Fans that didn't see the game can check out the highlights here or just enjoy this recap of the game's top 10 plays and takeaways on what the game means for the NBA next season.
Dwight Howard is athletic as hell, but he doesn’t have the handles and can’t match the speed of LeBron and Wall. Blake Griffin may be basketball’s Incredible Hulk and his handle may be better than Howard’s but it isn’t on the same level as LeBron and Wall, either.
The athletic abilities for an NBA player are speed, strength, leaping ability, agility and hand-eye coordination for passing, catching, shooting, and dribbling. Derrick Rose rates highly in those categories, but he struggles with shooting efficiency and turnovers. And the Eastern Conference Finals showed he isn’t more athletic than Dwyane Wade (who’s 29 years old).
The rest of the slides review the HoopMixtape.com top 10 plays from the CP3 All-Star Pickup Game and the 10 implications each highlight has for the NBA next season.
Takeaways: The rep grows bigger for Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade’s starting to decline.
Durant put in work at the FIBA World Championships last summer to establish himself as one of the best players on the planet. This summer, he’s scoured every pro-am pickup game in the country to make sure everybody knows he’s coming for that number one spot.
The difference in elevation between Durant’s windmill and Wade’s is caused by more than height. Wade doesn’t elevate at 29 the way he did at 24 when he was the Finals MVP. It’s a little sad to see.
Takeaway: Rudy Gay looked healthy.
Imagine what the Memphis Grizzlies could’ve done against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs with Gay on the floor. Kevin Durant struggled shooting in Games 3, 4 and 6 of that series and never had to guard anybody. Rudy would’ve made him work on both ends of the floor.
A Thunder-Grizzlies rematch with a healthy Rudy Gay would be very interesting.
Takeaway: Exhibit A in the case of John Wall being the second-best athlete in the NBA.
Denver's Pepsi Center will be the opposite of Atlanta's Philips Arena next season with no all-stars or human highlight filmmakers on the roster. It's the "No Highlight Factory" until they get some exciting players on the Nuggets.
Takeaway: Exhibit B in the case of John Wall being the second-best athlete in the NBA.
Takeaway: Chris Paul's knee looked right and his mind is in the right place.
LeBron James got the best of CP3 on this dunk but the game recap video from HoopMixtape.com showed Paul getting a bangout. It was doubtful that he'd ever get another dunk against elite competition after his last knee surgery so it was good to see him with his lift back.
In addition to keeping players in shape, one of the best things about these summer exhibition games is that players like CP3 and Carmelo Anthony hosted the events at their local historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Bill Rhoden criticized black athletes and HBCUs for not supporting each other in his book Forty Million Dollar Slaves.
It’s good to see that wasn’t the case with some NBA players’ charity games. CP3, a Winston-Salem native, held his event at Winston-Salem State University and Melo held his event at Morgan State University.
Takeaway: Rumors of Dwyane Wade’s decline were greatly exaggerated; Exhibit A in the case for LeBron James being the best athlete in the NBA.
Concerns about Wade’s athleticism declining after his windmill were alleviated by his dunk off the backboard with his head at the rim. Simply amazing.
LeBron’s double-clutch alley-oop off the glass to himself was on another level. It takes a certain level of elite athlete to throw a simple pass off the glass for a dunk in the game. LeBron double-pumped his pass off the glass to himself while he levitated in the air and then dunked it. ‘Nuff said.
Takeaway: The Southwest Division will have its hands full with the Grizzlies next season if they stay healthy.
Takeaway: Kevin Durant knows what needs to be done to keep his rep up.
It’s easy to get overlooked in an exhibition like CP3’s charity game. Durant went between the legs for his dunk to give the fans the show they came to see and keep his name ringing out.
Takeaway: Stephen Curry would be amazing if he played with a real superstar.
Kevin Durant got credited with the highlight but he just finished what Steph Curry started. The alley-oop above the square off the bounce? A lot of point guards wouldn’t have made that play, but Steph did.
Imagine if he had an all-star running with him in Golden State? He would be a nightly highlight package with his court vision, passing and shooting. His handle’s underrated, too. Curry's a young Steve Nash if he stays healthy.
Takeaway: John Wall vs. Blake Griffin will be one of the best dunk contests in NBA history.
Wall’s injuries in his rookie season robbed fans of a good Rookie of the Year race, but the real tragedy was his absence from the dunk contest. Wall vs. Griffin will be the best dunk contest final since Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Willkins in 1988. They will do for the dunk contest whatMagic Johnson and Larry Bird did for the NBA in the 1980s.
Takeaway: John Wall will win a dunk contest before his NBA career is over.
Blake Griffin’s dunk over a car was historic, but Wall throwing himself an alley-oop off the back wall of the gym was illmatic. Of course, there is no wall behind the basket in NBA arenas so he’ll have to come up with something different to win a dunk contest, but he should be fine with the creativity he displayed in CP3’s charity game.
Takeaway: The best athlete in the NBA rests his case.
Look at the video again. LeBron James extended his arm beyond the backboard in order to catch the alley-oop from Wade and then dunked it with his head at the rim. Melo and the fans at WSSU did the only thing you can do after something like that - hold your head and bow down to something greater than yourself.