Wrapping up All-Star weekend

Well, that was a blast.

The All-Star weekend rolled through New Orleans for the first time ever and by all accounts it was a massive success. The NBA did a great job putting the N.O. stamp on everything, from the merchandise to the music to Charles Barkley's big gumbo-lovin' ass. It was a great opportunity for the world to see that New Orleans is still one of the best and most vibrant cities in the world, and methinks that message was received loud and clear.

New Orleans Arena All-Star court 2008

Here's some of my highlights and notes from one legendary weekend…

  • The best bit for me was obviously getting to meet and interview Byron Scott, Chris Paul and David West (among others) at Saturday's All-Star practice at Jam Session. I'm still on a high from that, might not come down for a while. Once again, thanks, Adidas.
  • Saturday evening, I scored free tickets to the Dunk Contest and all those other events. Huge thanks to Ari, Alicia and Andrea for making that happen. It was disappointing to see CP go down in the Skills Comp, but Deron Williams was just flawless on the night. Peja going out in the first round of the Three-Point Shootout was an even bigger letdown, but as long as he's back knocking down the long bombs on Wednesday, I won't be mad.
  • All those Saturday night events were actually pretty entertaining from inside the Arena. Everyone calls the Skills Challenge and the Shooting Stars thing kinda lame, but the crowd definitely got into it all. That said, everything did of course pale in comparison to the Dunk Contest. Dwight Howard made folks lose their fucking minds.
  • Outside the Arena after all that insanity, and we wind up standing next to Hornets assistant coach Charlie Parker and his family. Actually, I thought it was just some dude who looked remarkably like Parker, but then a voice walked by shouting "what up, Coach!" My brain figured it out after that. A minute later, Rasual Butler came by to say hey to his supervisor and was cool enough to shake my hand on the fly.
  • Also seen outside the Arena on Saturday: that big black dude from the movie White Chicks who can make his tits jiggle. Legend.
  • Congrats to Chris Paul and David West on their respective performances in the All-Star game last night. I think if the West had pulled out the win, Chris would have come away with the MVP award. A curse on the houses of LeBron James and Ray Allen. Nevertheless, I figure that performance by CP may have launched him into the realm of true international superstardom, and it will probably have the TV bigwigs trying to figure out how to get more Hornets games on their stations the rest of the season.
  • West looked pretty good out there, too. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had taken the Rasheed Wallace approach and just coasted while he was on the floor, but instead West was inside mixing it up on quite a few occasions. He wasn't getting much love from the refs though. Maybe next year, D.
  • I loved that emcee Rob Nice and the Honeybees kept their jobs for the weekend. I was half expecting the NBA to send in some replacements. They did have the Houston Rockets female emcee there instead of Brittany, but I've yet to hear the story behind that switch. Great job anyway by Rob and the Honeybees. They did the Hornets and New Orleans proud.
  • Strolling downtown with my main man Gil yesterday and who do we see walking towards us except Gheorghe Muresan, about to duck (literally) into the Sheraton. Freaky how big that dude is in real life.
  • I never reached my Mardi Gras levels of drunken celebration this past weekend, mostly because I was still suffering from that throat infection that grounded me last week. I'm all better now though, thanks for asking.

So the Hornets were back at practice today, getting ready for shit to get all serious again when the Dallas Mavericks come to town on Wednesday. Must be hard to come from all that craziness of the weekend and get right back to work.

Anyways, just want to wrap this up by saying congratulations to ticktock6, who correctly guessed the total of Chris Paul's statline in the ASG last night, and therefore wins a CP All-Star jersey and a pair of his new shoes. A huge thanks to everyone that took part in the contest. The nice response ensures we'll be doing a lot more giveaways in the future.

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