I must admit, I had no intention of watching the NBA All-Star game because I knew what I was going to see.  My standard answer to everyone that was on my case to write something about the game was “just read my post about the Pro Bowl and change the Pro Bowl to NBA All-Star game.”  (See ‘PRO BOWL IS ANYTHING BUT PROFESSIONAL’ – 1/31/12) 

Reluctantly, I agreed to at least record the game on the outside chance that it turned out to be an actual game.  Then I proceeded to go about my business.  At one point during the day, I thought I’d check in and see how the game was going.  Was I ever shocked! 

When I turned on the television, Charles Barkley and his partners were discussing the game and showing highlights.  I noticed the score of 88-69 at the bottom of the screen and, thinking the game was over, thought to myself “Wow, they actually played some defense this time.  Maybe I should actually sit down and watch the game.” 

Then reality hit home as I discovered that this was only the halftime score.  I sat down long enough to see the endless clips of three-on-zero or four-on-one fast breaks and trick dunks and I realized that I would have to write a new post for the NBA All-Star game, since they didn’t play nearly as much defense as the NFL players did in the Pro Bowl. 

I went ahead and played back the first half of the game (why waste a good recording, right?) then decided to skip the second half.  It was just too much to bear having to sit through an entire half of the Harlem Globetrotters without the Washington Generals to at least throw up a challenge.  (Throw up being a key phrase!) 

Look, I enjoy a good basketball game where there is solid defense and strategic offense and all that.  But there was absolutely none of that in this game, with the exception of the few minutes that Steve Nash actually played.  I mean, did you see that assist where he threaded the needle?  Who’s going to do that once he retires? 

Call me old-fashioned, you wouldn’t be the first, but I like to see defense played, regardless of the sport and regardless of whether or not it’s a real game or an all-star game. 

This is one of the reasons that Charles Barkley is one of my favorite pro athlete turned commentator.  I loved watching him when he played because he was ferocious on the court.  Now that he’s in the booth, he tells it like he sees it.  I’d hate to be the one that tried to convince him to carry the company’s line as far as what to say, rather than stating his own opinion.  I don’t always agree with him, but I always enjoy hearing his opinions because he says what’s on his mind. 

Even he would have to admit that this game would have been better with a little bit of defense!



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