Now that the NFL will cease to dominate our sporting lives for the time being (the NFL Draft is less than three months away! Coaches getting fired! The Combine! Peyton Manning to *insert team here*! Tim Tebow fighting for a starting spot again!) the American sporting world can finally focus on the NBA and its annual showcase event, All-Star Weekend.
The All-Star starters were announced two weeks ago, and this week the coaches vote on the All-Star reserves. We all know voters are dimwitted and lean toward idiocracy; so being the public servant that I am, I will present my picks not only for the All-Star rosters, but also my picks for who should participate in the Three Point Shootout and the Dunk Contest. Yes, J. Camps has done his research and figured out a totally objective formula that will reveal who deserves to be invited to participate in the 2012 All-Star Weekend. Are you as excited as I am? Let’s get it on!
A couple of rules before we begin:
1) Defending champs ALWAYS defend their title. These ancillary All-Star events should mean something to those who participate. That’s wonderful for fans of the Dunk Contest, not so wonderful for fans of the Three Point Shootout.
A) For the Three Point Champ: even if you retire you are required to defend your title.
2) Only one wild card is allowed to participate in the Shootout and the Dunk Contest, all other participants must be on the All-Star team or…
3) The hosting city is guaranteed a participant in the Three Point Shootout and Dunk Contest. Gotta give the fans someone to root for.
4) When making All-Star selections team success and current 2011-2012 form are weighted heavier than career statistics.
5) But career statistics do matter, if choosing between a career AS and a player who has been in the league for awhile but has just begun playing at an AS level, I will choose the player with the pedigree.
6) Popularity among fans/media members has zero importance. I know it’s an All-Star game, but we want the best players out there, not the flashiest.
7) We separate All-Star roster spots into three positions (suggested by ESPN’s John Hollinger). Points, wings, and bigs. Nowadays we have a lot of guard/forwards and forward/centers. It’s time to separate them. The guard, forward, center voting format is archaic at this point.
8) Oh yeah, instead of the typical East vs. West format, we’re going with the captain’s-pick-the-team format, similar to the NHL All-Star game and a format the NBA instituted this year in the Rising Stars Challenge. Captains will select from a pool of 22 All-stars, 11 from each conference. The two captains will be a Home Team Guy and the reigning MVP. If there is no Home Team guy or reigning MVP on the AS roster, the next option is the Finals MVP. The last option is a fan vote.
All-Star Saturday Night
Three Point Shootout
Defending champ: James Jones. As soon as he loses, he’ll never be invited again.
Wild Card: Ray Allen. Jesus Shuttlesworth should be grandfathered into this competition until he retires. And he’ll always be the favorite.
Home team guy: Ryan Anderson. Obvious choice. Leading the league in 3s made and attempted. This is pretty much all he does.
All-Star: Kevin Durant. Yes he stunk it up last year, but having a superstar in the competition makes it more interesting.
All-Star: Kevin Love. I’d rather have big men stay away from the three-point line, but Kevin Love shoots the 3 and rebounds, so no qualms here.
All-Star: Steve Nash. In a season where teams play 4-5 games a week, a 38-year-old should not be able to shoot .560 from the field and .455 from deep. I don’t know what they do to these guys in Phoenix but I’d guess that’s part of the reason Nash hasn’t asked out.
Defending Champ: Lob City bitch Lob Lob City bitch. The Blake Show returns to defend his crown in Orlando. He’s been on record saying, “it’s not my thing.” I beg to differ.
Home team representative: Isn’t it obvious? Von Wafer! Oh you thought I was picking Dwight? Nah, he’s all Dunk Contest’ed out. Plus he might not be on the team by the time AS weekend rolls around.
Wild-Card: DeMar Derozan. The man was robbed last year. Let’s redeem ourselves America.
All-Star: Lebron James. I had a hard time picking this one. Matt King of the Bleacher Report calls Lebron a coward for never participating in the high-flying spectacle. That’s a little harsh, but he is being a pussy. The man has image concerns. His reasons are deplorable, and the fact that he’ll never do it even though the entire NBA Universe wants to see it is rather selfish. Lebron my friend, you could bring the house down by just announcing that you’ll participate. As it stands, we’re mocking you for being a pansy.
The potential candidates for this last spot are huge. If I were commish I’d put it to a fan vote, this is one that is impossible to get wrong. Here are the options:
Westbrook. Dunking point guards are oh so fun to watch. Take a look at this. And this. And this. While he may be a two-man masquerading as a point man, there is no denying his supreme talent and athletic ability.
Derrick Rose. Ditto for the reigning MVP. A big part of dunking is the way the dunker’s body moves while in flight. That is what makes a dunker spectacular. D Rose’s in-air movement would tempt the NBA’s best color analyst, Bill Walton, to go all 70s era psychedelic on us and compare it to some little known historical figure.
Josh Smith. Let’s just say he has mastered the art of flight.
Dwyane Wade. He doesn’t have the lift he had a couple years ago, but he is still the prettiest man in the air. Not to mention the intrigue that would come from teammate v teammate in a dunk contest.
Andre Iguodala. I wasn’t gonna include him until I saw him throw it down on the entire Bulls roster the other night. So much power. So much explosiveness.
Rudy Gay. Rudy’s in-air game is always a joy to watch.
We can't wrong with any of these guys. Let's just throw all of them in the dunk contest!
In Pt. II we get into the All-star representatives from each conference