NBA All Star Game

The NBA 2013 All Star Game.  What to Look For


NBA: All Star Game-Team PracticesWhen I was growing up in Los Angeles, I watched every basketball game available to me.  These were the times of the John Wooden era at UCLA, and then the Lakers moved to town.  When they left Minneapolis, they brought with them Elgin Baylor, George Mica, and had just acquired Jerry West, also known as “Zeke from Cabin Creek.”  But they couldn’t beat their nemesis, the Boston Celtics.

In later years they had players such as Wilt “the stilt” Chamberlain, Sidney Wicks, Pat Riley, Frank Selvy, and Gail Goodrich.  But their fame and NBA titles came in the Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar era.  The battles between Celtics’ Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson were legendary.

I haven’t watched a great deal of professional basketball for a couple of decades.  Sometimes I do watch the All Star game, just to see the “one-upsman-ship”.

With several franchise cities in financial trouble, tonight’s game is a chance to create more interest in the sport.  I expect to see the “superstars” on both sides put all their talents on display.  I don’t think we’ll see a lot of “good basketball,” but we’ll see some great individual ability.

For the East team you’ll want to watch starters LeBron James, and Dewayne Wade.  Both are capable of putting on a show, but there’s special incentive for LeBron to do so.

Michael Jordan turns 50 today.  Being, without question, the greatest individual player of all time, Jordan has had many comparisons

made between him and James.  Not that one game can offer even the slightest result of that comparison, but James could extract a lot of “oohs” and “aahs” from the fans in attendance.

The West starters have five players who could distract from James:  Kobe Bryant, although in the twilight of his career, has not shown his age on the court and still has the ability to perform “Jordanesque” moves;  Blake Griffin, “Mr. Slam Dunk,”  can make you believe he could take off at half court and rip the ball through the net;  Dwight Howard, “Superman” to many, may rip down the backboard as he crashes for a rebound:  Rounding off the starters are Chris Paul, a true point guard who can do it all, and one of the finest young players in the game, Kevin Durant.  Durant is unquestionably the “purest” forward in the game today.  He received only about 80,000 fewer votes than Bryant, at 1,504,047.

Fans in Houston will see a demonstration of athleticism and physicality like none other.  With the addition in the Major League Baseball All Star game that the winning division will have home field advantage in the World Series, and the NFL’s game meaning nothing, and always missing some of its best players, this is the “fun” All Star game.

So grab a beer and some chips.  The game will be fast and “airborne.”

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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