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In The Place To Be: Live From NBA All-Star Saturday Night

How long have you been waiting for tonight? A couple of weeks? Maybe a month? Well, if you’re James White, you’ve been waiting a decade. Flight White was put on this planet to do one thing. He was born to dunk, and yeah, he’s won some dunk contests over the years (and, somehow, lost a few too). But this will be his biggest stage yet. He says he’s lost some hops over the years – going from a 10 to maybe an 8.5 – but as long as he pulls off something never before seen on this stage, it’ll all be worth it.

I’m in the media section for All-Star Saturday night and will be here live blogging all night for y’all. Stick with me so I can tell some stories, like what happened when Kenneth Faried stuffed his pockets full of chips from the adidas suite earlier today…

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6:56 CT: So the festivities start in under 20 minutes, which might give me a chance to make my third run to media dining. They’re serving pulled pork, cornbread and mac n’ cheese. I feel like Kenneth Faried, who literally grabbed like seven bags of chips earlier today as he was leaving the adidas suite. You’d think this guy was starving.

7:06 CT: Okay, shameless plug right now, but in preparation for tonight’s dunk contest, you probably want to watch the top 10 dunks for Gerald Green, Jeremy Evans, Terrence Ross, Eric Bledsoe, and Flight White.

7:16 CT: I was talking to Paul George earlier today and he’s STILL convinced he won last year’s dunk contest. Next time Paul, you gotta leave the lights on so we can actually see you dunk. The whole “dunk without the lights on” gimmick is right up there among the worst ideas, right next to the wheel, blindfolds, and any dunk contest involving Birdman Andersen.

7:23 CT: They need to cast Brook Lopez and Muggsy Bogues in a show together. How unbelievable would that duo be? I’d pay money to see that.

7:26 CT: Crazy moment earlier this weekend. I was taking a cab over to the arena for the first time, and got in a taxi with one of the craziest dudes I’ve ever met in my life. He eventually stopped hollering at chicks out the window, and we got into which Houston players still stick around the area. He said Big Shot Bob stays in the nightlife, probably as cool as ever.

7:34 CT: Is there any way to save the Shooting Stars competition? I feel like it’s permanently broken, like, I’d rather watch almost anything else than this. Have them play H.O.R.S.E. Have them have a midcourt shooting contest. Bring out Brook Lopez and have him read comic books to the crowd. Anything. The Shooting Stars only redeeming quality is it shuts up Nick Cannon for a few minutes.

7:38 CT: By the way, Russell Westbrook has been saying “shooting is overrated” all weekend. Take from that what you will…

7:53 CT: Well, apparently Robert Horry is no longer Big Shot Bob. I feel old now. Team Bosh wins the Shooting Stars challenge after Team Westbrook goes over a minute without making a midcourt shot.

8:02 CT: We’re an hour into this thing and people are still walking in and buying tickets off the street. All-Star Saturday night needs some more star power.

8:06 CT: Brandon Knight scores a 32.2 in the first round of the Skills Challenge. He’s still trying to make up for getting put on his ass by Kyrie Irving last night.

8:08 CT: I still have no clue whatsoever how this point system works out.

8:15 CT: Tony Parker finished with a 48.7, blowing a big lead for the West. Popovich is gonna make him take a bus back to San Antonio tonight to go through drills at 4 a.m.

8:19 CT: Bruce Bowen and Gary Payton are sitting next to each other. That would’ve been an awesome matchup to see with both of them in their primes. The Glove would score over and over on Bowen, and before long, Bowen would be trying to take his legs out or kick him in the face.

8:22 CT: The cover boy (Damian Lillard) showed out in the Skills Challenge. How much longer until Dame makes the big game on Sunday night? Does it happen next year?

8:35 CT: Three-Point Contest is on deck. From the West, it’s Steph Curry, Ryan Anderson and Matt Bonner. For the East: Kyrie Irving, Paul George and Steve Novak. We think the West has this one locked up.

8:36 CT: It’s not officially All-Star Weekend until Craig Hodges gets a mention.

8:43 CT: Matt Bonner and Ryan Anderson combined for 37 points in the first round for the West. Odds they make it rain in the club tonight?

8:46 CT: On the JumboTron, they just showed two little kids who got to be reporters for the weekend (I feel rather insignificant now), and they went around asking the players stuff like “Is Russell Westbrook the worst dressed player in the league?” and “Is Joakim Noah‘s hair beautiful?” and “What is hiding inside of James Harden‘s beard?” Easily the best JumboTron segment of the weekend so far.

8:51 CT: Paul George finishes with 10, drawing some of the first boos of the night.

8:56 CT: Tweet from the god, Zaza Pachulia: “Why @KyleKorver not in this contest? Oh I know why. He is such a great shooter that it won’t be fare to other guys.”

9:01 CT: Kyrie Irving just beat Matt Bonner in a three-point shootout, just hours after dominating in last night’s Rising Stars Challenge, and just a few short weeks after destroying the best team in the NBA in the fourth quarter. Life isn’t fair.

9:10 CT: Teeewwwwwwww Chaaaaainzzzz. My night just got a whole lot better. This collabo with Fall Out Boy caught me completely off guard.

9:17 CT: *Joker voice* And here…we…go…

9:21 CT: Gerald Green starts the dunk contest off right, but that first missed dunk from James White is not a good sign. Back in the day, that was EASY for him.

9:27 CT: WORST DUNK CONTEST JUDGES EVER. Seriously, James White got robbed, Kenneth Faried had the greatest 39 dunk I’ve ever seen, and Terrence Ross got like seven tries at a 50.

9:33 CT: They are showing baby pictures on the JumboTron of NBA guys, and Zach Randolph had braids that looked like pigtails. Meanwhile, Kevin Hart is just roasting Russell Westbrook for looking like ET as a kid. Hilarious.

9:40 CT: The air just went out of the building… James White couldn’t put down two of his best dunks. I feel cheated, still.

9:47 CT: I remember when Jason Richardson did the first off-the-glass through-the-legs jam in the NBA’s dunk contest, and I nearly lost my mind. Faried’s was just as good, plus a toss with the left hand.

9:53 CT: Raise your hand if you thought the finals was going to be Terrence Ross versus Jeremy Evans?

9:59 CT: Terrence Ross just stole all of Jeremy Evans’ thunder, as well as killing Gerald Green’s opening 50 score he dropped in the first round with the 360 from behind the backboard.

10:03 CT: Dunk contest is a wrap, and I gotta say it: between White’s early exit, all the missed dunks, and the terrible judges, we’ll look back on this one as the most overhyped dunk contest yet. It was still good, but not like we expected.

So with 58 percent of the fan vote, Terrence Ross is your Sprite Slam Dunk champion. Oh well, at least James White still has YouTube. For now, I’m out. I’ll be back from Houston tomorrow for the NBA All-Star Game, where we won’t have any problems with props or missed dunks (hopefully). Peace.

What do you think?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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