– Thanks to Brandon Stroud for having me on his website. As a huge fan of the pro wrestling versions of Best and Worst, it was an honor doing an NBA version.
– New Orleans is on an amazing roll. Final Fours, Super Bowls, BCS Championships, Arena Bowls (!!), NBA All-Star Games and Wrestlemania. All hail New Orleans.
– This report is less about the actual NBA All-Star game and more so about the entire weekend. My feet are killing me. Let’s do it.
Click on through for the Best and Worst of NBA All-Star Weekend 2014.
WORST: LSU coach Les Miles is bad at giving advice
Seth: Thanks coach but can you please be more specific?
Les: Yes I cannot
Seth: Wait what
Les: LSU LSU LSU LSU
Seth: I’m starving
Les: Go to any restaurant literally every single one of them is pretty good
Seth: Thanks Coach!
BEST/WORST: The New Era Voodoo Collection
It gets a best because as far as unofficial merchandise that looks sort of official and actually has local ties, it looks pretty good. It gets a worst because of this description on their website:
“Often mistaken for its Haitian counterpart, Louisiana Voodoo (also known as New Orleans Voodoo) helped to enrich the region’s unique culture since its introduction more than 200 years ago. Deemed to ward off misfortunes and evil, its practice thrived during the time of slavery and other periods of hardship. Now, its power might be call upon once again as 24 NBA players go head-to-head during the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. To help instill some positive energy to both athletes and fans, New Era just added the new Voodoo Collection to its Spring 2014 product line-up.”
It thrived during the time of slavery and now we might need to use it again because it’s the National Basketball Association All-Star Game! (Wait, is Voodoo another word for defense because if so yeah we can use it)
BEST: James Harden knows when to fold ‘em
James Harden was scheduled for an autograph signing at New Era for 3:30p on Friday. He showed up at 3:30p and wrote the word “beard” on a poster for me. He acknowledged (with his eyes) that my beard was superior to his. You’re ok, James Harden.
We made eye contact later in the media room and he said “you got swag”.
I own James Harden.
BEST: The D-League
The D-League was all over New Orleans all weekend long. From smoking cigarettes in public while wearing their warm-ups to signing up to perform comedy at a local open mic (and eating sh*t from what I hear). The Rio Grande Valley Vipers dance team “The Snake Charmers” were at the same Bourbon Street club as I on Thursday night. Before you go judging, I was only there to watch WNBA star Elena Delle Donne dance. Now you can judge. She was wearing one of those “Bitch #2” shirts, by the way. You should definitely be judging now.
BEST: Mardi Gras was happening, too
The above is a parade route. On Saturday night, during State Farm All-Star All State-Farm Saturday State Farm Night Farm, one of the most popular parades of Mardi Gras was rolling. Krewe Du Vieux is a local, raunchy favorite. If you want a recap of what that was like then here you go. My point though is that people in New Orleans (mostly nerds) use the phrase “Only in Nola!!!” way too often. This is one of the rare occasions where it’s actually true. Only in New Orleans would Mardi Gras happen during an NBA All-Star game. Also, only in New Orleans would Lebron James throw beignet sugar into the sky before playing a game of “Po-Boy” Pickup with his pals Huey P. Long and Ignatius J. Reilly on a steamboat diddling down the mighty Mississippi River.
WORST: Kevin Hart in the Celebrity Game
One of the play-by-play guys said “he’s becoming Samuel Jackson right before our eyes” as Kevin Hart missed layup #58 in the Sprint Celebrity Basketball Sprint Spring Game. By the way, did you know that Kevin Hart is short? There was about 900 jokes this weekend about how short he is. What does he have to do with Samuel L. Jackson? I hate All-Star Weekend.
BEST: The Rising Stars Challenge Duel
I love All-Star Weekend. Presented sans jokes because this was awesome to witness and may be the most underrated thing that happened all weekend long.
WORST: Someone audibly snickers when commissioner Adam Silver says that nobody has ever lost a game on purpose in the history of the NBA
During the annual Q&A with the media:
Also snickering: the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers, the 2011-2012 Golden State Warriors
WORST: All-Star Game Practice Live Sex Celebration
The players were trotted out on Saturday morning for a public practice, giving the people who didn’t have a spare $500 to shell out for Sunday’s game a chance to see the reason for the season. During the introductions the PA Announcer said “Let’s make some love for Kevin LOVE!”
…and then everyone in the stands unzipped their pants and had consensual sex with the closest person to them. It was truly a wonderful moment for the NBA and we’re better off because of it. But seriously, “Make some love for Kevin Love” is bad. “Let’s shoot the bird for Larry Bird” and “Show your johnson for Magic Johnson” would be bad but “Make some love for Kevin Love” is the WORST.
WORST: Sway from MTV owes me, like, 10 bucks
It was hard to get a cab downtown but lucky me, I scored one. A man comes knocking on the window, asking if he can come along. I said ok and then it was Sway from MTV. We took a picture together and then we dropped him off near his destination as we continued on to ours. Except when he got out of the cab he didn’t pay me nor the driver any money.
Yo Sway, I know it was probably a mistake and you definitely didn’t know I was doing a recap like this but you owe me 10 bucks. Or a spot on your satellite radio show. I’m not joking and this Tumblr I made is evidence of that.
WORST: Dunk Contest needs new dunks
Kudos for attempting a new format. But the dunks were so-so at best. I’d like to propose these new dunks for people to use, free of charge.
– Stand under the basket with 2 balls in each hands and dunk both of the balls in one jump without running (difficulty level: medium. entertainment level: really high when played in slow motion)
– Get a bunch of friends (kids? other basketball players? ball boys?) lined up with basketballs and attempt to do 7 dunks in 8 seconds (difficulty level: high. entertainment level: really high and unforgettable)
– Stand at the free throw line and intentionally miss it so it hits the back of the rim and darts sharply back towards the shooter. After the shot is released, sprint towards the basket for a put back dunk (difficulty level: medium. entertainment level: super high because put-back dunks are already the coolest dunks in basketball)
– Put an actual shot blocker underneath the basket and give him $50,000 on the spot if he blocks you. If he doesn’t, you’ll probably win the contest. (difficulty level: high. entertainment level: yeah, probably high)
– Anything that doesn’t require lobbing the ball to yourself or someone holding a ball out for you to run and grab
BEST: The food at the Smoothie King Center is pretty amazing
Those are crab cake sliders and what they are doing at a sporting event is beyond me. How are some facilities able to do stuff like this while most other ones are like “here’s some smelly grocery store hot dogs” or “we made this pizza 3 hours ago, enjoy”. There’s plenty more food options (including, yes, Smoothie King smoothies) but I’m not posting any more photos on here because then you all are going to hate me.
BEST: Sir Foster for MVP
Our pals at the Smoking Section go a little more in-depth here but the real MVP of the weekend is Sir Foster. He’s the arena organist for the Atlanta Hawks and he made every single moment he was on the keys so much better than every moment he was giving himself a break. If the NBA is looking for ways to make basketball even better, they should clone Sir Foster or have a Sir Foster Training Facility where Sir Foster teaches other people how to be just like him. If they need to clear up some cash to do so, just contract the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Dream and the Coca-Cola Museum.
WORST: Not how to take pictures with NBA All-Star Dance Team Crews
At least the gal in the back was making a similar “I don’t know which face to make” face. That makes me feel better. (I feel terrible)
BEST: Two All-Star games in 6 years for Nola
Events like this do a lot for the local economy. It’s also an easy way for the league to say things like “we like this place so we are giving them this awesome thing”. Note that the All-Star game was just here in 2008 as the city was recovering from the Federal Flood (yeah I said it). The All-Star game came back so soon because the NBA is committed to Crescent City Basketball. So despite all the worst people in the world saying the worst things about the best city on Twitter dot com, New Orleans and the NBA are gonna be together for a very long time.
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