Now that we know LaMarcus Aldridge is in the All-Star Game and Damian Lillard is in the lineup for both the Rising Stars game and the Skills Challenge, I'm sure most Trail Blazer fans are pumped up to watch their guys. That's as it should be.
But I've been wondering lately, how much of All-Star Weekend is must-see TV for you these days? And if so, which parts?
Are you as excited about the dunk and three-point shooting contests as you used to be? For me, those two things used to be the highlight of the weekend. When I was regularly covering the weekend activities, those were the ones I looked forward to the most. But on the other hand, I was watching Michael Jordan and Dr. J and a whole lot of other superstars dunk. And I was watching Larry Bird intimidate everyone in the long-distance shootout. That was the stuff of legend.
I was in Indianapolis in 1985 when Jordan, the Doc, Dominque Wilkins, Clyde Drexler, Larry Nance -- some of most spectacular dunkers in the history of the game -- competed in that contest. If you look closely enough at that vintage Jordan "freeze frame" poster you can see me standing in a tunnel watching him. Now THAT was something.
But for years now the league has not been able to convince its biggest stars that entering the contest is worth risking injury or, more likely, possible embarrassment. That's a shame. The contest hasn't been the same in recent seasons -- particularly, too, because of some of the silly props that have been brought into it.
The rising stars game has a chance to be entertaining and the All-Star Game should be interesting. But I have a feeling the whole weekend doesn't have the same cache it once had.
How do you feel about it? Does it need some fixing up? Is there anything you'd add to the activities? Other than "our guys," is there anything turning you on about this weekend?