NBA All-Star Weekend Day 0 And 1 Thoughts

The following are reflections on Thursday and Friday from Dallas, Texas for All-Star Weekend. Let’s go in chronological order, shall we?

  • By some stroke of divine providence, I was able to make it to Dallas. The flight before and after mine was canceled due to the record 24-hour snowfall in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Mine was only slightly delayed, and touched down without any problems. I like to think this was my karmic reward for always donating to save homeless pets at PetsMart and the fact that Vince Carter went Nova last week.
  • Having lived in Texas four years, I cannot stress enough how big of a deal this storm was. If a few flakes fall? GRAB ALL THE SUPPLIES YOU CAN AND IMMEDIATELY HEAD TO YOUR BOMB SHELTER! With six inches of snow? Jesus, I’m surprised they didn’t just call off LIFE ITSELF.
  • I know many people’s weekends were ruined by the weather, but I will say this. Landing late lead to this little escapade. After getting my rental car, I had to make it from DFW to downtown Dallas in less than an hour during rush hour, in the worst snow storm in the history of the city. I am stunned, stunned I did not have to get out of the vehicle to beat someone to death with my man-bag. (Yes, I have a man-bag. It is not a purse. I don’t have lip balm in it. I carry that in my pocket. Not really. … Or so you think!)
  • The credentials office closes at 6PM. It is 5:55PM and I am at a complete stop on the highway… 300 feet from my exit. I can see it. I can smell the perfume, printer toner, and wariness towards bloggers I’m so close. I was so frustrated from the drive that I was tempted to just abandon the vehicle at the side of the road and walk it. Good thing I didn’t, since being dead would have greatly impacted my ability to cover this weekend’s events.
  • But I made it. With about four seconds to spare. I was actually technically late, but the good people in NBA PR were still there and kindly provided my credential.
  • Which was important, because I had arranged to stay with a copy editor friend in Fort Worth, instead of my hotel like on Friday and Saturday. Without a credential, I would have nowhere to go in a city I’m not familiar with that was rapidly shutting down due to road conditions. Which would have meant I would have been at a bar for six hours before attempting to drive to Fort Worth. Not ideal. There wasn’t even anyone I could go hang out with, since all the rest of the media was even more delayed than I was. Luckily it all worked out for the best. I still went to the bar.
  • Rookie-Sophomore practice was interesting because of who hung out. Mayo and Morrow got into a HORSE competition during shootaround. Yes, my heart almost exploded at the awesomeness. Morrow was draining left-handed threes. Watching them match one another was pretty nifty. Mayo’s going to end up as one of the truly great shooters of his time, and I say that not just as a Grizzlies fan. His devotion to repetition in form is what makes a great shooter, and he’s got it. Morrow seemed to really take the weekend in stride. That’s the best part about Rooks-Sophs, is they’re all pretty happy to be here.
  • Mayo, Beasley, and Mayo were all hanging out, just chillaxin, which seemed like an odd mix.
  • Beasley ____blocked me on an interview with Mayo. He grabbed a mic, and busted in on my interview to start asking Mayo questions. He asked me “Oh, I’m sorry, am I interrupting?” as if the entire point of this thing wasn’t interviews. But what am I going to say? “Yes, Michael Beasley, you are interrupting. Chill out, he’ll be with you in a minute?” Then he wandered over to interview Craig Sager who was in a purple suit. You know, like you do.
  • Kevin Love predicted a 37 point win for the sophomores. FAIL.
  • The opulence of the event is pretty overwhelming up close. The nicest hotels, draped in expensive signage, crazy posse members, the whole shebang. It is ridiculously over the top, and that’s before we get to the MCs.
  • Media Availability is like some bizarre mixture of cattle feeding time and a circus. I tried really hard to come up with a word other than circus, but there really isn’t one. The cliche is incredibly apt. There’s lots of goofy people with cameras dancing around, and everyone’s gawking at players like they’re freaks. Which, you know, being incredibly tall and long and athletic, they kind of are.
  • Almost got ran over by Dirk walking to his table. That was fun, in a terrifying way.
  • It’s stunning to me that so many people are there to ask questions which are completely and stunningly banal, and they ask them over and over, to only five people. There are seventy people around LeBron, and Gerald Wallace is just hanging out in a corner with five people around him. UNDERSTANDING-QUALITY-STORIES-FAIL.
  • Zach Randolph was confused at why people were talking about this being his “comeback year,” “a rebirth year,” “a rejuvenation year.” He kept responding to questions like “Um, I’ve been doing this the whole time, my numbers are the same, it’s just the situation that’s different.” He also talked about New York clearing space for LeBron, even though when he was there it was still Zeke’s reign and they were trying to win. But he had nothing but positive things to say about Memphis and he firmly believes Marc Gasol is worthy of being an All-Star (truth!).
  • Al Horford is the chillest bro, ever.
  • Carmelo Anthony’s media horde was bigger than Durant’s, which surprised me. Then I had to consider it. Is Kevin Durant a bigger presence in the NBA now than Melo? How much of that has to do with Melo always being great, but never making huge leaps in his game?
  • At the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest (the best moment covered here), James was in attendance. Simmons had written about his ability to take over a room, which I thought was a lot of wank-wank before this weekend. Not. At. All. Every single human being watched everything he did, from playing with his kids to rapping with Drake, there was nothing he did that failed to captivate.
  • I’ll have more D-League stuff later, but I did want to note that this was the best D-League Dream Factory I’ve seen. The energy was higher and better than it’s ever been. Guys were freaking out over each other. The winning dunk was sick, but Alonzo Gee made a good showing as well.
  • And of course, the best part is the hard hitting interviews.

  • Dallas has done a fantastic job of hosting. Promotion is everywhere, local radio is all over it (even though they won’t stop talking about how the NBA will never compare to the NFL -thanks for the breaking news, sports radio), the facilities are clean, well-run, and transportation’s been moderately efficient. Cuban’s done a great job in running this show.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.