Speak out: NBA All-Star weekend: three days of pure fun-A A +A
Friday, February 15, 2013
IF YOU are an NBA fan, there are a lot of things you look forward to through the course of the season--your favorite team’s games, dream matches, games on Christmas day, battles for playoff spots, the playoffs proper, quarterfinals, semifinals, and of course, the championship series.
Part of the list and thrust in the middle of all that is the All-star weekend, a break from all the tension and drama the deepening season entails, three days of pure fun and games showcasing the world’s best individual basketball talents.
Team Chuck vs. Team Shaq in the Rising Stars Challenge, a game between the league’s up-and-comers, rookies and sophomores all mixed up giving fans a glimpse of the NBA’s future will be a great appetizer. It will be top-billed by last year’s Challenge MVP, Kyrie Irving and this season’s favorite for the Rookie of the Year award, Damian Lillard.
Then there are the Skills Challenge, Shooting Stars, Three-Point Contest and the Slam Dunk Competition, a highly action-filled mix of fundamentals, strength, accuracy and jaw-dropping elevation to leave us on the edge of our seats. The defending champions, Tony Parker for Skills Challenge and Jeremy Evans for the Dunk Competition will still be the players to beat in their respective contests this year and since injured Kevin Love can’t defend his three-point shooting title, there will be a new winner and the favorite has to be Matt Bonner with a 45.1 percent clip from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, the Shooting Stars will feature four teams consisting of an all-star, a WNBA player and a legend so the title is basically up for grabs among them.
The undercards were just to rev up the excitement engine, to put us in the mood for the main event which is the All-star game. East vs. West.
LeBron vs. Kobe. Melo vs. KD. And all the other BIG names too. The best of the best. It doesn’t get much better than that. Expect a lot of high-octane offense most of the time highlighted by alley-oops, punctuated by slamma jammas. The game will be fast-paced, high-scoring and not pressure-packed. It will be what it is supposed to be, it will be FUN, for everybody, participants and audience alike.
For me, more than that, it’s the giving back of the NBA to its followers that makes this event a great one. Fans will have lots of chances to interact with their favorite players. There will be gimmicks which will bring supporters closer to their beloved superstars even for those nowhere near Houston, for us. And the best part is that there will community reach-out programs and the All-star events will be established as some sort of fundraisers as proceeds will go to different charitable institutions. The league staying true to their slogan, NBA Cares.
We are still days away before the highly-anticipated All-star weekend, but as early as now, I can already say, it’s a success as it has always been year after year after year. With all these, you can never go wrong.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 16, 2013.