Thursday, February 7, 2008

NBA D-League All-Star Game: Actually Worth Paying Attention To

We're not going to lie to you. We have a slight fascination with the D-League. We think the idea of a minor-league basketball league, modeled after the succesful baseball version could be absolutely phenomenal. We love D-League call-ups. Azabuike is one of our favorite players to watch in the league. We love Rod Benson and the Boom Tho Movement.

And the All-Star Game contests this year is going to be more fun than the actual All-Star contests in years' past (but not this year, the dunk contest is sick). From the press release today:

Creativity will reign on Center Court as the D-League revisits H.O.R.S.E. some 30 years after NBA players participated in the competition which aired during games on CBS. Among the top talents who participated in the match-ups were Pete Maravich, George Gervin, and Rick Barry. The D-League’s edition of H.O.R.S.E. will feature Idaho’s Lance Allred, Morris Almond (on assignment from the Utah Jazz to the Utah Flash), Jeremy Richardson of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and Sioux Falls’ Kasib Powell. Richardson, who was twice called-up this season, is averaging 28.5 points in nine games for the Mad Ants while Almond leads the league with a 26.4 points per game scoring average. Powell and Allred are averaging 20.1 and 17.3 points, respectively. Two preliminary rounds of two games each will be played with the winners of the first two rounds competing in a final round for the title of H.O.R.S.E. Champion. Each round will be capped at five minutes, and will utilize a 24 second shot clock. Participants will be outfitted with a wireless microphone in order for fans to hear the player call his shot.
Having them call their shot means that they're serious about this. This is Morris Almond who scored 53 the other night, by the way.

And then there's the dunk contest...

Slam Dunk Competition participants will include D-Leaguers Brent Petway, a member of the Idaho Stampede and runner-up in the 2007 NCAA Slam Dunk Competition, as well as Petway’s Idaho teammate, Mike Taylor. Eric Smith of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and Doug Thomas of the Iowa Energy will round out the four-man field. The Slam Dunk Competition, which will consist of two rounds of two dunks each, will begin with each dunker submitting their top two dunks and selecting a fan from the crowd who will choose the first dunk to be performed in the first round of competition. A composite total of the scores from the first round of dunks of competition will be tallied for each dunker and the dunkers with the two highest scores will compete in a Championship round consisting of two dunk attempts. Participants will be allowed one replacement dunk per attempt.
A fan gets to choose the first dunk. Oh, God. Think of the possibilities. "I want you to teabag the ladder and dunk!"

We're going to have more in the next week on the D-League, because we want to share it with you, so maybe we'll quit hearing "They suck. They should shut the league down."

Kevin Pittsnoggle's got to eat, yo!

Oh, and as a teaser? Let's just say we'll be very close to the action at this thing.

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