This Thursday before the Magic take on the Heat, the reserves for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game will be announced. No Magic players are expected to join Howard in the main event on Sunday. But it appears more and more likely the Magic will have someone in the 3-point shootout during All-Star Saturday Night.
Howard has been openly campaigning for JJ Redick to be in the contest and many people consider Jason Richardson a prime candidate to become the first player to win the slam dunk contest and the 3-point shootout in a career. Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson appear to also be solid candidates for a spot in the contest.
Richardson is second in the league with 111 made 3s this season and is shooting 39.8 percent from the floor. Redick is 38th with 69 3-pointers on 41.8 percent shooting from long distance. Both players would be solid choices to add to the competition.
The participants should be announced some time this week.
This past weekend was a good one if you are a fan of All-Star games. The NHL All-Star Game went on in Raleigh, N.C., the Senior Bowl pitted some of the best college senior football players against each other for the joy of pro scouts in Mobile, Ala., and the NFL Pro Bowl was played in Hawaii.
The Pro Bowl is something of a joke at this point as players pretty much play two-hand touch and the players treat it more as a vacation rather than an obligation.
The NHL All-Star Game presented an interesting experiment. Instead of going East-versus-West or North American-versus-World as the NHL had done in the past it went schoolyard. This is an idea Bill Simmons has been famously making for a few years now to really figure out who the “alpha dogs” in the league are.
The NHL took the idea and ran with it having Team Eric Staal and Team Niklas Lidstrom battle it out. You saw the Sedin twins separated for the first time. Teammates Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks were split up. I thought it was fun during the Shootout Elimination challenge (an awesome contest where each All Star tries a shootout goal and is eliminated for missing until one is left standing) to see a Pittsburgh Penguin try to score on his team’s goalie.
Not to bore you any more with my hockey knowledge, but I like the idea personally and it could be something to spice up an All-Star Game that has been lacking a little spice lately. Nothing is more traditional or entertaining in basketball then 10 guys standing around waiting to get picked and waiting for a game to get going. The entertainment value is through the roof already.
Rob Kelley of ThunderBallers took a look at what an NBA All-Star Draft might look like (really, Dwight Howard going after Amar’e Stoudemire?). It is an interesting exercise for sure.
I am sure David Stern watched this weekend’s All-Star festivities in North Carolina to see how it worked for the NHL. But I am also sure Stern is not going to change the All-Star Game format on a whim. If the All-Star Game this year lacks some juice… then maybe. Stern is a calculating fellow.
But it might be fun to have Team Howard vs. Team Kobe at the All-Star Game in Orlando in Feb. 2012.