Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ASG Roundtable

Last weekend a group of well paid athletes gathered to walk around a basketball court and throw down a few dunks.  The next night, a group of athletes that make even more money gathered to do the same thing in the NBA's annual All Star Game. Whether you're bored at work or bored at home, here is our live discussion of the event, beginning Sunday, February 17th at 8:30 PM (Eastern...of course.)

Brian: Hey there America - welcome to the first (of hopefully many) NBA All Star Game live blogs, delivered to you courtesy of Jack, Brian, and the artist formerly known as Paul, who decided to spend the first half with family, instead of making jokes about Ne-Yo and everything Russell Westbrook has worn this weekend. Jack, what's happening?

Jack: Ne-Yo actually sounds pretty bad. So bad I muted it and looked up "Let me love you" on youtube to listen to it instead. As far as outfits go, Craig Sager's jacket tonight may have won the weekend contest. He's only been on tv once tonight, but there's already an article on SportsNation entitled "Craig Sager is wearing the most ridiculous suit for the All Star game."

Brian: I saw that fake ESPN tweeted "I wonder how many pimps Sager killed in the 70s to make that jacket?" Pissed I didn't think of that myself. Anyway, I think the real question we need answered is: which All Star partied the hardest this weekend? Melo is the early favorite based on his interview, but my dark horse is James Harden. First time at the ASG, rising star, crazy beard...there's a decent chance he hasn't slept since Thursday.

Jack: Ne-Yo making a play for craziest outfit with a costume change...oh wait he probably wears that anyway. Kobe has really made 15 of these in a row? That's kind of impressive.

I'd bet heavily that Tony Parker spends 3 seconds out with those guys, then goes, "No, let me show you how you're supposed to party," and then brings out Eva Longoria and...oh they aren't married anymore? Then he probably just drinks a lot.

A few early lines: Number of Blake dunks: over/under 5. Number of Lebron misses: over/under 4. Number of times I wonder why Brook Lopez is on the floor: over/under 7 (also the same for number of minutes he spends on the floor).

Brian: Over, push, over. Tough break for Tony Parker, but something tells me he hasn't exactly been spending his nights crying into a pint of Ben & Jerrys and drunk dialing Eva at 3am.

Who's your pick for MVP? I'm putting Kobe as favorite (wants the record of 5 ASG MVPs), then Lebron/Durant, and Joakim Noah last.

Also I'm looping in the resident hoops non-expert Ben Jackowitz. What's up Jacko?

Ben: I like turtles.

Jack: Jacko! King of the 17 footer.

Carmelo. Despite all the partying, he's been shooting really well. And this game is all about shooting. Griffin already has a dunk, and then declined to challenge Bosh's shot. I take that back. Two dunks.

Garnett has to hate this right? Playing with three of his biggest rivals? And Carmelo who tried to fight him this season?

Brian: Thanks for the insight there Jacko! Riveting stuff.

Looks like there won't be much defense in this game, something I should have seen coming. I think KG will be fine, although he probably just finished tell D-Wade that his wife tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Melo/Bosh are playing like they were drinking up until tipof....GOOD GOD LEBRON!

Lebron crushes his first dunk of the night...ducking out of the way of the rim and backboard on his way through.

Jack: I was just about to say something about how I love that Chris Paul looks like the only one who cares, and then he threw a pass off the backboard to himself and then hucked it out of bounds.

As the announcers note, KD's dunk, and Lebron's before that, were as good as any dunk I've seen this weekend. Except this one:

Ben: how is it they are playing a 2-3 zone? it's either that or quite literally the worst defense i've ever seen.

Ben: did lebron just strong-arm an announcer off the court?


Jack: Ignore the blank email I just sent.

Yes. Right before another announcer declared that if "Tyson Chandler's island" didn't have TV it must be in a 3rd world country. Oof.

Brian: eh, that dunk by McElmore was ok. Which 13 seed is gonna knock Kansas out this year Jack?

Ben: honestly this might not be worth watching if duncan is shooting 3's

Jack: Bosh definitely pregamed. I wouldn't be surprised if Duncan did too.

Someone out of the A-10. They'll have two or three teams in at least. VCU maybe?

Brian: Question for you guys - how could the All Star weekend be improved? Other than Duncan shooting 3's, my ideas are:

-a 3 on 3 tournament, East vs West
-scrap the ridiculously stupid "Sears Shooting Stars" event
-force Lebron and Blake to do the slam dunk contest at gunpoint

Jack: What happened? Cars is on ABC Family and I may have taken a brief break.

The best players being in the dunk contest is a big place to start. HORSE would be great, but could potentially take forever. Maybe PIG? The Sears thing needs to go.

Pickup football?

Ben: put a shocker on all the players that delivers a painful burst of electricity when the other team scores.

Jack: Let Kevin Hart play and announce the celebrity game.

Jack: The East going with their "You're better than we are" line-up to start this quarter.

(This far removed, I don't remember who they had in. I'm going to guess Noah, Chandler, Deng, Jrue, and either Urkel or Paul George.)

Brian: Put a GoPro on every player and compile all the footage from 2am on - it would be like Project X times 1000000.

Ben: i honestly don't think i would like to see what tyson chandler or zack randolph does during an all-star weekend.

Brian: Laughing at Noah for..
a) being the only player currently giving a shit
b) begging the refs for bailout calls
c) still being the worst player on the floor

Jack: It turns out Paul George actually be good at basketball?

Welcome to the game...Jrue Holiday.

Jack: I was slightly distracted during that last email. I apologize for the grammatical non-sense.

Brian: Honest question: is Kyrie "Uncle Drew" Irving one of the 10 best players in the league?

Jack: He has to be. Based on how well he shot the ball last night and his handles (see: crossover in the youngsters game), I think so. Although you'd expect one of the top 10 players in the league to be able to help his team to a better record, almost regardless of his supporting cast right? Is a Varejao-less Cleveland team really that bad?

We also just saw 4 consecutive possessions that included a baseball pass before this commercial break. Can CP3 win MVP by recording 23 assists?

Ben: Garnett just falling asleep mid-interview. TFM

Jack: Dwight's idiot deep two with his feet on the line almost convinced me that Paul was right about that centers shooting threes thing. But then he missed. I love that no one cheered when he dunked too.

Brian: Cleveland's frontcourt without Varejao: Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, Alonzo Gee, Luke Walton, Omri Casspi, Kevin Jones, Marreese Speights. I say only Lebron (ironically) could realistically win with a roster like that.

Jack: Hah! Still chuckling.

Another actual question. Am I insane if I answered the question "who would you most like on your team in the last two minutes of a game?" with Chris Paul?

Ben: announcer just said both teams were "competing'?!?

Ben: I've seen more effort in a game of bocce ball

Brian: I'm on board with the Chris Paul thing. He's a clutch shooter and his passing (especially tonight with little defense) is jaw dropping.

Brian: Looked up the record for combined point total in the ASG: 303. Sadly it looks like we won't get close to that. That confirms that defense was not played 25 years ago either.

Jack: CP3 is always so controlled.

I think if we ever are actually commentators for any sports thing Jacko has to be our color commentator.

What's the record for dunks? Do they keep that stat?

Jack: Clown on Bosh! Clown on Bosh!

(Chris Bosh, at this point, has already airballed two shots and had both Chris Paul AND Tony Parker go through his legs off the dribble.)

Ben: honestly i'd chime in 2-3 times per game with something moderately witty and entirely in poor taste

Brian: Sadly no record kept for dunks, but it has to be around 30.

Brian: Jacko: the Charles Barkley of All Star Game live blogs.

Ben: i can't imagine the halftime show at the NBA all-star game is anything worth watching

Ben: I wouldn't be half as drunk as Chuck is on air.

Brian: I'm taking a halftime break to go look at Kate Upton bikini pict...i mean, answer work emails. See you guys in 20.

Ben: you guys might appreciate the vintage clippers jersey the captain of this boat is wearing. keep in mind that this is in san juan, nicaragua.

Jack: Ben didn't reply all. Classic.

Here's my running diary of the halftime show:

1. Alicia is either sick or her mic isn't picking up her big high notes very well. Or both.
2. Alicia is wearing sweats.
3. At the start of "girl on fire" I've decided she is definitely sick or has lost her voice or something. Also she can't dance very well.
4. I will say, I appreciate that she's doing songs that everyone knows. New York, Girl on Fire, No One so far. I'm for it. But she's super scratch and dropping things down an octave on occasion.
5. Despite her baggy pleather pants and full coverage shirt and slicked down short hair, I still find her attractive. Maybe it's the hoop earrings.
6. One of her backup dancers looks like Drake. That would make this set much better. I wonder how much Beyonce's State of the Union fallout fueled her desire to make her Superbowl set incredible. I'm fully sure that was how every Beyonce concert is, if not better. This just sort of feels half-cared about, much like the first half of the game.
7. I've given up on the half-time report and am now looking for the funniest "extras" in my photos from abroad.

Ben: you guys might appreciate the vintage clippers jersey the captain of this boat is wearing. keep in mind that this is in san juan, nicaragua.

apparently i didn't reply all first time around

Jack: Kevin Hart is making everything way better. Hating on Kenny and Chuck so hard for hating on him last night. And I love it. Shaq can't talk he's laughing so hard.


Paul: Hey Team! I am back from an expected 3 hour delay due to dinner with the family and an unexpected 13 minute delay due to the liquid shits from dinner. Perusing the first half highlights, it looks like we saw a shitload of dunks from the usual suspects, Joakim Noah not realizing he is the "Karen" of the all-star game, and Chris Bosh supplanting Linsdey Lohan for the title of "celebrity with the widest open legs." Also, Kevin Hart is hilarious. The TNT crew is easily the best thing to happen to mid-season basketball since the invention of the 3-point line. How are we coming on those over-unders so far?

Paul: P.S. It's a good thing we have Jack in here to inform us which of Alicia Keys' songs are "the ones everybody recognizes." Guess I don't qualify as everybody in this instance.

Jack: Those are likely her 3 most famous songs. Although by "new york" I meant Empire State of Mind. Whatever.

Blake already has 4 dunks and lebron has 3. I don't remember Brook Lopez playing? Did he?

Brian: He did indeed, I am currently at 2 "why the hell is Brook Lopez playing?" moments.

Jack: Brian what's it say about your question about Kyrie that he started this half? Pretty good, eh?

Jack: I hope Kobe turned to Kyrie after that dunk and said "watch out young bloods!"

Paul: Griffin with easily the lamest dunk of the night. Anthony Davis executed a dunk like that in the rising stars game and got lustily booed by the crowd. Griffin also just tripped and almost got a face full of dick from the official on the baseline. Griffin also has the coolest shoes. Those are your 3 Blake Griffin updates for the evening.

Paul: Dwight buries the 3! Still think it would be a bad idea for him to take those at the end of quarters Jack?

(Follow the link to see the debate Paul and I had over this strategy.)

Jack: Mike D'Antoni just fell on a knife somewhere after that Dwight 3.

Brian: "Don't reach, young blood."

Pretty impressive that he started the half considering that he can't buy alcohol legally.

Quick tangent: in a 2 hour span this weekend I bought alcohol without being carded, and was subsequently carded trying to buy a ticket to Django Unchained. Tough break for my ego.

Jack: Yeah I got that quote wrong.  Paul I still don't think he gets an open corner three. And he tried one from the top of the key earlier and missed. So...yes.

Paul: Looks like Duncan forgot his black converses at home and had to borrow a pair of shoes from Durant or somebody. Meanwhile, Joakim Noah is getting himself fired up to come into this game and box some people nobody speaks to him on the sidelines. Total Karen.

Brian: Think the other guys on the team see Noah walk into the club they're in and say, "Oh great, fucking Joakim's coming."? I say 110% yes.

Ben: honestly I think that's what everyone does. guys probably more of a pussy repellent than Greg

Paul: 99% chance Dwight Howard is drunk right now after that interview. Also the West's current lineup could not be less interesting. Besides Westbrook I don't think any of those guys can dunk until they just put Harden in.

Paul: WOW Noah's mom was Miss Sweden in 1978? I think that's the funnest fact of the evening so far. Also means if his mom was a 10, his dad has to be about a -8 in order for their attractiveness to average out to Joakim's appearance.

Brian: His dad was a famous tennis player as I'm sure you've heard 100 times, and while he wasn't exactly a looker, Joakim does not equal the sum of the parts here.

I asked Jack earlier: which all star partied the hardest this weekend? and can anyone ever beat Allen Iverson's 72 hour bender in 2001?

Ben: you kidding? Noah's attractiveness has to be some sort of irrational number like the square root of -5 or something

Ben: noah also with easily the worst pass i've seen all night


That's all.

Jack: Also Noah still the only one caring. Love that he slapped the ball after Parker made that shot.

Ben --> noah's sister

Jack: Headed into the 4th I think the frontrunners for MVP are CP3, KD, Melo, and D-Wade. Over-under on Lebron's stat line this quarter? 12pts 4 boards 3 assists and 4 blocks?

Paul: Would not have guessed our Joakim Noah references would outnumber the LeBron references at least 3-1 through three quarters. As far as what all-star partied the hardest, the pre-weekend odds were as follows:

Harden: 3-1
LeBron: 5-1
Zach Randolph: 5-1 (closet partier)
Carmelo: 5-1
Tony Parker: 8-1 (anybody who sustains an eye injury in a bar fight has to be up there)
Kyrie Irving: 10-1 (one weekend where he doesn't have to worry about being carded)
David Lee: 12-1 (because if you were David Lee, wouldn't you?)
Tim Duncan: 100,000-1
Joakim Noah: Not Posted (not invited to any parties)

Jack: Lopez for 3? Hahaha still laughing. I'll take Ray Allen fading out of bounds in the corner.

Paul: Another underrated success story of this weekend: somehow those obnoxious inflatable bouncing mascots have gone from playing at SoCon men's games to the NBA all-star game in just 4 years. Anybody remember what those guys were called?

Jack: I was really hoping "Kobe the facilitator" was going to show up to this game. Alas.

I love Kyrie Irving. There. I said it.

Brian: A wild Brook Lopez has appeared! That's 3 times.

I promise that's my last Pokemon joke of the night.

Jack: Fortunately they only appear in the Safari Zone where you can "throw a rock".

Ben: This^^

Jack: Did you mean to reply just to me?

Ben: Yes

Jack: Touchè.

Jack: In the NBA tickets commercial, the dude chooses to see the Hawks and the T-Wolves? Has anyone ever thought that before?

Paul: It's about the time of the game where the guys actually start to play defense and coaches begin to draw up pays  I think the West can hold them off, provided Kobe doesn't try and back LeBron down every play.

Jack: West should probably win. Lebron just did his best Kobe impression on Kobe.

Just to be clear, by "Kobe impression" I meant backing down a defender all by yourself and putting up a terrible shot.

Brian: Agreed - although I'm hoping for Uncle Drew to lead a comeback for the East. It pains me to say I really like a former Duke player.

Also, let's agree that CP3 and Blake possess a mild form of telepathy.

Jack: Absolutely. CP3 is my favorite player. Also Kyrie only played 8 games for Duke - I'm not even sure if that counts.

Ben: uvo, play funk

Paul: CP3 absolutely owning the last 3 minutes. Weird to think as recently as 2009 it was a toss-up whether or not he was better than Deron "The Donuts are Better in Jersey" Williams.

P.S. absurd block right there from Kobe. Think he's fired up to go against LeBron?

Jack: Love that Durant and Kobe have silently agreed to not let Lebron have the spotlight here.

Jack: Why is Mila Kunis not a bigger part of the trailer of "Oz - the Great and Powerful"? Also, was that really the best name they could come up with?

Ben: Disney is running out of steam case and point: Star Wars 7-9

Brian: My take on awards for this game:

Close runner up - Durant
LVP - Bosh (he could be on the wrong end of 10 different posters when all is said and done)
Overall winner of this weekend - Uncle Drew. Not even close.

Paul: Really Ernie? The "Taco Bell Live (rhymed with "Five") Mas (rhymed with "Sass") play of the game"???

Jack: Still laughing about that.

I'd agree with all of those. Is there a defensive MVP? Or does that go to Bosh for doing the best job of playing the kind of non-defense this game is supposed to have?


Brian: Favorite play of the weekend so far - CP3 drilling that 3 in Noah's grill. FUCK. YES.

Ben: griffin should grow an afro and turn into the guy from NBA street

Jack: Hah Joakim Noah still trying.

Jack: Like I said, the entire West has decided to shut down Lebron. And it is the most awesome thing ever.

Paul: Every player in this game is playing like its 2008 - Carmelo as a deadly scorer who doesn't do anything else. Kobe as the best player in the game. LeBron disappearing in the 4th quarter.

Too soon?

Brian: Noah probably reacts to losses by watching game the dark, with german death metal blaring.

Jack: Paul! You're so right.

Who does Spoelstra draw up a play for here? Is it a huge insult if he does it for Melo? Also...that replay of Griffin showed his NOSE level with the rim. Wow.

Ben: Jack the Giant Slayer - another try hard movie

Ben: all-in-all not terribly surprised. i'm checking out though boys, got a test tomorrow

thanks for the entertainment

Jack: thanks for your participation ben. I'm still not sure if he was watching the nba all star game or just some other movie on tv, but glad he was here!

Paul: Well that was surprisingly entertaining, especially Kobe going into beast mode and shutting down LeBron at the end of the game. That plus the unintentional comedy of everything Brook Lopez did made that last half worthwhile. Let's do this again soon fellas...and Jacko can stay as the honorary guest columnist, as long as he only drops one-liners.

Jack: Really glad Kia only sent their VP of Marketing to this event. Last word - little Chris Paul has been my favorite part of this weekend. Watching him bounce around during all the different events and talk to all these people has been awesome.

Brian: Agreed with everything. Considering that Jacko started off his night with "I like turtles", I was actually pleasantly surprised with his contributions.

That was worth staying up for just to see Noah get a monster facial from CP3.

Until next time, fellas.

(Two days later...)
Ben: Everyone that hasn't should immediately look up the video of Bucky Boyd on tfm. I say we nuke West Virginia.

From my HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>> noah's sister

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