So today is the eve of the NBA All Star game and while most of the players are resting, preparing themselves to play absolutely no defense tomorrow night, a few are participating in the skills competitions tonight. A funny sidenote to tonight's festivities: David Stern and the powers-that-be said Dwight Howard couldn't raise the rim to 12 feet for one of his dunks in the slam dunk contest, because it would harm the integrity of the game or something. Maybe Stern should've said something about integrity last year when Nate "I don't have a Napoleonic complex" Robinson attempted a dunk 58 times before mercifully making it.
Tonight's festivities illustrate perfectly why giving an NBA franchise to Las Vegas is a horrible idea. First of all, they had to delay the start because players were stuck in traffic. Then the clock malfunctioned several times during the Haier Shooting Stars competition. (Click on the link if you don't know what Haier is. Corporate sponsors need love too!). Then, Ben Gordon blatantly threw the competition by shooting out of turn, either he got paid off by a Maloof or someone kidnapped his wife, which brings me to reason number 3 why Vegas should never be given a franchise. PEOPLE FIX GAMES. It happens at every level, for any number of reasons.
Reason number 4: Players get distracted when they play away games at Miami. Miami has a good night life, if you're into that type of thing, but the level of distraction/self destruction in Miami is nothing compared to Vegas. The NBA has more than its fair share of head cases, playing in the game tomorrow you've got an accused rapist, a guy who took a cheap shot at a 140 pound Knick then ran for the hills, a hibachi, a player who admitted he only plays hard when he feels like it, a Boozer and Butler, and held out because of injury, a guy who is a convicted felon and did hard time. Mix a city with nothing to do BUT gamble, drink and go to strip clubs and you've got a recipe for trouble.
The PlayStation Skills Competition is about to start, more to come later.
One more quick note, imagine if Charles Barkley, the 300 pound man who is having a foot race with 92 year-old Dick Bavetta tonight (No issue with integrity there, huh Stern?) played for the Las Vegas Kings when he was in the league. He'd be selling his championship rings to get himself out of debt right now. Whoops, I mean, he'd be selling something. Sorry, Chuck.