Muse from the 6

Interviewing the dunk contest participants before they even hit the court has to be one of the dumbest things ever. When you’re being asked about what unique aspect of your game that you bring to the contest, it’s really tough to dig down and come up with anything more original than “Man, you know, just my own personal style and flair and power and…” There’s no good answer to that question and these guys end up looking like jackasses. Simply not fair to those poor sitting ducks, save the interview for after the event. C’MON!

If you couldn’t tell, this is going to be less of an organized, clear cut article and more of a general, directionless, running commentary of NBA All-Star Saturday night. While most of the weekend (really all of the weekend) can be captured in nice 10 minute long highlight reels, I actually find the competitions a lot more fun to watch than the 150 point, defense-free “games”. And, as these challenges have generally gotten more and more ridiculous, what better way to celebrate them than with a ridiculous, meandering article?

First up, Rising Stars Challenge.

Would it kill any of these guys to smile? Up on the podium getting introduced, a bunch of them first-time All Stars, they’re here representing their teams and getting celebrated in one of the NBA’s greatest nightlife cities and yet all of them look like they’re getting solemnly sworn into office.

CJ traveled. First thing I noticed. Guess that doesn’t really factor into the end result. Then Mudiay almost lost the ball out of bounds while dribbling up the court. This whole competition feels contrived.

WOOWWW WOWW the new All-State Hoopers commercial with Lillard rapping. Excellent.

I should really have a twitter for this kind of stuff…

I do like that they added big men to the competition. And gotta love that the KAT-man shut up my least favorite loud-mouth.

AND THEN DEMARCUS COUSINS DID LOSE THE BALL OUT OF BOUNDS!! Anthony Davis is jogging up the court and somehow Cousins came back and won. This is a televised competition and these guys look like it’s uncool to show you’re trying. Yeesh.

Swag, there’s another Barber Shop movie coming. And yeah, I guess this article will be expanded to include the commercials during the events as well. #nextcut #whatsuphomieblackfolks?

Wow KAT is turnt up. First person I saw to actually sprint the floor and just roasted Cousins. Splashed down the three pointer on the first attempt. For all the hype that Porzingis gets, he really is only the second best player in last year’s draft. CJ also lost the ball again, which I guess is just par for the course at this point. KAT taking on the Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas in the finals. AND HE WON!!!

That finals was actually kinda exciting. Don’t know if it validated this entire stupid competition but those two went all-out, sprinting up and down the court and then they both missed a bunch of 3s which created some good “any moment now” tension. Great for the KAT-Man!!

Draymond Green and Kevin Hart having a little impromptu back and forth at halfcourt. The two of them actually have pretty good chemistry, humor on a Larry David type vibe. And it looks like its to announce their own 3 Point competition!!

Draymond-Hart 3 Point Competition!!

Everyone laughed when they announced Hart at 5’4″. As if the two of them standing next to one another wasn’t funny enough. Also, I absolutely love that they’re doing this. As my roommate said, Kevin Hart is so funny when he’s not performing in any movie he’s ever been in.

Dray starts 0-3. Looks kinda terrible out there. Best from straight-on above the break. This would be kind of humiliating to lose no?

Paul Millsap is taking a phone call during this event sitting court-side and Kevin Hart started 0-7. AND THEN HE HEATED UP and only lost by one basket!!! Wow. Rough.

I like the shot of Melo and CP3 hanging out with their kids. Everyone’s having a lot of fun watching this event. Also, for the record, most of the court-side seats are taken up by the other, non-competing NBA players and Andrew Wiggins looks like an absolute clown.

The Real 3 Point Contest

Is CJ McCollum a better 3 point shooter than teammate Damian Lillard? Or is this just payback for Lillard getting selected for every single event last year? Also, is there any way someone beats Steph tonight?? Maybe Lowry in front of the home crowd?

Damn, the Drake-Reggie Miller ping-pong game is tomorrow night. What a waste.

KLAY THOMPSON IS A MONSTER!! Until the last rack he was friggin’ murdering it! 22, clocking in at 10 more than Draymond finished with. First guy up setting the tone in a big way. No chance Harden matches that.

You gotta think that those wing 3s are the toughest shots. Neither baseline nor straight on. Harden hit 20, which was pretty damn good but Klay still looming large. Redick ties the 20.

I was pretty excited to see Devin Booker here who Haralabos Voulgaris said he would have taken 3rd overall in the NBA draft (!!!) and did not disappoint after starting very slow. Finished with 20 tying Harden and Redick. Only Middleton and CJ have underwhelmed. Kyle Lowry also laying an egg.

Nice pink jacket Drake. 

“The man of the hour, too sweet to be sour.” Steph coming in with 21, 1 shy of the fellow splash bro, but going on to the next round.

Booker continuing to impress. Splashing down 10 in the shortened tie breaker round to beat Harden and Redick. Going up against the Splash Brothers in the final. This kid is tough, still only 19 years old.

Rough start to the final round though only 16. No way he’s taking either of these guys down. Especially when Steph starts 7-8. Woof.

KLAYYYYY-TASTIC!! Knocked down the entire last rack of moneyballs, took down his teammate with the same score that Curry won with last year. 27 to beat Curry’s 23 and the conversation is over on the best shooting backcourt of all time. “They on the same team!!!” – Sir Charles.

The shut up and dance with me people are juuuuust terrible.

And, of course, the Taco Bell quesalupa commercial on point. Gotta get one of those real soon. AND KYRIE COMMERCIAL. They’re killing it right now.

The Slam Dunk Competition

No no no Dikembe Mutombo judging the competition. Did the finger wave even before they went out of their way to explicitly announce the Hall of Famer’s signature move.

Love the Will Barton confidence. For a guy who came out of relative obscurity to putting himself in the conversation for the league’s Most Improved Player it’s cool that he can get up on this stage and continue to build his brand in the spotlight a little. Thriller theme for Will the Thrill leggo.

The dunk contest is kinda tough for me because it’s so hard to imagine throwing out some crazy thing that no one has ever seen before. I mean, there’s only so many ways the human body can contort itself and there have been so many years… I love the ball between the legs but it’s not like something we haven’t all seen before, right?

Chuck just called him Alex Gordon that’s great. Also Drummond showing why it’s so tough for a big guy to beat a wing in this competition. BETWEEN THE LEGS AGAIN WHO CARES??? Aaron Gordon we love you, but let’s turn up a little more.

Alright Zach Lavine wake the crowd up! Back to back?

This guy is insane. He just makes it look absolutely effortless, gliding through the air. Almost like he was designed in a dunking laboratory, just all arms and legs. I was going to ask if it was sacrilege to compare him to Vince Carter when Kenny Anderson piped in with “I want to see him against 2000 Carter”. Crazy nuts.

Also all of this is after winning the MVP of the rising stars challenge last night. Guess he’s pretty good at basketball when there’s no defense.

Will Barton has taken like 8 attempts to get off his second dunk. They should cut you off at 3 or 4 this is ridiculous. AND HE DID SIT DOWN!!! Straight 6s in that situation. A little weird that the scale is to 10 but you can’t get anything lower than a 6. A  tiny bit of shame there for Will the Thrill.

WOW AARON GORDON! Over the top of his mascot on one of those stupid hoverboard things and through the legs absolutely ridiculous and straight 10s obviously. Zach’s gonna need to put up some serious stuff to compete with that. (Also later, going back this may have been the dunk of the night)

Zach’s going for the Michael from the free throw line. Incredible act, even with his foot on the line juuuust a little. Same as Gordon all 10s except for one 9. Enough to win the competition for this incredible dunker. Kid has a gift. When you think about how well he scored the night before the T’Wolves have to start giving him more time at his natural 2 spot. This guy could be a perennial All-Star.

Well, not enough to win the competition for this incredible dunker because I guess there’s a third round to this. Starting to get a little bit tired. Mascot back in for Aaron Gordon. The Orland mascot seems to be named “Stuff”. WOAH crazy dunk though! Grabbed the ball from Stuff as he was spinning around and slammed it down, straight 50 no 9s this time no question. Demarcus Cousins and John Wall turning up in the crowd.

Zach Lavine great follow up but not on the same level, Aaron’s taking this one home for sure. And yet, they gave him another 50 as well to keep this going. Past 1,500 words at this point..

AARON GORDON!!! Even crazier than before! This has to be the one! Go look at highlights everyone friggin do it! That one was unscripted by the laws of physics and everything I’ve ever seen before. Having a sneezing attack probably unrelated but who knows?

WOWWOWOW Zach Lavine legit dunk from the free throw line with a crazy windmill! I know this is a stupid event but these guys are going to be going head to head for years to come. They’re on the verge of making this entire night relevant again. The Dunk contest is BACK!

Running out of caps lock here. These two are incredible. 50s on 50s on 50s.

This entire section needs to be replaced by a highlight reel. These guys are going into like the 4th overtime at this point and all of the announcers are shouting for a tie and two trophies.

Lavine won. Goddamnit. Through the legs from practically the free throw line, Jesus. I feel exhausted and emotionally drained. As if I’d witnessed heaven but lost a little piece of my soul to get there. This guy needs to go get a beer. Straight 10s for a 50 and goodnight from the 6.

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