Matt from Hardwood Paroxysm headed to New Orleans for the All-Star madness last weekend. Well, actually, he was there for the Celebrity Game and the D-League All-Star Games. Over the next two days, we'll be telling his tales. Today: The Celebrity Game.
We come for the NBA D-League All-Star events, we stay for the Celebrity game! In a development that can either be considered a blessing or a horrible, horrible curse, my partner Corn and I were actually around for the celebrity game during the NBA Jam Session Friday Night.
After nabbing our passes, we prayed to God no one would discover we're A. writing for a blog and B. that the blog we're guest writing for is, in the minds of NBA-teat suckling oinker ESPN, The End Of Western Civilization.
As we made our way into the press area, we came to one simple conclusion.
Whoever is in charge of programming the NBA Celebrity Game is a deeply disturbed masochist who is obviously smoking crack cocaine in a room full of ether.
We walked in behind two of the largest human beings we've ever seen, both wearing "Mayweather Promotions" t-shirts. It was like being behind a rhino on two legs.
Corn: "Maybe we should just stay behind these two all weekend. We're safer that way."
As we turned the corner to the media section, it was possibly the most absurd collection of human beings and mascot-type devices we could have imagined. On our right? The ESPN set, with Rick Bucher setting up STAT for a Tarot reading. In case you were wondering how we picked out Bucher, it was pretty easy since the man is NEON FUCKING ORANGE. Amare Stoudemire was next to him, and we couldn't take our eyes off of Bucher since we were worried Amare was going to start melting from the radiation steaming off Bucher.
Milling around the back area was overwhelmingly absurd. On our right we've got Stuart Scott and Chris Paul coming to check in with the DJ of the event. On our left was a group of older women; apparently they would be performing at halftime. These dancers, a take off of the Hornets' Honey Bees, were called the Used-To-Bees. Women, 50 to 80 years old, standing within feet of the greatest basketball players in the world. And Taylor Hicks.
Oh, Taylor Hicks.
We'll admit something. We hate American Idol. With the passion of a thousand Bill Waltons. It is turrrible. But as opposed to most of the participants who were actually trying to act cool, Hicks was over the top ridiculous. He knew he had no place there and reveled in it. The man was wearing his jersey tucked into his shorts, for God's sake. Neyo kept looking at him like he was walking around without pants on. If it seems that we are unnaturally preoccupied with the man, it's just that he was so amazingly out of place, and yet mystifyingly dorky.
We ran into Skeets and instantly he and I had the same assessment:
"Is this not the most bizarre fucking thing you've ever seen?
It would have been one thing just to see Taylor Hicks and Chris Tucker wandering around in jerseys and long shorts among Stephen A. and Shaq. But to see a gigantic Warriors mascot get into a dancing contest with two guys from an internet radio show, to see 60-year-old women in the halftime show, to seeing Stuart Scott chowing down with top-notch chefs while all of this is going on? Too much. Just too much. I was having sensory overload, but not from anything of any importance. It was like getting bombarded with Bugs Bunny cartoons that weren't funny.
I'd love to give you some insight into the game, but to be honest, it was kind of like watching your friends play a pickup game, if your friends all had perfectly styled hair and were absolutely terrible at basketball. There was no defense, sloppy ballhandling, and both teams were shooting about 25 percent, it seemed like. So basically, it was a Bobcats games with Chris Tucker.
Deion Sanders was pretty good, and so was the guy from the Wire. Then they did the moronic in-game trade with T.O. joining the fray, and he killed everyone. We're decided that T.O. could come in and play in the NBA and outperform Jerome James, Tyronn Lue and Jason Collins on any given night. Not individually. Combined. The dunk he threw down was downright nasty.
But on the whole, the entire event was like watching a zebra have sex with a flamingo. Downright confusing. The good news? People loved it. Especially when they brought out the mascots and free stuff. The NBA Celebrity Game. It's fan... yeah, I got nothin'.