It is confirmed. The NBA's All-Star extravaganza has officially become the weekend's biggest block party.
After watching the Eastern and Western Conference team introductions last night I felt like I had just seen a rap video on MTV.
They didn't have the chrome rims or bikini car washes, but the elaborate production glistened with a stage full of dancers, blaring music, DJs, and whatever else you might need to make the hardfloor go hip-hop.
And just when I thought the event couldn't get any more gangsta, Shaquille O'Neal appeared. Sirens went off, smoke filled the air and the Diesel emerged from a closed box.
Flanked by these JabbaWockeeZ mimes (I guess they won some reality show called America's Best Dance Crew but I wouldn't know anything about that because I don't watch that stuff) Shaq busted into some sort of rhythmic movement of the body and legs that might be considered a form of dancing. It was comparable to his professional "rapping" endeavors.
So after about 45 minutes of meaningless charades the association's 58th All-Star game commenced, and actually started out with some defense. At the end of the first quarter it looked like a normal game with the score 34-27 in favor of the West.
But by halftime both teams had nearly hit the 70-point mark (72-67), defense was lagging and the game began to look like a Suns and Warriors shootout.
The West expanded their lead to about 20, giving them a nice cushion throughout the third quarter (and the rest of the game). Then the fourth quarter started and the contest began to emulate a traveling circus. Four to five steps were being taken on every non-existent traveling violation and cherry-picking was happening at both ends of the court.
The last minute of the game was the Dunk Contest Part Deux. Alley oops, windmill jams, and reverse slams. And let me just tell you how the last score of the game went down. LeBron James held the ball for about 20 seconds and then both teams cleared out so he could toss himself a pass off the backboard and throw down a thundering dunk.
This final bucket promptly sent the score over the total Vegas had offered by one point. I would have been sick if I had taken the under, but then again you might already be sick if you're betting on the NBA All-Star game.
And if what TNT and the NBA provided already wasn't enough to roll around in laughter until next year, they capped it off with a rekindling love affair.
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were named the co-MVPs. How cute is that? Can they build up the love/hate soap opera of these two any more? Give me a break.
I can't wait until the 59th NBA All-Star game next year, it should be about as uneventful as all the other ones.