All-Star Weekend is great. It’s the best basketball players in the world assembled in one place, showing off their skills. However, there are still talents that NBA players have that fans don’t get to see showcased during All-Star Weekend. Here are some of my ideas to remedy that:
Longest Shot Contest
Put Eddie House, JR Smith, LeBron James, and other players with unlimited range on the court. Put 3-5 minutes on the clock. When they make a shot, they put a marker down. When time is up, the marker furthest away from the basket wins. That’s it. Tell me you wouldn’t be watching as they measure if LeBron’s shot from four feet beyond half-court will hold up against J.R.’s shot from the fourth row.
Like the shootout competition in hockey, each player gets a fast-break possession against a defender. Judges score their move, but it only counts if it results in a basket. Carrying rules would be relaxed.
Best Poster Contest
A dunker starts from the right side of the circle (left if he’s left-handed.) A defender starts from the free-throw line extended on the other side of the key. The goal is to dunk on someone or block the dunk. At the end of the time period, best dunk and best block win.
Make Kendrick Perkins or Josh Smith Smile
There are no other rules. One of the All-Stars must attempt to make Perkins or Smith smile while they are on a basketball court. This may be an impossible contest.
All-Star Debate Contest
Definite invitees: Manu Ginobili, Sam Cassell, Joey Crawford, Kevin Garnett.
NBA’s Fastest Man
Heats of two, go from baseline to baseline while maintaining the dribble. Fastest time wins.
Those are my ideas, and I’m sure there are a lot more good ones out there. Let me know yours.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.