For the first time in 12 years Kobe Bryant will not play in the NBA All-Star game, due to an ankle injury he sustained. Despite not having one of the best player in the world playing in the All-Star game, there will be plenty of other things to watch.
Personally, I feel the All-Star game is not the main attraction of All-Star weekend. My favorite part is watching the celebrity game, which is always a good laugh and watching the Rookies vs. the Sophomores is always fun. The Rookie Challenge is probably better than it was before the lock-out shortened season in 1999.
And how can anyone forget the 3-Point Shoot Out and of course, no one can forget the Dunk Competition? Not to mention, the Shooting Stars competition and the Skills Challenge. I nearly forgot... H.O.R.S.E.!
The festivities themselves are typically more exciting the watch than the actual game itself.
The purpose of this slide show is to showcase these events and make my hardly educated guess as to who I think will achieve the individual awards. Without further ado, here are my predictions.
Uh, this game already happened and I am not sure who won or anything of the sort nor do I care. Hopefully one of these schlubs won it. I swear, Tony Potts is in it every year and I still have to remind myself how he is considered a star.
Hell, I want to play in this game. I'm 6'6" and was popular enough in High School, is that reason enough for me to be in the game?
Since the closest thing the Rookies have to a post player is the rail-thin Taj Gibson, the short but girthy DeJuan Blair and Jonas Jerebko of Detroit, I have a feeling that the Rookies could be destroyed under the hoop.
This is my feeling, since nearly half the Sophomore team is comprised of power forwards or centers.
The other post-up players they have are Marc Gasol, who is also having a fantastic season, Kevin Love and Michael Beasley.
I almost forgot, the Rookie team has the wiry thin Omri Casspi! He's tough, but not banging with seven footers tough.
Unfortunately, by the time I will have posted this, the game will have been played. But for sake of argument, I'm forfeiting this pick as well, as all the others as there is little to no meaning to these awards anyway.
I'm picking against the reigning winner from last year Kevin Durant because, well, I'm a Kings fan. Realistically, Durant will probably defend his title and win.
I know for sure that Rajon Rondo will not win nor make it out of the first round even. The man cannot make a uncontested 18-,foot jumper to save his life. Granted, he is becoming a better shooter, but he is still pretty mediocre most of the time.
Big coups to Omri Casspi for being probably the biggest surprise out of the draft this year and getting his name in the hat for any sort of All-Star weekend competition, no matter how obscure.
He honestly should have been in consideration for the 3-Point Shoot Out.
It's an especially sweet feeling after reading the grade a fellow affiliate website gave the Kings on their draft picks this past year. That numskull Geoff Petrie earned a "D" for the pick of Tyreke Evans and for the pick of Omri Casspi earned a "F", respectively.
Now these two players are among the very top of their rookie class. Oops! Sure glad that guy wasn't selecting for the Kings.
Kenny Smith is the self-proclaimed worlds best shoot around shooter and I witnessed him beat Gilbert Arenas in a 3-Point shoot out a few years back on TNT. And I must say, it was a pretty impressive win.
Plus, the Texas team has Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and Becky Hammond of the San Antonio Silver Stars. With a player representing someone from literally each Texan team, I don't see how this isn't a solid and balanced attack.
Plus it's hard to pick against Dirk. The man can shoot.
I'm not going to be a homer and pick the Kings this time, as Webber may blow his other knee out in this competition. Plus Tyreke is mediocre at best from long range.
Even though my best instincts say to not pick against the reigning champ Derrick Rose, I can't make the obvious picks, I just need to mix it up a bit.
Steve Nash is like a fine wine that appears to get better with age and I feel he may just pull off an upset in this one. The other competitors being Deron Williams and Brandon Jennings may make this an exciting one to watch.
But the one part of this competition that most players seem to struggle with the most is the passing obstacle.
This is something that I find to be very funny, because the people in this competition are usually point guards...anyway, Nash can shoot very well, pass very well and is still pretty quick for someone thirty-five years old.
I think he will make the least amount of mistakes and beat Rose. But we shall see.
NOTE: Derrick Rose has pulled out of the competition and has been replaced by Russell Westbrook
Frye is currently shooting the highest percentage of the players in the three-point shootout. He is currently third in the league for three-pointers made and tenth for three-point percentages.
I think height will be an advantage for Frye, as he may have an easier time shooting set shots and with his height and accuracy he won't have to use his lower body as much.
Other possible winner I think could be Billups, as he doesn't jump much either when he shoots. Maybe Daequan Cook will turn out to be the next Craig Hodges and be only known for winning the three-point shootout. Cook is shooting a scant 30 percent from downtown this season.
Gerald Wallace was in the dunk competition in 2002 and was arguably robbed, when Jason Richardson won and was not even able to complete the free throw line dunk but still got about the same score as Wallace.
As long as Wallace doesn't try and replicate any dunks that Vince Carter did in 2000, I think he has a very good shot to win this. There are only so many dunks that can be done and I hope he has the creativity to pull it off.
LeBron is having a monster year by flirting with a triple-double average and I have a feeling that if the East wins, he will be the reason for it.
If the West wins, I think the MVP could be Carmelo Anthony. I have a feeling that the two are going to be taking it to one another the whole game. No defense, just scoring.