The 2010 NBA All-Star Game – Brave New World or The Empire Strikes Back ?

DALLAS – So there I was last Friday afternoon in Austin, Texas, a little over 48 hours before the historic 2010 NBA All-Star game would take place just 200 miles away in Dallas. Somewhere around 100,000 tickets were said to be sold, including an unquantified number of $30 Standing Room Only “party passes.” The Great Recession of 2009 had left me nearly flat broke when they went on sale last year though, so I remained ticketless and with little hope. Then I read an interview with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, where he seemed to up the ante on what this event could be.

I don’t think Cowboys Stadium has really been leveraged as a party destination the way it can. I think people are going to be pleasantly shocked. It’s more designed to be a night club than a destination for a sporting event. And because this is really geared toward fun, I think it’s really going to shine,” Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. “You’re just there to have fun. I think that makes a big difference. No one’s betting on this game. No one’s screaming and yelling. It’s just ‘Are you having fun? Yes or no.’ That makes for better people-watching. That makes for better enjoying of libations and such. It’ll be a lot of fun.”

Cuban was probably engaging in a hype game, but all this talk of unprecedented, newly leveraged fun seemed to demand personal investigation. I hit the Dallas and Austin Craigslist ticket boards, trying to find someone who might unexpectedly have found themselves with a couple of those party passes to sell for face price. Most were asking around $60 apiece, while some pirates sought $100. Then I saw a posting that more of the party passes were now on sale at Ticketmaster.com – one click later, he shoots, he scores! I knew prospects for getting a decent view of the game were slim, but how could any serious NBA fan pass up the chance to attend this historic contest for a mere $30 and a three-hour drive? Not to mention that a California friend had just relocated to Dallas that week for a new job, providing free lodging to boot. It had clearly become a mission from God.

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2010 NBA All-Star Game Highlights

Here’s a six-minute mash-up of all the big highlights from the 2010 All-Star Game.

Time-lapse video of Cowboys Stadium conversion for the NBA All-Star Game

This is a pretty amazing video that shows just how much work went into transforming Cowboys Stadium for the 2010 All-Star Game.

Report: Allen Iverson made All-Star roster

Sigh.

Per Yahoo! Sports…

Sparing the NBA an embarrassment, Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash(notes) overtook exiled Houston Rocket Tracy McGrady(notes) in the final days of balloting to secure a Western Conference starting spot in the 2010 All-Star game, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday. McGrady played just six games for a total of 46 minutes until he and the team decided to separate from each other until the Rockets can work a trade for him.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson(notes) was also voted into the Feb. 14th game in Dallas as a starter for the Eastern Conference, sources said.

At least Nash overtook T-Mac. This is the problem with having the fans decide the starting five. Allen Iverson has started 19 games and is averaging 14.4 points, 4.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds for the fourth-worst team in the league. In no way, shape or form does he deserve to play in the All-Star Game this year.

You can see my picks here. With Iverson’s inclusion, someone far more deserving is going to miss the game.

The starters will be announced tonight on TNT.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Who deserves to represent the West in the All-Star Game?

Yesterday, I tackled the Eastern Conference, and today I’ll look at the West.

THE NO-BRAINERS

1. Kobe Bryant, Lakers
28-5-5 plus the best record in basketball. It’s a two horse race right now for MVP and Kobe might be the frontrunner.

2. Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs
He’s averaging 26-8-3 for the resurgent Mavs.

3. Kevin Durant, Thunder
He’s posting 29-7-3 for a very dangerous OKC squad. How scary is it that he’s only 21 years-old?

4. Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
‘Melo is scoring better than ever (30-6-3) thanks to increased efficiency from the field (48%) and the charity stripe (87%)

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