NBA All-Star Notes: Next Up, Dallas
by Mike Fisher    Mon, Feb 16, 2009, 07:26 AM
A dozen All-Star notes. … the NBA is rigged!! … but next year, LeBron and the whole show move to DFW. ... and as the topper to this year's party, the only way Dirk Nowitzki knows how to fit into this bizarrely entertaining show. …

1: The NBA is rigged!! Shaq and Kobe, on their kiss-and-makeup weekend. … with a million fans submitting their votes. … end up as "Co-MVPs"?

“The Big Legendaries,’’ Shaq labeled the duo.

It works for me; Kobe was a spectacular ballhog and scored 27. Shaq played only 11 minutes but was 8-of-9 for 17 points, was unstoppable inside on the slam, playfully took guys outside on the dribble and playfully embarrassed rival/heir Dwight Howard with a give-and-go that began when O’Neal bounce-passed the ball between Superman’s legs.

But “Co-MVPs’’? Kind of like Ewing to the Knicks. Kind of like Yi not being voted in as a starter. Kind of like in 1994, when the best possible Rookie of the Year storyline was to have Jason Kidd AND Grant Hill win the award. … so by a miracle of math, they did!

It’s all in good fun. But the way the NBA calculates votes and ping-pong balls and the like, remind me not to let David Stern ever do my taxes.

2: I don’t know what the JabbaWockeeZ are. I just know that the next time they are involved in a performance with a 7-foot-1, 350-pound dancer, I want a ticket.

3: LeBron James promises to participate in next year's Slam-Dunk Contest at "Dallas Stadium.'' He'll have to find such a building first.

4: The cloud hanging over the Suns (irony!) created a weird atmosphere for the All-Star Weekend, no? The Dynasty That Never Was is being disassembled. Hometown All-Star Amare does four days of exit interviews (on his way to Chicago?) Shaq’s presence feels like a final bow. Nash, nowhere to be found. A change in coaches. Heat on the GM.

I heard Robert Sarver was at Denny’s on Sunday morning and skipped the tab.

5: If Dwyane Wade doesn’t take that silly self-promotional Band-Aid sticker off his face, he’s going to be stuck with another piece of above-the-neck equipment: He’ll uneasily wear the crown of Drama Queen.

It will be difficult to wrest that from Kobe. … but maybe Stern can name Bryant and Wade as “Co-Drama Queens’’?

6: What the heck was that John Legend halftime show? Who is “Juanes’’? Why are they singing me a lullabye? Guys, it’s halftime, not bedtime.

7: I, like everyone else on the planet, love Muhammad Ali. I had the privilege of meeting him. I interviewed him on the radio. I painted a watercolor of him, which he signed, and now the painting hangs in a prominent spot in my home.

But please. … whoever is in charge of Ali. … don’t make him sit through another public appearance like this. I work on the assumption that Ali’s participation was designed to raise awareness of the fight against Parkinson’s Disease. But I never heard mention of that. I saw Ali. … possibly taking a nap behind oversized sunglasses. … and wondered if he wished he could just go home and rest.

8: The halftime “Redeem Team’’ tribute was kinda cool. Except, I wish it’d been important enough for Coach K to actually come to town rather than appear via video tape. And I wish it’d been important enough to LeBron and some of the other fellas to actually pay attention during the presentation instead of acting like goofy, fidgety schoolkids.

9: TNT shows a quick shot of the announcement of the 2010 game being held in Dallas. On the court holding a framed Mavs-like All-Star jersey were Stern. ... Cuban. ... Dirk. ... and Shaq?

I'm sure it was a passing-of-the-torch staging. Shaq repping Phoenix, passing the game to Dirk, repping Dallas. But ... Dirk and Shaq, on that stage together. ... sure got me all dreamy. ...

10: If anybody is interested in ways to actually win this sort of game: The East might want to employ a center. Once D-Howard wasn’t in the game, it was left to twiggy Rashard Lewis to move inside. Also, the refs might want to call traveling. LeBron and Chris Paul took advantage of the no-whistle policy to shuffle along the floor as if they were auditioning for “So You Think You Can Dance.’’

11: John McCain sitting next to Eva Longoria. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

12: And how did Dirk celebrate his eighth consecutive All-Star Weekend? By doing a charitable deed or two. By taking long naps. By scoring eight points on 3-of-5 shooting as part of the West’s 146-119 victory.

And by thinking about the 2010 All-Star Weekend slated to be held in North Texas.

“Maybe I'll host a big bash,'' Nowitzki said. "You've got to. It will be fun for everyone to see what a great city Dallas is. … Everything is bigger in Texas, you know that. It should be great.

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