And why not? The All-Star game isn’t about winning. It’s about showing off and having fun. That was what this whole, big, crazy weekend was about.
Dustin Hoffman showed up, as well as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Forest Whittaker, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Steven Tyler, Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder and more.
The fun, laissez-faire spirit of the All-Star game had extended to the sidelines, with little quirky moments. In an interview, Hoffman jokingly declared himself rooting for both the East and the West, and Stevie Wonder sang happy birthday to Charles Barkley.
And you know what? Say what you will about current-era Lenny Kravitz’s brand of generic rock, at least it has guitar solos. I respect him for trying to inject a little rock and roll into the proceedings. And it gave a sharp sound for the introductions of the players.
Rihanna looked great with a sparkle-heavy top and black Peter Pan skirt, and seeing Kanye West rise out of the back of the stage with dry ice pouring around him was nothing less than spectacular.
Equally funny was an interview with Carmelo Anthony about his upcoming trade situation, and Bryant butting in like a manager to say that Anthony wasn’t going to answer any questions .
It’s arguable to say whether or not that interview was appropriate, given that Anthony would likely rather focus on the game in progress.
And why wouldn’t he? The game in front of him was crackling with power, non-stop showing off, all offense and little defense.
And Kobe Bryant, well, what can you say about him? The game was another display of his immense talents. The man ended up with 37 points, only 9 points shy of matching Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star record.
Meanwhile, you could feel the energy in the room change when Doc Rivers sent out the four Boston Celtics.
Rajon Rondo’s supernatural to begin with, and matched with Kevin Garnett, the four really strove to bring the East back into the game.
On the West’s end of things, Carmelo Anthony was a workhorse, just getting things done all over, and really helping Bryant and Russell Westbrook in the West’s domination of the game over the first three quarters.
But this kind of fun, happy-go-lucky stuff was about to end.
Some Twitter feeds commented that maybe everyone was giving James’s shouting and speeches too much credit for getting the East back in the game.
Was it here where they screwed up?
It’s hard to say. James fouled Bryant, letting Bryant widen that gap a little more with free throws.
Then, though Allen got a killer three-pointer in, Durant was fouled, and Durant doesn’t miss free throws.
Bryant took home his fourth All-Star MVP and the game ended at 148-142.
And you know what? We got to see some amazing performances from everyone, some fantastic dunks from LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin, a magnificent clutch effort from Ray Allen and Chris Bosh, an astonishing effort from Russell Westbrook, a great halftime show and some off-court shenanigans.
I’d say that’s what the All-Star game is all about, wouldn’t you? All in all, what an awesome event for BALLnROLL to be a part of!