Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Western Conference's Russell Westbrook (0), of the Oklahoma City Thunder, elevates for a dunk past Eastern Conference's Dwyane Wade (3), of the Miami Heat, Carmelo Anthony (7), of the New York Knicks, Dwight Howard (12), of the Orlando Magic, and Western Conference's Chris Paul (3), of the Los Angeles Clippers, during the first half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser, Pool) )
Monson: NBA ‘commercial’ worth watching, after all

First Published Feb 27 2012 09:55 am • Last Updated Feb 28 2012 09:24 am

Didn’t care much about the NBA All-Star game on Sunday for a couple of reasons.

The first stemmed from a kind of generational snobbery. What can any of these modern guys do that Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson haven’t already done better? A slam-dunk contest? Hand me the remote. Fancy play? Oh, come on. There’s no revolutionary flush, no no-look pass, no groundbreaking bit of showmanship that we haven’t already seen in the annual midseason exhibition.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The second was exactly that last part. It is an exhibition, a faux game that often lacks focus and intensity and robs the NBA endeavor of its most valuable asset: real competition. If you’re going to produce a two-hour commercial for the league, mixed in with selling Sprite and Kia Optimas, shouldn’t it demonstrate the best aspect of the NBA, the best reason for watching?

Well, I didn’t watch the first half, and, as the second half unfolded, really didn’t pay much mind, as the West built a huge lead. Then … things changed.

Due in large part to the effort and skill of LeBron James, who hit nine consecutive shots over one stretch, the East climbed back into the contest, going on an impressive run. It was quite compelling, with so much big talent and so many big stars on the floor, to sit back and observe who would take a leadership role among them. James flushed those two deep step-back 3s from the left side, and the West’s lead was cut to five. After a heavy Russell Westbrook hammer dunk for the West, the East fought back again. Deron Williams’ steal and layup made it a one-point deficit in the late going, and game was righteously on.

With the East down three in the closing seconds, Williams launched a long ball that missed badly, but an offensive board put the ball back in James’ hands with time running out. What did the best player on the floor do? He threw a horrible cross-court pass that was picked off, and the thing was pretty much done.

Still, that ending was intense, everything you want in an NBA game. Bodies were flying all over, plays were being run, defense was being played, pride was on the line.

Immediately afterward, during a TV interview, LeBron was asked about his stirring performance, and, with sweat still flowing, all he could think about was that turnover in the last seconds. He wasn’t happy about it. He shook his head and said he couldn’t make that kind of mistake with his teammates counting on him.

The care factor there might not have been at a championship level, but it was pretty darn high. Combine that with some great overall play, and the total mix turned out to be the best advertisement for which the NBA could have hoped.

I might even watch the whole game next year.


story continues below
story continues below

GORDON MONSON hosts "The Gordon Monson Show" weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.