’s. Here you will find the past week in sports wrapped up in one line and one line only. Enjoy!!

Mark my words: Everyone at the Open Championship needs to watch out for Tiger Woods.

I know I know, that’s a really hard prediction to make, but I’m making it because he has found a nice rhythm and he’s got the putter working (he doesn’t lose when he putts well).

That’s a scientific fact!

Anchorman anyone?

The MLB All-Star Game is the only one of the major sports that I look forward to not watching.

It can’t be an exhibition and mean something at the SAME TIME!!

The HomeRun Derby is still cool though.

Watching human beings (albeit human beings on massive amounts of growth hormones) hit baseballs 500 feet never gets old.

Yoenis Cespedes is a beast!!

For those of who didn’t watch the ESPY’S (like me), you need to check out Lebron James’ outfit:

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Umm excuse me Mr. usher, can you help me find my seat?

Whatever happened to the regular old black tux?

So little Johnny Manziel is getting drunk, getting arrested, and is in the process of ruining his future, it sounds like he’ll fit right in in the NFL.

But, whatever you do John, just remember that NOBODY CARES!!

A-Rod says he’ll be back on the Yankees on Monday, I want to believe him, I just don’t.

Oh you want a $25 million dollar contract?

But you don’t have any major injuries?

Oh no I’m sorry I can’t give you a contract unless at least one of your body parts is falling apart.

What’s that, you do have knees that are deteriorating, by all means then J.R. Smith, please sign right here.

Jaws must have been smoking that good stuff when he made is QB list because there is no way in hell that Matt Ryan is better than Drew Brees.

Lebron, Kobe, and Melo are not going to wind up on the same team.

That’s crazy, that would be like Iron Man, Thor, and The Hulk all teaming up to……..ahhh or maybe it could happen.

Does Kevin Garnett know that he’s going to have to coach the Nets while Jason Kidd is in jail??

I’d like to end on a serious note.

This year is the 20th anniversary of Jimmy V’s famous “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” speech.

I’d just like to say that we should never take anything, anyone, or any day we have for granted because you never know when it’ll all be gone.

Cherish your lives every day, and appreciate the life that you have.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend everybody!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One Liner Friday’s

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Hello and welcome to another edition of One Liner Friday’s. Here you’ll find the wide world of sports from the past week wrapped up in One Line and One Line only. Enjoy!!

Yeah so I decided to sit down and eat 70 hot dogs in a little under 12 minutes yesterday.

Is that a lot?

How cool would it be to be a competitive eater?

No?

Just me on that one huh?

Dwight Howard is about as irrational and indecisive as a pregnant woman.

Listen up Dwight (you moron), go to Houston or Golden State because they are the closest to winning a championship and that’s all that should matter.

Yasiel Puig for President!

Seriously though, Jonathan Pabelbon should shut his mouth and Puig SHOULD be an all-star this year.

Also, Met’s pitching sensation Matt Harvey should start the All-Star Game at Citi Field this year.

If Harvey didn’t play for the worst team known to man he might be in the CY Young race right now.

Need a good laugh?

The New York Islanders will pay Rick DiPietro, that’s right RICK RIPIETRO, $1.6 Million per year for the next 15 years (hahahahahahaha).

The NBA made history when The Boston Celtics hired a middle schooler as their head coach.

Oh wait sorry that’s Brad Stevens.

With the acquisitions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett by the Brooklyn Nets, the Yankees won’t be the only team in New York with an old timers day.

Speaking of the Yankees, you know they’re in dire straits when they are broadcasting a washed up, over the hill, controversial, injury prone A-Rod’s rehab at bats in the Minor Leagues.

Although he is their best option by far at 3rd base (oh 1998 how I miss thee).

Why is it that most of these are about my New York teams?

This is not a sign of good things to come (I hope China doesn’t read this one).

Andy Murray vs. who?

His name is Jerzy Janowicz and doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does he drinks Dos Equis.

No, he is the 24th ranked player in the world, and as long as Murray can bounce back from his 5 setter on Wednesday he’ll mop the floor with him.

Enjoy the rest of your 4th of July weekend everyone! Be safe!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One Liner Friday’s

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Hello, and welcome to another edition of One Liner Friday’s. This is my 2nd post of the day so make sure you scroll down to read my review of Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

So if the Yankees can score some runs that would be cool.

You know those silly movies like Home Alone where they put down 5 marbles and the bad guys all slip and fall?

Yeah, that’s Wimbledon.

Aaron Hernandez took a lottery ticket and used it as Charmin Ultra Soft.

As I predicted last Friday, Hernandez was charged with murder, and I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison regretting his miserable existence.

In all seriousness though I feel really bad for his baby girl.

Not so seriously though, how can the best basketball player that ever lived be such a bad judge of talent?

Michael Jordan is a worse NBA Executive than he was a baseball player.

Doc Rivers is goin goin back back to Cali.

In other NBA news, the Brooklyn Nets actually believe it is 2005 with the finalization of a trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Most of these guys are way past their prime.

Some of them never had a prime.

This guys dead!

Major League, great movie.

I guess Tim Tebow really is going to be the Patriots tight end.

Doesn’t that make you sick to your stomach?

Hey Yasiel Puig, there’s a wall there someone should, uh move it.

Matt Harvey is really good at baseball.

The Mets should pray that Zach Wheeler is even half as good, maybe then they’ll come close to .500.

Not likely though, I mean they are the Mets.

Brian Cashman dropping F bombs!!

Personally I love it, A-Rod needs to shut his trap.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

2013 NBA Draft In Review

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I just love surprises don’t you? Nerlens Noel was considered by most to be the best player in this years NBA Draft, and was projected to be the #1 overall pick. Boy was everybody wrong. Noel fell all the way to the 6th pick as his flat top surely shrunk as he waited to hear his name called. Upon his selection to the New Orleans Pelicans, he immediately got shipped off to Philadelphia. The 76ers did what everybody does and made a trade based on money and money alone. No one in their right mind can tell me that Nerlens Noel (a virtual unknown coming off major surgery) is worth up and coming superstar Jrue Holliday AND a future 1st round pick. The only positive for the 76ers here is that they cleared $41 million in cap space for the future, but in the process they lose one of the best young talents in the NBA. Yeah that decision shouldn’t haunt you for the rest of your life. Now, back to the task at hand: Who was the first overall pick in the draft you ask? The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Anthony Bennett of UNLV to play alongside the über talented Kyrie Irving. Cleveland management clearly wants to win now as Bennett is regarded as the most NBA ready player of anyone in this years draft (I have to respectfully disagree with that). From there the shocks and surprises kept on coming. I believe there were two picks in the top 10 that stood out. Cody Zeller going 4th overall is egregious. I’m starting to figure out why Michael Jordan is not a good executive and should never be allowed to make decisions for his team ever again. If you think Cody Zeller is going to live up to his draft position, then you must be sipping on the same stuff MJ is. On the other hand, the best value pick has to be Ben McClemore as the 7th overall pick. McClemore is probably the most talented player in the entire draft, and I think between he and Victor Oladipo, they will be duking it out for Rookie of the Year honors next season. Overall it was a very active day in the NBA, and I will break down all the important moves right here.

Thursday’s NBA Draft represented David Stern’s 30th and final draft. Over those 30 years he has stood on that stage with some of the NBA’s greatest players of all-time. As most of you know, Stern will be stepping down as commissioner in February making way for a new era in the NBA. This years draft, while not as deep in terms of obvious talent, certainly did not disappoint. It was a wild night as 11 of the first 30 picks were traded, and the host site of the draft made the biggest splash of all. The Brooklyn Nets have brought new meaning to the term win now as they traded away 5 players and 3 future draft picks to the Boston Celtics. Here is how the trade breaks down:

The Nets get:
Paul Pierce
Kevin Garnett
and Jason Terry

The Celtics get:
Gerald Wallace
Reggie Evans
Kris Humphries
Keith Bogans
Tornike Shengelia
and 1st round picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018

The Nets starting lineup instantly gets better, and this makes them a top 3 team in the NBA on paper. However, as we all know, a bunch of names thrown together doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work (especially with a rookie head coach in Jason Kidd). The way I see it, the Nets have to win the championship this year, or this will be considered a failure. Forget who they traded, they traded away 3 1st round picks. If this doesn’t work out then they’ll be in the proverbial hurt locker for some time now. What I see happening is they will finish with a solid record (probably 50 wins), but come playoff time they will meet their match against the Heat. As for the Boston Celtics, this is simply the final move to having a clean slate to rebuild on. It’ll be years before Boston competes again in the East, so get comfy. If you take a quick glance at the Eastern Conference, it is strong. For the Knicks to be the 5th best team in the Conference, you know the East is ready to dominate the NBA yet again. Speaking of the Knicks, I did like their draft pick from last night. They chose Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th overall pick. If your team likes to shoot then draft a shooter.

All in all it was a crazy night in the NBA. We saw a shocker at #1, we saw a blockbuster trade, and we saw a staple in the NBA conduct his final draft as commissioner. Now all that’s left to do is find out where Dwight Howard will suit up next year, and we’ll be ready for another action packed NBA season. What team do you think had the best draft? Who had the worst draft? Leave me your answers and comments below.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Knicks Defense Stifles Celtics

The atmosphere inside the World’s Most Famous Arena Tuesday night was electrifying. The crowd was in the game from start to finish, and the Knicks were able to match the fans intensity. That intensity really showed itself on the defensive end. Let me just say that if the Knicks play defense the way they did in the 2nd half, they will give Miami a run for their money. This game was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Celtics played efficiently on the offensive end and they applied solid pressure on the defensive end. The first quarter was back and forth until J.R. Smith took over. His pure athleticism coupled with his acrobatic shots put the Knicks on top heading to the 2nd quarter. Smith was able to score 5 points inside the final 7 seconds of the 1st quarter to leave the Knicks ahead by 6. His final shot at the buzzer was a step back 3-pointer from about 40 feet. The Garden erupted, and it looked like the Knicks were going to cruise to an easy victory. The Celtics, however, had other plans. The Celtics turned up their defense and started pushing the ball up the floor off of turnovers. With the pace of play being turned up a notch, this created open shots for Jason Terry. Terry finally found his range as he hit three consecutive three pointers and helped the Celtics grab a six point advantage heading into halftime. The 2nd half did not exactly go as well as the 1st for the Celtics. The 3rd quarter of Tuesday night’s game was an exact blueprint of what the Knicks need to do to win. The Knicks energy and defensive intensity was phenomenal. They forced numerous turnovers and their defensive pressure stifled the old men in green. Paul Pierce has always looked like he’s running in quicksand, but I think it’s safe to say he’s nearing the bottom of the hill. Kevin Garnett on the other hand never got anything going due to early foul trouble. This time it seemed that he was the one frustrated by his opposition (and Carmelo didn’t even have to say anything about his wife, hmm go figure). The Knicks defense was intense, it was swarming, it was physical, and best of all it sent a message to the rest of the league. The Knicks in 2 straight games have held the Celtics to 24 and 23 2nd half points; respectively. Thats insane! Now all they need to do is commit themselves completely to that hard nose style of play, and they’ll be all set. And let me branch off here for a second to spend a little time to give credit where credit is due. Kenyon Martin is the man! I love Kenyon Martin’s game (and if you don’t you need to have your head examined). My favorite part of any game is when a player drives down the middle of the lane thinking he has a free path to the basket for a dunk. Little does he know that Kenyon Martin is not just waiting, he’s salivating for such an opportunity. What comes next is the best part. Kenyon either takes the player down in a way that the player says to himself, “I better not try that again”, or he comes away with a monster block. Either way Kenyon Martin is sending this message: (which I approve) Don’t you bring that weak stuff up in here boy! (And then he screams at the crowd which is awesome!). And that right there is what you should love about Kenyon Martin and the dynamic he brings to this roster. Plus, his wry smile at the ref every time he commits a ‘foul’ is pretty amusing too. Anyway, let’s get back to the matter at hand. We know what Melo brings to the table, and we think we know what J.R. Smith brings as well. But what we don’t know is how consistently Raymond Felton can play with the aggressive nature we saw Tuesday night. Felton was by far the player of the game last night. I know I know, Melo had all those points, but without Felton’s contributions that game would have ended differently. So, if Chandler, Shumpert, and Martin bring the defense while Melo and Melo Jr. bring the offense, all we need is little Raymond Felton to penetrate the defense and either dish or attack the basket. With Felton as a viable 3rd offensive weapon the Knicks stand a serious chance in the Eastern Conference. All the Knicks need to do now is not have a let down like we’ve all grown accustom to. They can’t get comfortable with a 2 game lead (especially with those 2 wins coming at home). They need to stay focused as
they enter the hostile environment that will be the TD Garden in Boston. Even with the declining play from Boston’s stars, Boston is going to be the toughest place to play for the foreseeable future, trust me. The Knicks need to keep their defensive intensity up and win game 3. Then they’ll be in the drivers seat. You can catch game 3 of the New York Knicks vs. the Boston Celtics on Friday night @ 8:00 p.m. Tune into ESPN to catch all the action. Enjoy the rest of the series everybody.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

NBA Trade Talks

The All-Star break has come and gone, and it is now time for the 2nd ” half ” of the season.  With approximately 30 games left for every team, and the trade deadline looming, contenders will be looking to make a move to solidify their playoff positioning.  The trade deadline is this Thursday, February 21st.  There are many talented players names swirling around the trade rumor mill, and certainly some of them will be moved in the coming days.  Most notably the Knicks have been in the midst of trade talks.  Everyone believes that they need to make a trade prior to the deadline to become a real contender.  I do believe that the Knicks are one piece away from being a true contender for a title, however they need to be careful who they trade this week.  The most popular name in these trade rumors has been Iman Shumpert.  He is the Knicks most valuable trading chip because of his potential and inexpensive rookie contract, but he is a valuable asset to the Knicks for the same reasons.  By the way, if I have to hear how much better J.J. Reddick is than Iman Shumpert one more time I’m going to throw up.  Most people are pointing to Shumpert’s knee and saying he’ll never be the same after a torn ACL last season.  It is a serious injury, but how many guys have come back and succeeded after the same injury?  While the Knicks are certainly in win now mode, they need to keep their bright future in mind as well.  The core of their team is young.  Look at their roster: Carmelo Anthony,Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Iman Shumpert(none of these guys are heading out to early bird dinners).  Carmelo Anthony needs to try to convince these guys to stick around for the next five years(that shouldn’t be that hard to do, I mean this is New York).  The Knicks youngest player with the most room for improvement by far is Iman Shumpert.  He is 6’5″ and 220 pounds with great athletic ability.  He can jump out of the gym, he is a phenomenal perimeter defender, and by my opinion is an underrated offensive talent.  Just because the Knicks have the oldest team in NBA history, doesn’t mean they need to dump young talent to try to win this year.  The older players on their roster are all nearing the end of their careers and are simply role players on an overall young team anyway.  Think about the names that we’re talking about: Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas, and Jason Kidd.  Everyone can stop pretending these are the guys that are going to make the difference.  When was the last time these guys were on a list that mattered besides a waiting list for a nursing home?  While I think Camby and/or Wallace could solve some of the teams problems, they are ancient and shouldn’t be relied on.  The Knicks have obvious weaknesses and have holes on their roster that need to be filled.    I believe part of the answer to the Knicks struggles is Iman Shumpert.  He should be playing more than Jason Kidd.  Jason Kidd has been averaging 28 minutes per game this season and 32 minutes over his past three games(the three games the Knicks have struggled in most this season), while Shumpert has only been averaging 19 minutes per game.  Plus, Shumpert has only played in 13 games since returning from his injury.  He needs to be given a little time to return to form.  I am a Jason Kidd fan, but Mike Woodson needs to realize that Kidd is 40; not 26.  If Coach Woodson can get over his man crush maybe he’ll scale back Kidd’s minutes a little bit.  If Woodson flips Shumpert and Kidd’s minutes upside down, I bet he’ll be a lot happier.  The bottom line is: DON’T TRADE IMAN SHUMPERT!!  Also, if the Knicks are going to continue to be trigger happy from three point land, why don’t they play their best shooter, Steve Novak?  I know he doesn’t play a lick of defense, but right now neither does anybody else.  Right now, Kidd is out there as the Knicks shooting guard(taking up precious real estate).  Also, when did we start confusing Jason Kidd with Steve Kerr?  Kidd was one of the best point guards ever in his prime, but he was never a great three point shooter.  Kidd needs to play less minutes which will keep his legs fresher come playoff time, and he needs to be an extension of Coach Woodson on the floor.

There have been a few other teams in the trade rumors along with the Knicks.  The Jazz have an overloaded front court, and I believe Paul Millsap will be moved before the deadline.  The injury prone Celtics should look to make a trade before Thursday, but it doesn’t appear that will happen.  Kevin Garnett will not waive his no-trade clause and Paul Pierce is a big name still.  Even though he is past his prime, the Celtics are looking for way too much in return for Pierce.  Another player who’s name has been all over the news is Josh Smith.  In my estimation, he is very overrated, but someone will trade away too much to get him and will be moved before the deadline.  At the 23rd hour, there are always surprise moves that happen.  Stay tuned to see what goes down before the trade deadline.  Enjoy the rest of the NBA season.

If you enjoy my writing here please go check out more of my work @ intheneutralzone.com.  I am a contributing author there.  Thanks and enjoy!

It’s definitely better than the Pro Bowl, but the NBA’s All-Star Weekend is no slam dunk

Come Thursday night, the NBA will wind down the first half of the season with two thrillers. First, you will have a rematch of the NBA Finals from last season as Miami travels to Oklahoma City(and this could very well be a preview of this year’s finals as well), and then you will have a showdown in the city of angels. The Clippers will try to continue their winning ways against their cross building rivals(get it, I said cross building instead of cross town because they play in the same arena, well at least I thought it was funny), the Lakers. Once the final buzzer sounds on that contest, it’s off to Houston for the 2013 All-Star Weekend festivities. Now I know that the All-Star Game’s TV ratings have been climbing the past couple of years, until last year(“hey, let’s put the All-Star Game on TV at the same time as the Oscars!!” “Good idea!!”, said the two employees who were surely fired as soon as the ratings came out). However, I believe the NBA is not maximizing it’s potential throughout the entire weekend.

The game itself is not what I have a problem with. You can’t make superstars try in a game that is solely meant to be an honor. The game gets good enough ratings as is, and I still tune in because basketball is fun to watch when the score is 184-179. You get to watch the NBA’s elite throw alley oops to each other, and in the off chance that the game is close down the stretch they do actually try. The one problem that I have with the game is actually the voting process. This game is meant to showcase the leagues best players. It is not meant to be a popularity contest. I understand why the NBA allows fans to vote but it ruins the integrity of All-Star appearances. Think about it. When the talking heads debate whether or not someone is a hall of famer don’t they always bring up how many All-Star teams they’ve been on? How are you going to tell me that Joe Schmo from his couch, who doesn’t even know the first thing about basketball(he has heard of Kevin Garnett though), should have any say in who gets in the hall of fame? Most people would probably say, “you’re overreacting, it’s just the All-Star game.” That’s my point. This weekend should matter. It should be an honor for the best players in the league to say, “I’m an All-Star.” I think the NBA should allow a combination of the coaches and hall of fame committees to vote on All-Star appearances. If the committees aren’t willing to get involved with active players then the NBA should decide on a collection of well respected basketball journalists to vote on the All-Star game.

The biggest problem I have with this weekend is what happens on Saturday. These days, the slam dunk contest is essentially a joke. Remember when the slam dunk contest used to mean something? And it was more exciting then the game itself? Yeah, me too. But those days are long gone. One of my most vivid memories of any All-Star game is Vince Carter’s spectacular dunk fest of 2000. Carter threw down one unbelievable dunk after another, putting together a highlight reel for the ages. If you ask me, that is still the single greatest slam dunk performance of all time. No offense Mr. Jordan, but I’m sure you were watching the beginning of Vinsanity too. Anyone remember who assisted Carter in that slam dunk contest?? No peaking at the video, that’s cheating. Yes, it was a young Tracy Mcgrady. The most memorable moments in slam dunk history are definitely Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins in the 80’s battling it out for the title of slam dunk champion. That concept seems laughable now a days, and that’s what has me steaming mad. Michael Jordan was the best player in the NBA every time he competed in the slam dunk contest(hell, he was the best player whenever he did anything). Fans also got to see greats like Clyde Drexler and Scottie Pippen perform once upon a time. That is what the fans want to see today. They want the best players in the league to battle it out like the slam dunk contest still means something. You have to be an avid basketball fan to even know who the competitors are in this years contest.  No offense to the guys competing, but are you tuning in to watch Terrence Ross?  Nope, didn’t think so.  Lebron James and the rest of the superstars of the league are doing the NBA a disservice by not competing. They are only hurting themselves and their brand by not putting together the best show possible at a star studded weekend.  I mean, it’s not like any of the guys we want to see would be inconvenienced by competing.  They are already going to be in Houston.  Instead of tweeting little jokes to cause a stir about possibly maybe hopefully competing in the dunk contest(what a subtle way to get attention buddy), Lebron should come on TV and emphatically say, “I’m going to bring the dunk contest back to life by competing in it and winning it!” If he did that and implored other superstar dunkers like Russell Westbrook to compete, everyone else would follow suit. Listen I’ll still be watching all the events this weekend, including New York Knick James White in the dunk contest, but don’t tell me you wouldn’t rather see Lebron do a 720 dunk or watch him dunk from the 3-point line. Insert haha here…

Here’s the slam dunk roster I would like to see:

Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, J.R. Smith, Javele McGee, and Josh Smith

Now tell me you wouldn’t tune in to watch that!

If you want to see more of my work, please check me out at intheneutralzone.com.  I am now a contributing author on that site as well.