Another insufferable prick goes on a trip and writes a self indulgent blog.
Formerly the unedited versions of the Glasgow Rocks slate columns, now a soapbox for generalisations, snap judgements and cultural ignorance as I travel through the Middle East, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.
Several things of note happened at this year’s NBA All-Star game that are worth talking about, so slip on your smoking jackets and we’ll begin:
No-one has seen a dunker like Griffin in decades, so his hype was off the charts in the lead-up to the contest. The only other guy that could challenge him was Avatar reject JaVale McGee, who to his credit threw down some crazy dunks but just didn’t match the pageantry that the other contestants brought. Props and gimmicks appeared to be the theme this year with stuffed toys, extra balls, extra hoops and at one point, an obnoxious Chinese kid were all rolled out to assist with attempts.
In the end though, Blake and his “dunk coach”, Kenny Smith (Side note: Griffin needs dunk advice from Kenny Smith like Gary Glitter needs a summer Au Pair job) conjured up a final effort that saw him clear a car, all set to the warblings of a 30 person gospel choir singing “I Believe I Can Fly”.
Once the court had cleared of all the extra staff, vehicles and singers it was JaVale’s job to finish up the contest in the most excruciating and lonely fashion possible, set to the soundtrack of deadly silence. Unless he planned to dunk over a recently unearthed corpse of Wilt Chamberlain, the crowd and judges would fail to pay attention.
LeBron vs Kobe
Traditionally, the All-Star game is disappointing like your kids. Lack of defence and intensity for the first three and a half quarters makes for a horrible feeling that you stayed up till 4am for very little. That was the case for much of this year’s contest but for a couple of individuals that made things a little more interesting. As Kobe jacked up 400 shots on the way to 37 points and 14 boards, LeBron could be seen taking things more seriously than his East counterparts. He went coast to coast on several plays and just as the West seemed to be cruising to a blowout, James dragged his squad to within a single point, before free-throws killed the game. At one point during the game, Bryant was horsing down the court for an open jam while being chased by LeBron. He got a hand on the ball before Kobe managed to put it away, prompting a pat-on-the-backside taunt/acknowledge from the Lakers guard. In the end, LeBron notched up only the second triple double in All-Star history, the first being Michael Jordan.
The world is such a fractured place, with so many people clamouring to be attached to a particular group. Whether it be religious, political, national or sporting in nature, everyone needs to belong to something. It makes us feel less alone. While revolutions rage in the Middle East and people come together to fight against evil dictatorships, the West has its own crimes against humanity to contend with. Simply put, there are those of us who appreciate Justin Bieber and those who would prefer to watch him check out of this earthly plane in the most violent and messy fashion possible.
To his credit, he has a decent crossover. He also hit a couple threes. But he was about as deserving of the MVP as Fred West would be of a Gardener of the Year award.