Year after year I dip into the All-Star festivities as a curious onlooker wondering if anything has changed and made it more watchable.
And year after year I’m disappointed.
Despite the participation of everyone’s favorite Bucks rookie, Brandon Jennings, the All-Star Weekend still drew a yawn from me and reminded me how lucky I am to have DVR.
In theory, a Rookie-Sophomore game sounds like a great idea. The best players from each class battle it out to see who is better and put on a great show. But there it’s no battle and all show. There are occasionally exciting moves, but it’s heavy on flash and light on substance. For each play that’s executed well, there are four more that end sloppily. Alley-oop after alley-oop is completed without defense. I typically find myself wondering by halftime why I’m watching and this year was no different, despite the inclusion of a Buck for the first time since Yi Jianlian. Jennings would finish with 22 points and eight assists in what some call a glorified pick-up game. To that I cry foul, as most pick-up games I see have more at stake.
At least in pick-up games competitors need to win to keep playing. In pick-up games losses are feared and effort is turned up a notch. In All-Star games little more matters than escaping without injury, which everyone was able to do. So I guess the game was a success.
Jennings participated in the Skills Challenge as well and while he did better than Russell Westbrook, wasn’t able to connect on his last chest pass until his fourth attempt and came away unable to make the finals. It was probably too much to ask of him to oust Steve Nash or Deron Williams, but Jennings didn’t embarrass himself, which is all that really matters. The whole experience got his name out there a little more amongst NBA fans thanks to his new Bobby Brown look that had Dwight Howard calling him Gumby, so that was fun.
All in all, wake me up when the weekend is over. Save for the Three-Point Contest (I would have loved to see Stephen Curry get hot, maybe next year) and the half court shots during the three on three challenge (what was with Kenny Smith’s two foot hop?) everything about All-Star Weekend is a snooze fest.