2007 All-Star Las Vegas is wild
Sin City wasn’t ready for the frenzy that is NBA All-Star Weekend 2007. The traffic jams along the Las Vegas Strip the past couple of days leading up to the All-Star festivities made the West Side Highway at rush hour in New York City feel like a breeze.
The roadways were so congested that the NBA had to delay the start times for its events on All-Star Saturday. All delays aside, Las Vegas is the perfect home for the mid-season spectacle that brings together the best players in the world.
As always, InsideHoops.com was on the scene investigating and getting the low down on all the hottest parties, player news and results. On Thursday night, Dwyane Wade hosted a Converse event to publicize his new line of apparel. Wade rocked Vegas into the early morning, incorporating many former ballplayers like Kenny “The Jet” Smith – who put aside his position of TNT analyst and former pro to model the debut of the Wade 2.0 head-to-toe line.
Thursday might have been Wade’s time to shine, but Friday night belonged to David Lee of the New York Knicks, who captured MVP honors in the 2007 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. Lee exemplified perfection, hitting all 14 of his field-goal attempts for a game-high 30 points as the Sophomore class beat the Rookies for the fifth consecutive year, 155-114.
Is that score right? Yes, indeed. As NBA legend Clyde Frazier would say, “Matador Defense.”
The only thing more shocking that the final score Friday is the number of fine ladies in town strutting their stuff in hopes of landing an NBA ballplayer. These “groupies” can be seen – decked out from head to toe in makeup, jewels and skimpy dresses – in front of all the major hotels on the Strip.
Hell, as this reporter can attest, the girls started lining up back in the NYC aboard my JetBlu flight to mingle with the stars under the Vegas sky.
Vegas is happening, folks.
Miami’s Jason Kapono took center stage Saturday night. Kapono edged some deep competition to win the 2007 Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout title. The Heat star tied Mark Price’s final round record with 24 points and outlasted Gilbert Arenas on his way to the title.
Can someone tell me why Cedric Ceballos was given the role of MC for the festivities Saturday night? Why not Harold Miner (Anyone heard from him lately?...I think he’s bagging groceries at the local Stop & Shop).
If you thought Ceballos was a blast from the past, then you weren’t around when Felipe Lopez became a pitchman for several NBA sponsored events over the weekend. He was listed as an NBA Legend. Felipe Lopez side by side with greats like Kareem, Magic, MJ and Reggie. I guess everyone is drinking the Koolaid in Vegas.
New legends were born Saturday. New York’s diminutive guard Nate Robinson was defending his Sprite Slam Dunk title, but Boston’s Gerald Green had other plans. Robinson and Green dueled into the Finals. (Make note, the Dunk of the Night goes to the Big Fella Dwight Howard, who stamped a sticker of himself high on the backboard glass with his left hand while flushing the jam with his right.)
Like Robinson last year, who paid tribute to former Dunk Champ Spud Webb, Green mimicked Dee Brown’s famed no-look dunk – the one that earned Brown the title – to advance to the finale.
In the Finals, Robinson missed several dunks in the allotted two minutes, but, under the new rules was given two additional chances. He blew the first and then scored a 41 on the second.
But the total left the door open for Green, who dunked over a table in his final dunk, drawing a perfect 50 for the title and doing Dee Brown and former Celtics proud.
Speaking of lucky, Sir Charles outlasted all-time ref Dick Bavetta in a classic All-Star sprint Saturday night. Barkley will now join Scottie Pippen in a campaign to rejoin the NBA – just kidding.
Keep checking back for more of the lowdown from Sin City on InsideHoops.com.
The Night Beckons…See you on All-Star Sunday.