Friday, February 18, 2011

The Hoop & The Harm: Notes from the Hardcourt

Do This Dunk

It’s All-Star weekend in the NBA, which to me means just one thing: The Dunk Contest!

I’m the same way when it comes to any All-Star weekend; in hockey I like the Skills Competition best, I’m a fan of baseball’s Home Run Derby and when it comes to the NBA, count me in for the Dunks!

After winning the title in each of the last two years, Boston’s Nate Robinson has decided to sit this one out. Instead, it’ll be Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (who lost a tight decision last year), Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka, Washington’s JaVale McGee and Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers.

I’m sure it gets tough to think of new things to do in these competitions, because it seems like just about everything has been done at some point. That’s why ESPN is doing its part to help Blake Griffin come up with something original, though keeping it secret won’t be easy given that they were asking for ideas on YouTube:

I wouldn’t completely count out a guy like DeMar DeRozan in this contest, especially since he came quite close to beating Robinson at last year’s event. In order to beat out the other three guys though, he’ll likely have to do something game changing like another Raptor did back in 2000:

Speaking of dunks: a couple of blogs ago I threw in some NBA bloopers, one of which was a missed dunk attempt. Well, I’ve got another one of those for you…except this one is miles worse than the Andre Iguodala miss!

All jokes aside, I’m picking Blake Griffin to come out on top this weekend, especially since it’ll be a tough few days for him as he is grieving the loss of a friend from back home.

More Melo-drama

It appears the Carmelo Anthony saga may come to a head this weekend and, in a surprise twist, the NJ Nets could be back in the fold!

A little while ago a multi-team deal involving the Nets and the Denver Nuggets that would have ultimately sent Anthony to New Jersey fell through when the player remained a little bit too non-committal about the whole thing. The Nuggets had apparently given Anthony permission to speak with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov (and minority owner Jay-Z) about signing an extension with them, which is what the entire deal hinged on, but it didn’t seem like he wanted to meet.

After Prokhorov announced that the deal was off, Anthony was quoted as saying that he would have met with them if the Nuggets had asked him to go.

It looked like a bit of gamesmanship from both ends of the situation and ESPN reports that All-Star weekend may end up being the venue that decides Melo’s future, at least as it pertains to the Nets. Marc Stein and Chris Broussard say Prokhorov denies it, but other sources say the two sides will meet in the next day or so.

Anthony has publicly stated that he wants to play for the NY Knicks, but the Nets will argue that their move to Brooklyn in the next few years is an even better option. Speaking of better options, the Nets can offer the Nuggets a much better deal than the Knicks can, so if they have to lose him they would much rather lose him to Prokhorov and the Nets.

Had enough of this story yet? Don’t worry, the trade deadline is next Thursday and if Carmelo Anthony hasn’t been dealt by then, the saga becomes a lot less interesting!

Other stuff…

Magic/Bird sounds like a basketball transformer, but it’s actually an upcoming Broadway play!

The Detroit Pistons say they plan to retire Dennis Rodman’s colorful hair and piercings

Poor JJ Redick – this week he had his ankles broken in hilarious fashion for the second time in February!

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