DimeMag

Team Kobe vs. Team Dwight: The NBA All-Star Game gets a makeover

Considering the National Hockey League went from a legit “major” sport in the 1990s — even if you didn’t like hockey, you still had NHL 95 on Sega or Super Nintendo — to losing an entire season to a labor lockout, being relegated to Versus for a big chunk of its American national TV coverage, and getting less hype on ESPN than the X-Games, it’s safe to say the league didn’t do such a good job on the business side.

That said, pretty much everyone at Dime loved the NHL’s idea of having a player-led draft for its 2011 All-Star Game. And of course, we thought of doing it for the NBA.

So here’s the set up: The top All-Star vote-getter in each conference is a team captain. In this case, that would be Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. He can choose from a pool of the already-elected All-Star starters and reserves, with one alternate pick that can be anybody in the NBA except someone from his regular team.

For these proceedings, the part of Dwight Howard will be played by Austin Burton, while the role of Kobe Bryant will be played by Aron Phillips. Kobe has the rings, so he gets first pick:

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TEAM KOBE
LeBron James. When you can have the last three MVP award winners on one team, life is good.”

TEAM DWIGHT
Dwyane Wade. He can take over in crunch time as a scorer, plus he’ll know how to pass me the ball. Nobody gonna stop a pick-and-roll combo with me and D-Wade. I may be wrong, but I doubt it.”

TEAM KOBE
Kevin Durant. The Nike Basketball triumvirate of me, ‘Bron and KD is unstoppable. Buckets. Buckets. And more buckets. This is the All-Star Game. Shoot now, play defense later.”

TEAM DWIGHT
Carmelo Anthony. Good point, and you know ‘Melo gets buckets easier than anybody in the League. Besides, me and him might as well get used to being All-Star teammates when the format goes back to East versus West next year.”

TEAM KOBE
Blake Griffin. This might sound crazy, but I’ve got to go with my Staples Center roommate next. Have you seen this kid play?! He’s nice. Makes me kind of glad to know that my time has almost come to an end. If we get him the touches, he could win MVP.”

TEAM DWIGHT
Amar’e Stoudemire. I like how you still haven’t picked anybody who can guard me. (Didn’t D-Wade shut you down on Christmas Day? Just sayin’ …) Anyway, good luck checking me and STAT.”

TEAM KOBE
Pau Gasol. You’re talking about defense, then I gotta pick my man Pau Gasol. And that’s ‘back-to-back world champion Pau Gasol’ to you. Ahem…”

TEAM DWIGHT
Chris Paul. Doesn’t have to score to dominate.” Read More>>

TEAM KOBE
Kevin Garnett. You worried about my bigs? Worry about KG.”

TEAM DWIGHT
Deron Williams. The two best PG’s in the world on my squad. No offense, Jameer.”

TEAM KOBE
Derrick Rose. Really? Because I’m pretty sure D-Rose is going to win MVP this year.”

TEAM DWIGHT
Dirk Nowitzki. Speaking of MVP candidates…”

TEAM KOBE
Rajon Rondo. Look what he’s done with four future Hall of Famers on his roster. Imagine what he can do with a full team of them. He might drop 30 dimes.”

TEAM DWIGHT
Paul Pierce. He’s gonna go HAM in front of his home crowd. But you already know about that.”

TEAM KOBE
Russell Westbrook. Do people even remember Pierce is from L.A.? I’ve been here longer than him. You know who is from L.A., though? Westbrook. And he and Durant score more per game than me and Pau, and LeBron and Wade.”

TEAM DWIGHT
Kevin Love. Yeah well, good luck getting the ball to get all those buckets. Me and K-Love? Together? Over.”

TEAM KOBE
Ray Allen. Sorry Reggie, but by the time this game takes place, Ray will be the new all-time leader in threes.”

TEAM DWIGHT
Joe Johnson. Hottest player in the League right now. When he’s not playing my team, he kills.”

TEAM KOBE
Manu Ginobili. I’ve always liked to grab my adversaries for my own squad. First Artest, then Barnes. Now let’s add Manu to the list.

TEAM DWIGHT
Tim Duncan. OK, between me and you, TD ain’t playing no more than 8-9 minutes at All-Star at best, but if I end up facing him in the Finals, I don’t want him pissed that I picked him last.”

TEAM KOBE
Chris Bosh. If we’re going by that philosophy, I should probably pick up Bosh. Even though he and KD got into it a week or so ago, I’m sure they can put that aside to get the W. Sorry, Al!”

TEAM DWIGHT
Al Horford. Don’t sleep; Al had a solid little 8 points and 4 boards in last year’s All-Star Game when everybody had him pegged as that token guy who might not score. Dude is strong in the muthaf***** paint.”

TEAM KOBE (alternate)
Rudy Gay. The All-Star Game is all about excitement, and that’s why you need a guy like Rudy in there to be the X-factor. If you watched Team USA like I did this summer, Rudy was the second-best player on the team besides KD. And even when he played the Lakers this year (and beat us) he dropped 27 points in 36 minutes.”

TEAM DWIGHT (alternate)
Brandon Jennings. You want entertainment? This kid is built for the All-Star Game. He put up like 27 and 7 against us earlier this year. He’s a showman who is fast as hell and wants to make the spectacular pass. Has he had an ‘All-Star’ season? Maybe not. But who’s really gonna argue with me about my picks?”

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Rosters:

TEAM DWIGHT
G – Chris Paul
G – Dwyane Wade
F – Carmelo Anthony
F – Amar’e Stoudemire
C – Dwight Howard
Bench – Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzi, Paul Pierce, Kevin Love, Joe Johnson, Tim Duncan, Al Horford
Alternate – Brandon Jennings

TEAM KOBE
G – Derrick Rose
G – Kobe Bryant
F – LeBron James
F – Blake Griffin
C – Pau Gasol
Bench – Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, Ray Allen, Manu Ginobili, Chris Bosh
Alternate – Rudy Gay

Which team would win?

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