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  • the All Star Game is usually one of my absolute favorite NBA events.

  • Not only is it the one time of year that the sport's brightest lights are all in one place, it's a celebration of the show business side of a sport that is flat out fantastic at showmanship, big stars doing big things in front of big crowds, crowds that are usually peppered with even more big names.

  • No other sport can match the flavor of the N B A at its best.

  • But of course it's impossible to be at your best in the middle of a pandemic.

  • And it is really hard to get fans excited about something that the players themselves so clearly we're not excited about.

  • For weeks we have been hearing guys criticize this game happening at all.

  • And as if on cue, the news crossed like an arrow.

  • On Sunday morning, the barber that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had used before getting to Atlanta tested positive for Covid, which meant they were both held out of the game for contact.

  • Tracing it was a blow not only for the everything is fine crowd, but also to the game itself, which was already missing.

  • Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Devin Booker.

  • Still, if we know anything about an event based in theater, there are always understudies.

  • And there were still plenty of sights to be seen.

  • Steph Curry winning the three point contest with his usual flair, then afterward dedicating the trophy to his splash brother Klay, Thompson, the Fam You and Grambling State marching bands.

  • Being part of player introductions was a pretty great touch, as were the stream of HBCU celebrations throughout the evening.

  • Now, personally, I never that impressed when a game is used as an excuse to donate money to a cause.

  • This wasn't a case of ticket sales being a fundraiser.

  • In fact, the exact same amount of money could have been donated by the N B A or its partners without a single basketball being bounced in Atlanta.

  • But the awareness raised by peppering the broadcast, the segments that raised up the HBCU s and endorse them over and over that is seriously valuable and something worth applauding now.

  • Once the game itself started, it became pretty clear it was not going to be competitive.

  • But getting to see players who are normally rivals play together was still great fun.

  • And while Steph and LeBron couldn't quite seem to get a high five together, that that was troubling, um, the obvious kick that they got out of playing with it.

  • It's just a high five, gentlemen.

  • Um, the obvious kick they got out of playing each other.

  • It was a nice reproach, right to all the Internet trolls who spend so much time trying to pit them against each other.

  • We also got fun dance moves from Yannis and Nicola Jokic.

  • I mean, I think I think that's dancing.

  • I I don't really know.

  • We also got the dunk contest at halftime, and that was I mean, frankly, Oprah and Meghan Merkle dunking on the royal family over on CBS, much more violent than anything that happened in Atlanta last night.

  • I don't know if the NBA just needs to rethink this event entirely, given that the league's best dunkers annually refused to participate.

  • But when even Magic Johnson is tweeting that something is bad.

  • Yeah, that's a problem.

  • At least we got some pyrotechnics in the second half of the game.

  • No, no, from LeBron, who stuck to his pledge to not go all in on this weekend by not even playing in the third or fourth quarter.

  • Yanis, however, clearly having a ball ripping through the paint at will, even knocking down 33 pointers, a 16 for 16 performance that would earn him the game's MVP trophy, and man Steph and Dame Lillard.

  • Yeah, they were just ridiculous.

  • I don't know when they're going to add a four point line to the All Star Game, but they clearly need one step.

  • Just kept hitting shot after shot shot after shot from long range.

  • Look at this.

  • I mean, how demoralizing is it in an All Star game when someone actually bothers to play defense and pokes the ball away and step still just tosses it in there now?

  • Lillard just as ridiculous watch when he pulled up from there.

  • I mean, come on, and it was Dame who would end the game on a pass from Steph, and you can see it at ground level.

  • Steph actually does the Dame wave before the shot went in the same wave the Dame gave Paul George and the playoffs a couple years ago.

  • Remember at the time PG called Lillard's game winner a bad shot, but Hey, give PG credit.

  • Last night he corrected himself.

  • Well, I guess I was criticized for the right reason.

  • Um, for calling Dame shot in the playoffs and bad shot.

  • I mean, I see these guys range.

  • It's crazy.

  • Now, after the game, the All Stars scattered quickly is they have to turn around and start playing again when the league fires back up.

  • Just this Wednesday.

  • Hey, if we learned anything this weekend is that the show must go on.

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the All Star Game is usually one of my absolute favorite NBA events.

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When Magic Johnson is criticizing the Dunk Contest, you have a problem - Rachel Nichols | The Jump

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/11
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