A few thoughts about the happenings over the last few days:
- Damian Lillard wore himself out over All-Star Weekend, but in his case, as a rookie trying to make his mark in the league, he did all the right things. He played well in the Rising Stars game but didn't try to show off too much or call attention to himself. The purists loved it. And he won the skills competition, probably the one weekend event that's been captured by more great players than any other. He did all the charity stuff, too. He's on the fast track, folks. The basketball world loves him and in the NBA, that means a bit more of a push from the league than some other guys will be getting. That stuff matters, just wait and see.
- LaMarcus Aldridge played 11 scoreless minutes in the All-Star Game and afterward said he was "happy" and "it was fun for me." Well, it's good he doesn't get too worked up over things he can't control. But in the big picture, it can't help the case for those who believe he's one of the best power forwards in basketball. This is two All-Star Games in a row in which he played a combined total of 21 minutes. And it left me wondering what Trail Blazer fans think about a player who seems so satisfied with not playing a major role when the game's great players get together for a game. Feel free to leave a comment below.
- Chris Paul is good. But we knew that, right?
- Funny how the Rising Stars on Friday, just a bunch of first- and second-year players who still have a lot to prove, didn't play as hard in their game as the real all-stars did on Sunday. Kids -- you better figure it out.
- Kyrie Irving is pretty good, too. In fact, point guard is without a doubt the hottest position in basketball right now. Good ones are all over the place and if Lillard wants to become known as one of the best, he's going to have some pretty stiff competition.
- Dr. Jerry Buss died Monday after a long battle with cancer. You will find terrific tributes to the long-time Lakers owner all over the web and don't need my help to find them. I'm in no position to write about him because I never knew him. But I know this: he won a whole lot of championships and made a boatload of money while owning that team, and when you get right down to it, are there any other reasons to own a franchise? One thing I will say, I used to love standing by the door to the Forum Club watching him make his entrance. His arm candy was among the best in basketball or Hollywood.
- The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon and the whisperstream of rumors is pretty quiet. We'll pass along anything we get and I would expect by tomorrow the talk, at least, will pick up.