Carmelo stops the world and Pop does it again
Told you I’d get this time zone thing worked out.
Sorry I’m late.
Well, not really but you get my drift.
I’m sitting on a bench outside the room where the mass interviews with the all-stars were being conducted Friday afternoon, chatting with an old friend and minding my own business when Carmelo Anthony walks out of the room.
He’s headed over to the escalator that’s about a step away from where I’m sitting and the guy I’m talking to goes over to say hello to Carmelo because he’s known him forever.
Anthony stops and all of a sudden the escalator does, too, causing a bit of a stir to the people both on it and waiting to go up.
“Hey, ‘Melo, did you do that?”
And Anthony replies:
“Nah, I can’t stop everything.”
And it makes a guy think, well, having read about a kabllion trade stories – some of which might even have a kernel of truth – Anthony might want to re-think that statement.
He didn’t get traded overnight, did he?
Reasons why I love Pop, Vol. 2.
You remember the transcript of the pre-game session with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and how it was, um, entertaining.
Well, he’s here, of course, as coach of the West, and had to sit through 45 minutes of media Friday. You can imagine how much he loved that.
The questions are far ranging and everyone’s waiting for the one that gets Pop going and it comes when someone asks if he’s anxious to see that Bieber fellow play in the celebrity game.
“It would be disingenuous of me if I told you how excited I was to see Justin.”
How can you not like the guy.
I’ve long held that the actual game on all-star weekend is not bad; it’s the Saturday and Friday night stuff that needs jazzing up so suggestions they do something to change the format have generally been met with disapproval here.
Seems that’s how LeBron James feels, too. Or at least that’s what he said during his session with the media when someone suggested they change to the pucks format where two captains choose up sides.
“No, because Eastern Conference, Western Conference, we don't like each other. We would not pick somebody from the Western Conference to be over here to be with us and I don't think they would, either. I don't think it would work.”
The game will, undoubtedly follow the same script it has for about as long as I’ve been coming and probably longer. The first three quarters will be a show and the last quarter might be a game and as long as you go into the night knowing that, it’s all good.
Now, the same can’t be said for the Rookie-Sophomore thing, won 148-140 in a rather, um, free-flowing game.
There was no stupid “Gilbert Arenas bounces the ball off Carlos Boozer’s head” moment like there once was, and the crowd of mainly young teens apparently loved it.
Me? I think they need to be a bit more serious, at least for a couple of minutes, and should probably take a cue from the oldsters who’ll be out there on Monday.
Oh, I did have an MVP vote and voted for John Wall, who won. And my rational? On a night when we could have given to a couple of guys, Wall got my vote because he did that dance named after me following a particularly nice assist.
Not one person connected with all-star weekend asked me what I thought of the Kaberle trade.
I appreciated it.
Let’s get this one out of the mail.
Q: Two All-star questions. I know I am patriotic, but is it not a slap in the face that Steve Nash has been snubbed. Yes it is a guard deep division, but he is a 2X MVP, popular and putting up #'s at or above his other all-star seasons.
Would another 2-time MVP be equally snubbed? In any case the All-Star game is not the spotlight he craves, nor the type of game he tries to take over (i.e. Kobe vs. Lebron). Add to that really is there any interest in watching the Miami/Boston Eastern conference team tomorrow? Seems to be a further indictment how the league is going where there are only 5-6 teams with a chance in the league, and players trying to choose their team.
Would another 2-time MVP be equally snubbed? In any case the All-Star game is not the spotlight he craves, nor the type of game he tries to take over (i.e. Kobe vs. Lebron).
Add to that really is there any interest in watching the Miami/Boston Eastern conference team tomorrow? Seems to be a further indictment how the league is going where there are only 5-6 teams with a chance in the league, and players trying to choose their team.
Anthony F, Toronto
A: I don’t think “snub” is the right word for the Nash situation; if I’m a Western Conference coach, I’m not sure who I’d leave off to put him on the team. And if you factor team success into it, if I was going to make a change, I’d probably find a way to get Tony Parker here since he’s on the best team in the league.
And of course there’s interest in the East team. Not only to see them play but to see how they interact with each other and to see if Doc Rivers plays James, Wade and Bosh 40 minutes each.
Speaking of mail …
Haven’t heard from enough of you.
Best moment of a three-hour stretch in the hospitality suite late last night? When they stop the proceedings to posthumously award Matt Dobek, the late PR guru of the Detroit Pistons, with the Splaver/McHugh "Tribute to Excellence" Award that’s given by the NBA Public Relations Directors’ Association to a current or former member of who has demonstrated an outstanding level of performance and service during his or her NBA career.
Matt died this summer after more than 30 years with Pistons and as the tributes were being made by league officials, a couple of guys who work for individual teams and a guy in charge of the writers association, it was nice to know that in a business that can be cutthroat and confrontational at times, there is a common bond – friendships, fellowship and a feeling that we’re all really in this together and need the support of each other in difficult times.
It was a sad moment but when a quartet of us were sitting on stools a minute earlier for a private tribute, it was nice to remember absent friends.