James Loving - National Radio Text Service
DWIGHT HOWARD ROCKS THE RIM WITH SPECTACULAR DUNKS - Five High School to NBA Players In All-Star Game Contest - The All-Star game is at best a boring affair due to the East playing the West which means absolutely nothing. Now that it's the age of International Players it's about time the NBA change the event to an All-Star game of International players verses USA.
Saturday February 16, 2008
DWIGHT HOWARD ROCKS TO DUNK TITLE
High school to NBA player Dwight Howard brought down the house in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA in the NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk competition when he made two amazing dunks that astonished the crowd and judges that included Magic Johnson, Dr. J (Julius Erving), Darryl Dawkins also known as The Chocolate Thunder and Karl Malone.
The 22-year-old now in his fourth NBA season threw the ball against the BACK of the backboard glass and while running forward caught it and slammed it down through the hoop. The crowd was stunned. He followed that up by wearing a Super Man's cape and ran towards the basket, took off with the cape flowing behind him leaped high and flew through the air with the geatest of ease and slammed the ball through the basket. Not only was it a good effort but most effective as a visual that will be a highlight video clip for years to come. He followed that up by throwing the ball against the backboard then ran to it and tapped it with his LEFT HAND against the backboard caught the rebound with his RIGHT HAND and slammed it through the rim. It looks like his weight training program is paying off.
The events television analysts Reggie Miller, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley agreed that those two dunks have to be rated in the Top 5 of the all-time dunks in the competition. They said his showmanship was a major asset in what he accomplished. The other Top 5 includes Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins Dr. J. and Vince Carter.
The Toronto Raptors Jason Kapono defended his 3-point shoot-out title by accumulating 25 points in the last round thus tying the events record also held by former Chicago Bull Craig Hodges.
The Boston Celtics turnaround season was recognized by the fans and the league as the big three players and their coach were included in the program. Celtic coach Doc Rivers will coach the East. Kevin Garnett received the most fan votes but due to an abdominal strain will not play. Celtics forward Paul Pierce was selected by the coaches as a reserve and guard Ray Allen was chosen to replace an injured player. Rivers participated in the game as a player in 1988 when he was a member of the Atlanta Hawks.
The starters were selected by the fans through the 2008 NBA All-Star Balloting Program. The 14 reserves were chosen by the 30 NBA head coaches, who were asked to vote for seven players in their respective conferences including two guards, two forwards, one center and two players regardless of position. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Seven players each from the Eastern and Western Conferences were chosen.
This game will mark the end of Shaquille O'Neal's, streak of 14 consecutive All-Star selections. That tied the record held by Jerry West and Karl Malone. Kareem Abdul Jabbar holds the record of All-Star game selections with 19 but played in 18.
Five high school to NBA players were chosen to participate in the contest: Amaré Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns as a reserve, Boston's Kevin Garnett, Cleveland's LeBron James, Orlando's Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant.
Bryant was intending not to participate in the game that. He injured his pinky finger but played in the last Lakers game prior to the All-Star break. An NBA rule states that if a player plays in the game prior to the break they must participate in the All Star contest OR sit out the teams next regular season game after the break. Bryant (10) and Granett (11) are the high schoolers with the most All-Star game selections.
Bryant won the games MVP award in 2002 & 2007 and Garnett in 2003. Bryant shares the career record for the most three point field goals in the game with 11.
LeBron James will be making his fourth NBA All-Star game appearance. Last season he led all players in votes received (2,516,049) for the event. He won the games MVP award in 2006. His 23.3 points per game All-Star game scoring average is the highest of any player in NBA history that has played in three or more All-Star Games. Michael Jordan's holds the record for the most career total points in All-Star competition with 262 points for a 20.2 average.
Dwight Howard will be making his second All-Star game appearance. Last year he scored 20 points in 20 minutes on 10-14 shooting and taking down 12 rebounds. Stoudemire will play in his third All Star contest. Last season he registered 29 points in the West's 153-132 victory.
Four International NBA players are involved in this seasons contest. They include:
Steve Nash (Canada) as a reserve
Dirk Nowitzki (Germany)
Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Yao Ming (China)
SOS…. LETS AMP IT UP
The All Star game is a boring affair at best due to the East playing the West means absolutely nothing. Now that its the age of International Players the amount of interest for the league from around the world that is due to the number of foreigners currently in the league it's safe to say it's about time the NBA to have an All Star game of International players verses USA players. That would spark some more International interest and national pride from all of the countries that the International players come from the US as well. Why let the Olympics have all of the thunder when this can be a yearly event?
The match-up would produce more incentive to try and win the game. Currently it's a run and gun affair with very little defense. Asia's pride and joy Yao Ming (China) is making his fifth straight appearance. He's been selected every year that he's been in the league.
Other International stars Yi Jianlian (China), Juan Carlos Navarro (Spain), Luis Scola (Argentina) and Andrea Bargnani (Italy) participated in the Rookies vs. Sophs game. Add to the mix Manu Ginobli (Argentina), Tony Parker (France), Peja Stojakovic (Yugoslavia), Leonardo Barbosa (Brazil), Luol Deng (Sudan) and other top International players in the league and it would mean something and be something great to watch. In addition the NBA's bottom line of money making marketing projects would skyrocket.
NO… this is not about politics but it is about influence and a challenge, something meaningful to more people in more countries around the world and a larger TV audience. The International NBA players verses the USA NBA players would be a REAL ALL-STAR GAME. If the NBA really CARES then... LETS GET IT ON!!!
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