All-Star Week Already?

Thursday February 23, 2012

The NBA has become successful after their embarrassing lockout.  Now, it’s time for the All-Star weekend, which takes place at Orlando, Florida.  Lasting memories were made the last time the festivities took place in Orlando.  It’s been twenty years since Magic Johnson won the MVP.  What will happen twenty years later?

Friday marks the beginning of the festivities.  Celebrities and players will play against each other in the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at 7 p.m.  At 9 p.m., the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge features the brightest young stars from the rookie and sophomore classes duking it out.  Normally, this game features the best draft picks from both classes.  Commissioner David Stern made an exception and put Knicks PG Jeremy Lin in the game.  Miami’s Norris Cole was added as well to make the roster to 20.  Blake Griffin and John Wall will also play.

Saturday features the fun challenges many basketball fans enjoy.  The first contest is the shooting skills challenge.  Team Atlanta will defend their crown.  Their team consists of Hawks All-Star Joe Johnson,; Lindsey Harding of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream; and NBA TV analyst Steve Smith.  Team Orlando, includes Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, three-time WNBA All-Star Marie Ferdinand-Harris and former Magic great Dennis Scott.  Team New York is comprised of the Knicks’ Landry Fields, the New York Liberty’s Cappie Pondexter and former Knicks great Allan Houston.  The Houston Rockets’ Chandler Parsons, the San Antonio Silver Stars’ Sophia Young and TNT analyst Kenny Smith represent Team Texas.

The second contest is the skills challenge.  Golden State’s defending champion Stephen Curry will try to repeat against Cleveland’s Irving, Washington’s Wall, San Antonio’s Tony Parker, and All-Stars Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook .  Following that will be the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.  Miami’s James Jones will return to defend his championship against teammate Mario Chalmers, Orlando’s Ryan Anderson, New Jersey’s Anthony Morrow, and All-Stars Joe Johnson and Kevin Love.

The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will be different this time around.  An all-new champion will be crowned, as Blake Griffin will not return.  Only one round will take place, and the fans will vote for the winner at the end.  Indiana’s Paul George, Houston’s Chase Buddinger, Minnesota’s Derrick Williams and Utah’s Jeremy Evans will compete for the vote.

Sunday marks the actual All-Star game.  The best of the best play in a game of showmanship.  Make no mistake, though.  The only thing on the line is pride.  Expect the best to shine in this game.

2012 Western Conference All-Stars:

NO.

PLAYER (TEAM)

POS.

HT.

WT.

BIRTHDATE

FROM

35

* Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City)

F

6-9

235

09/29/88

Texas

32

* Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers)

F

6-10

251

03/16/89

Oklahoma

24

* Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers)

G

6-6

205

08/23/78

Lower Merion HS (PA)

3

* Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers)

G

6-0

175

05/06/85

Wake Forest

17

* # Andrew Bynum (L.A. Lakers)

C

7-0

285

10/27/87

St. Joseph HS (NJ)

12

# LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland)

F

6-11

240

07/19/85

Texas

33

# Marc Gasol (Memphis)

C

7-1

265

01/29/85

Barcelona, Spain

42

Kevin Love (Minnesota)

F-C

6-10

260

09/07/88

UCLA

13

Steve Nash (Phoenix)

G

6-3

178

02/07/74

Santa Clara

41

Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas)

F

7-0

245

06/19/78

Wurzburg, Germany

9

Tony Parker (San Antonio)

G

6-2

185

05/17/82

Paris, France

0

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City)

G

6-3

187

11/12/88

UCLA

2012 Eastern Conference All-Stars:

NO.

PLAYER (TEAM)

POS.

HT.

WT.

BIRTHDATE

FROM

7

* Carmelo Anthony (New York)

F

6-8

230

05/29/84

Syracuse

6

* LeBron James (Miami)

F

6-8

250

12/30/84

St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (OH)

1

* Derrick Rose (Chicago)

G

6-3

190

10/04/88

Memphis

3

* Dwyane Wade (Miami)

G

6-4

220

01/17/82

Marquette

12

* Dwight Howard (Orlando)

C

6-11

265

12/08/85

SW Atlanta Christian Academy (GA)

1

Chris Bosh (Miami)

F

6-11

235

03/24/84

Georgia Tech

9

# Luol Deng (Chicago)

F

6-9

220

04/16/85

Duke

55

# Roy Hibbert (Indiana)

C

7-2

260

12/11/86

Georgetown

9

# Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia)

F-G

6-6

207

01/08/84

Arizona

55

Joe Johnson (Atlanta)

G

6-7

240

06/29/81

Arkansas

34

Paul Pierce (Boston)

F

6-7

235

10/13/77

Kansas

8

Deron Williams (New Jersey)

G

6-3

209

06/26/84

Illinois

Joe Johnson is off the roster.  Celtics guard Rajon Rondo will replace him.  All events will be on TNT.  The celebrity game will be on ESPN (check local listings).  Be sure to check out the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Todays-Sports-Update/136729589760548) and follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/SebastianTSU).  Have fun this weekend.

Yours truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyrighted @ 2007

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