A long weekend with some good, some bad and some blah
Random thoughts after a long weekend.
So another one is over.
Was a very good weekend, all in all; the game was pretty good, the stories were pretty obvious and I think well done, the infrastructure here worked well (and you have no idea how traffic congestion, messed up bus schedules and weather can ruin one of these weekends for everyone) and the hospitality suite was open until 2 a.m. and the food was good and plentiful.
And now maybe it’s going to come to our little town, as I mentioned yesterday.
Too bad for the fans and season ticket holders.
One of the great fallacies about hosting an NBA all-star weekend is that the season ticket holders and fans in the city will benefit.
I’d say perhaps 10 per cent of the tickets to the Saturday and Sunday night events are available to regular folks in the host city, the rest go to corporate partners and friends of the league.
This is the NBA’s showcase for itself, it takes care of its buddies and money-making partners, the locals get to see the show up close and personal but as for getting into the arena: It’d be far easier to get to a Finals game than it is to the all-star weekend.
But it is a show. A big show.
The Jam Session, at a cost per ticket, is cool to see; the city benefits from the Day of Service with a lot of volunteer work at a lot of different venues and the hotels, bars and clubs do a land office business.
But the people?
The people get to watch from afar for the most part, there are many famous people in town to gawk at; not so much the inside of the arena.
I’m just warning you; it’s a fun weekend in a lot of ways, just maybe not in all the ways you’re thinking.
Right, the dunk contest.
Good on Terrence Ross and all that – he won, was probably the best guy on the night so it was deserved – and it was a pretty good coming-out weekend for the 22-year-old.
I don’t know what they’re going to do with that event but doesn’t something have to change? If I want to watch missed dunks, I’ll find a tape of the year in Denver where they dunked like four-footers on a 15-foot rim. Or I’ll get someone to videotape me.
But what do they do?
I know many people want to penalize competitors for missing dunks, taking away points or something like that and there probably is some merit in that, to a point. But if you’re costing them points, doesn’t that stifle creativity? Wouldn’t you get more boring, safe dunks at least to start the event because no one would bomb out early? I don’t know.
Banning props would be okay with me; watching Mark Eaton sit in a chair and hold a ball over his head was mind-numbing, I feared for that little kid’s well-being when Ross was leaping over him.
But something has to be done to juice the Saturday night events when the most compelling and interesting thing about it is the three-point shooting event.
You want to talk about brown shoes at a back tie affair?
Amid all the musical stylings of Sunday night, they kept playing this little ditty and while it’s toe-tapping, it really didn’t fit.
Coolest thing I saw
Saturday night, about 15 feet from me, sat Julius Erving, looking as dignified as ever.
The dunk contest was about to begin and there stood Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and James Harden, a bunch of kids having fun.
Then they saw Erving and you should have seen them. They looked like teenagers, slowly walking over, shyly, to hug and say hello to the legend
Of course, the fact they were all dressed like geeky high schoolers helped with the “teenagers meet the idol” vibe.
Two things I hope I never see at any NBA all-star weekend again:
That Cannon dude who hosted Saturday night.
Sure, young and arguably hip and not Ernie Johnson so he fits the demographic a bit better. But, yikes, he can be painful.
The little goofball Hart.
You know the guy, the so-called comic who wins the MVP award at the celebrity game and that gets him airtime Saturday and Sunday.
Frankly, if I never saw him again anywhere, I’d consider my life better for it.
End of rants.
Word from the executives I talked to over the weekend here and by electronic methods, all suggested there’s not an awful lot of trade activity percolating right now, which we all know can change at the drop of a hat.
The big one, of course, is Bargnani and one note I got this weekend simply said:
“Looks like the summer.”
Now, I know Bryan pretty well and I would say he’ll do something small this week, it’s like second nature to him, to make a deadline-week deal just to be in the fray.
But, at this minute, there’s nothing serious going on for anyone, which is good since I have an hour of work and then a three-hour flight to deal with.
Uncoolest thing I saw
You know how I sometimes rant about the so-called “media” members who show up at these things with little or no work to actually do?
Well, it’s Saturday night, again, and a couple of very good media row seats that were reserved for team and league public relations personnel come open.
A few minutes later, here come two credential-wearing yutes to take them, regardless of who they were assigned to.
That in itself is not an egregious breach of protocol but the fact one of them was carrier a full cup of beer and order of nachos was about as blatant a professional gaffe as there is.
And when the dude knocked the beer over on the back of a team employee sitting in front of him, it went from bad to worse.
Spilled beer smells, it seems.