Here are some releases related to the NBA All-Star Game this weekend in Dallas. Plenty of coverage coming up.
First, here’s TNT’s schedule over the next few days from Big D.
The NBA on TNT will present an exclusive doubleheader on Thursday, Feb. 11. The action gets underway at 8 p.m. (ET) with NBA Tip-Off live from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst), Kenny Smith (analyst) and Chris Webber (analyst) will preview the night’s action live from Cowboys Stadium, site of the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. The first game of the night will feature a 2009 Eastern Conference Finals rematch between LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. Play-by-play announcer Marv Albert will call the game alongside analysts Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller with Stephanie Ready reporting. In the second game, Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs visit Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Dick Stockton (play-by-play) and Doug Collins (analyst) will be courtside with Marty Snider reporting. The Emmy® award-winning studio show Inside the NBA with Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber will recap the games.
TNT’s coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend festivities tips off Friday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. (ET) with the Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam. Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Kevin McHale (analyst), Dwight Howard (analyst) and Dwyane Wade (analyst) will be courtside to call the action with Craig Sager reporting from the sidelines. Howard will also serve as an analyst for during the All-Star Slam Dunk-In alongside Harlan, Barkley, Smith and Cheryl Miller. At 11 p.m. (ET), the network will present The Best of Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai commemorating 10 years of Johnson, Barkley and Smith working together on the popular post-game show.
On Saturday, Feb. 13, the network will present All-Decade NBA presented by esurance at 5 p.m. (ET). Throughout the regular season, 13 categories featuring the top performances, games and moments throughout the 2000’s were voted and selected by the fans on NBA.com. At 6 p.m. (ET), TNT will present a one-hour special Dunk Defying: Spud and Nate which will look back at two notable Slam Dunk Contest champions: Spud Webb and Nate Robinson. At 7 p.m. (ET), H.O.R.S.E. returns with a move to prime time and will showcase 2009 H.O.R.S.E. winner and Western Conference All-Star Kevin Durant challenging Omri Casspi and Rajon Rondo in a classic basketball competition.
NBA All-Star Saturday Night begins at 8 p.m. (ET), with the Skills Challenge, the Three-Point Contest and the Slam Dunk. The Shooting Stars, which is a four team competition with each team comprised of an NBA player, WNBA player and NBA legend. For the first time, the four legends in the competition will be TNT and NBA TV analysts, including Kenny Smith (Team Texas), Webber (Team Sacramento), Steve Smith (Team Atlanta) and Brent Barry (Team Los Angeles). The teams will compete in a timed, two-round event featuring six shooting locations of increasing difficulty.
The 2010 NBA All-Star Game takes center stage on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. (ET) from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, with an anticipated crowd of more than 90,000 fans, the largest to watch a live NBA game. Albert will handle play-by-play and will be joined by analysts Collins and Reggie Miller; Sager and Aldridge will report.
2010 NBA ALL-STAR on TNT from Dallas, TX
Thursday, February 11
8 p.m. ET – NBA Tip-Off (Live from Cowboys Stadium)
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber
8:15 p.m. ET – Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Announcers: Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller with David Aldridge
10:30 p.m. ET – San Antonio Spurs @ Denver Nuggets
Announcers: Dick Stockton and Doug Collins with Marty Snider
Post-Game – Inside the NBA (Live from Cowboys Stadium)
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber
Friday, February 12
9 – 11 p.m. ET T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Kevin McHale, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade with Craig Sager
Rookies: DeJuan Blair (San Antonio), Omri Casspi (Sacramento), Stephen Curry (Golden State), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento), Jonny Flynn (Minnesota), Taj Gibson (Chicago), James Harden (Oklahoma City), Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee) and Jonas Jerebko (Detroit)
Sophomores: Michael Beasley (Miami), Danilo Gallinari (New York), Marc Gasol (Memphis), Eric Gordon (L.A. Clippers), Brook Lopez (New Jersey), Kevin Love (Minnesota), O.J. Mayo (Memphis), Derrick Rose (Chicago) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City)
All-Star Slam Dunk-In (Half-Time)
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Dwight Howard with Cheryl Miller
Participants: DeMar DeRozan (Toronto) and Eric Gordon (L.A. Clippers)
11 p.m – 12 a.m. ET – The Best of Inside the NBA Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith
Saturday, February 13
5 – 6 p.m. ET – TNT All-Decade NBA
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith
6 – 7 p.m. ET – Dunk Defying: Spud and Nate
7 – 8 p.m. ET – H.O.R.S.E. – Jam Session
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber
Participants: Omri Casspi (Sacramento), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) and Rajon Rondo (Boston)
8 – 8:30 p.m. ET – NBA Tip-Off
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kevin McHale
8:30 – 11 p.m. ET – NBA All-Star Saturday Night – American Airlines Center
The Shooting Stars competition features four teams comprised of current NBA players, WNBA players, and former NBA players who compete in a timed, one-round shooting event featuring six shooting locations of increasing difficulty.
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Mike Fratello with Cheryl Miller
Participants: NBA TV’s Brent Barry, Pau Gasol and Marie Ferdinand-Harris (Team Los Angeles), TNT’s Kenny Smith, Dirk Nowitzki and Becky Hammon (Team Texas), NBA TV’s Steve Smith, Joe Johnson and Angel McCoughtry (Team Atlanta), NBA TV’s Chris Webber, Tyreke Evans and Nicole Powell (Team Sacramento)
The Skills Challenge will highlight four NBA players running through a timed obstacle course that will include dribbling, passing and shooting stations.
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Mike Fratello with Cheryl Miller
Participants: Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee), Steve Nash (Phoenix), Derrick Rose (Chicago) and Deron Williams (Utah)
The Three-Point Contest will feature six of the NBA’s top long distance shooters in a two-round competition.
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith with Cheryl Miller
Participants: Chauncey Billups (Denver), Daequan Cook (Miami), Stephen Curry (Golden State), Channing Frye (Phoenix), Danilo Gallinari (New York) and Paul Pierce (Boston)
The Slam Dunk will showcase four of the league’s high-fliers in a two-round competition featuring some of the NBA’s most athletic stars.
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith with Cheryl Miller
Participants: Shannon Brown (L.A. Lakers), Nate Robinson (New York), Gerald Wallace (Charlotte) and Dunk-In winner: DeMar DeRozan (Toronto) or Eric Gordon (L.A. Clippers)
Sunday, February 14
7 – 8:30 p.m. ET – NBA Tip-Off
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith; Matt Winer, Kevin McHale and Chris Webber will appear for a segment
8:30 – 11 p.m. ET – 2010 NBA All-Star Game – Cowboys Stadium
Announcers: Marv Albert, Doug Collins, Reggie Miller, David Aldridge and Craig Sager
11 – 11:30 p.m. ET – Inside the NBA
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kevin McHale, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber
11:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. ET 2010 All-Star Game (Encore)Next, here are highlights of a conference call involving the TNT analysts regarding the game.
Notes from the 2010 NBA All-Star on TNT Conference CallMonday, February 1TNT will be in
for exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star 2010 from Feb. 11-14. Beginning at 5 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Feb. 13, TNT All-Decade NBA presented by esurance will tip off the night’s action followed at 6 p.m. (ET) with Dunk Defying: Spud & Nate. H.O.R.S.E. presented by GEICO returns with a move to prime time at 7 p.m. (ET). Exclusive live coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm follows at 8 p.m. (ET), which includes the Haier Shooting Stars competition, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and the Sprite Slam Dunk. On Sunday, Feb. 14 the 2010 NBA All-Star Game takes center stage at 8 p.m. (ET). Dallas, TXAlong with NBA All-Star Saturday Night and the All-Star Game on Sunday, Turner Sports will proudly present some highlights for its 2010 NBA All-Star coverage:
- In total, Turner Sports will provide 68 ½ hours of live/original NBA programming during NBA All-Star Weekend through TNT (19 ½ hours), NBA TV (20 hours) and NBA.com (29 hours).
- Eastern Conference All-Star starters Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade will get behind the TNT microphone for the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan and NBA TV analyst Kevin McHale on Friday at 9 p.m. (ET).
- A special one-hour edition of “The Best of Inside the NBA” on TNT on Friday at 11 p.m. (ET), celebrating 10 years of EJ, Kenny and Charles. The show has won five Emmys as the Best Studio Show during their 10 years together.
- NBA.com brings the action to the fans’ fingertips starting Friday, Feb. 12 with 12 hours of LIVE streaming coverage.Participants:Doug Collins, TNT NBA analystKevin McHale, NBA TV/TNT analystReggie Miller, TNT NBA analystMiller on his expectations for NBA All-Star 2010 being played in Cowboys Stadium: “From a shooter’s standpoint, I would like to play in a smaller venue, but this is more of an exhibition game. You’re playing in a place where there will potentially be 100,000 people watching you play. If you can’t get jacked up and excited about that…site lines really don’t matter. Personally for me, I can’t wait to watch it on ‘Jerry-Vision,’ that’s awesome. That’s what I’m looking forward to. It’s going to be an awesome environment. To have potentially 100,000 people watch an All-Star Game? It’s going to be unreal.”Miller on
76ers guard Allen Iverson being voted by the fans to start the All-Star Game: “Sure (he should be starting), why not? The fans have spoken. It’s not Allen Iverson’s fault (that) the fans love him that much. I understand that playing in the All-Star Game shouldn’t be a lifetime achievement award. I go back to his press conference in Philadelphia the first time around when I remember him as a snotty-nosed brat talking about practice. The press conference he had when he came back to Philadelphia has the emotion, the tears, it showed how grateful (he was) to be back in the league with the team that gave him his start; that was a man in front of us. I’m happy that he’s going to be playing in the All-Star Game.” PhiladelphiaCollins on Thunder guard Kevin Durant: “Kevin Durant has been amazing. He scores so easily. He can shoot the ball with range, he can run the floor on the break. More importantly, Oklahoma City is playing well and they have a winning record on the road. They are in the playoff hunt. Kevin Durant has been phenomenal and he is a guy that, if he stays healthy, can get three or four scoring titles before it’s all said and done. He gets to the foul line and he can shoot the three. He’ll add a little post-up game as he gets older. He’s a complete offensive player.” Oklahoma CityMcHale on his advice to All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard joining the announce team for the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam: “First and foremost, (they should) keep their fingers away from (Kevin) Harlan’s mouth while he’s eating. He’ll chomp them off like a band saw. That’s the most important thing they need to know. When Harlan is eating…stay away.”Collins on if the DallasMavericks can compete with the Lakers: “I think (the Mavericks) are pretty far behind the Lakers. Dirk (Nowitzki) has had a tremendous year, there’s no doubt about that. I think they really miss an effective Josh Howard. He was such a big part of that team and Jason Terry has really taken on his role. When Josh was playing well, he would get them out of the gate quickly. He got them off to great starts. He is struggling right now coming off the bench. I think from (head coach) Rick Carlisle’s standpoint, he’s been unhappy with the defensive slippage the team has had. I think he feels that they’ve lost some of that competitive toughness that they had earlier when they were winning. We’ll see if they can get that back. I don’t see them as a team that can beat the Lakers as they are constituted right now.” Los AngelesMiller on the Lakers dominating the Western Conference: “It’s hard to compare any team in the West (Conference) to the Los Angeles Lakers. To me, they are head and shoulders above everyone else.”Miller on the Bobcats: “Having played for Larry Brown (with the Pacers), I remember our first three years, we always got off to slow starts and rounded ourselves into shape around the All-Star break. We always would take off in the final 30-35 games of the season. When I look at the ( Charlotte ) Bobcats, they are very much set up that (same) way. I know what type of basketball player Stephen Jackson is. He can hit big shots and you add him to first time All-Star Gerald Wallace, who is playing out of his mind. Raymond Felton is playing great at the point guard position. They are a little thin in the frontcourt but they are going to play hard and tough. It starts with their defense and they know they are always going to be in games because of their defense. Whether or not their offense can catch up to their defense remains to be seen. They could be a scary team in that six or seven seed in the first round (of the playoffs).” CharlotteMcHale on the importance of playing well down the stretch of the regular season: “The whole thing depends on how you’re playing coming down the stretch. I always thought the most telling thing with championship teams is (how they are playing) in the last 25 games of the season. I think up to that point there is a lot of positioning. But those last 25 games really separates you and how you’re playing. The teams that play well in that stretch, go into the playoffs on a roll.”Collins on achieving chemistry in the broadcast booth: “It takes a while to get chemistry (with other broadcasters). That’s why, during the course of the year, TNT will put Reggie (Miller), Marv (Albert) and I together for a few games so going into the All-Star Game, we won’t be doing our first games of the year (together). It’s one of our bigger games of the year with a big following. You learn people’s idiosyncrasies; you learn when they are going to pause or how they’re going to get out. How they are going to take a breath so you don’t step on top of them. When you have a three-man booth where there are three voices that want to be heard, you make eye contact or tap the guy next to you to let him know you want to make a point. There’s a lot of teamwork that goes on. When you have a three-man booth, you really have to cut back because you can’t have wall-to-wall sound. The All-Star Game was such a high entertainment value that you’re not going to have a lot of analysis. You’ll have a lot of storytelling.”Miller on working with Marv Albert and Doug Collins at the All-Star Game: “For an All-Star Game, this is going to be ‘Marvelous’ Marv Albert at his best. Between the passes and the dunks, (the fans) want to hear the ‘voice of the NBA’ and that’s Marv Albert. It’s an honor and pleasure to be working with two Hall of Famers with Albert and Coach Collins. I’m still learning and I get a chance to learn from the best.”Collins on the Magic missing Hedo Turkoglu’s decision making abilities: “It’s been a struggle (for Vince Carter). When you take over for Hedo Turkoglu, who was such a huge part of Orlando Orlando, he was the guy in the fourth quarter that you were going to put the ball in his hands and you know what was going to run. They were going to run the pick-and-roll with Dwight Howard and Turkoglu, they were going to spread the floor with three-point shooters and Turkoglu was going to make the right decision. People don’t give him enough credit for the decisions he made in critical situations for that team.” OrlandoMcHale on Vince Carter replacing Hedo Turkoglu with the Magic: “I was really concerned when changed the finisher. Turkoglu was the finisher. Vince is a better one-on-one, get-your-own-shot guy than Hedo is. Hedo made the simple pass out. I think he made everybody better. Vince, for all of his talents, I don’t think he makes anybody better as a basketball player.” OrlandoMiller on BostonCeltics guard Ray Allen: “(Ray Allen) looked great in that Orlandogame down in last Thursday. Obviously the older you get for jump shooters your percentages go down. I think that’s what everyone is somewhat concerned about with Ray right now, but he’s played in every game this season. I had a chance to speak with him before the game and he was a lot like me when it came to preparation before a game, I liked to get there three or four hours before a game and, as I called it, smell the gym, get up there early and gets some shots up. I told him, the older I got, I cut back. I got there at the same time, but I didn’t go through a two-hour shooting routine because I felt drained once the game started. He might have to start thinking about that by cutting down a lot of volume of shots that he puts up before the game so he can be a little fresher when game time comes around. Ray knows how much respect I have for him because I love guys who like to come to the gym early and stay late. He has struggled at times, especially at playoff times, with his shooting, but I thought he was fantastic in last year’s playoffs in that Orlando series. He had so many big games. But they’ll right the ship. Health is going to be a big part for the Celtics. Kevin will have to get healthy along with Paul Pierce, but once Marquis Daniels comes back and Doc (Rivers) has his full complement of players, I think then maybe then we’ll see what the Celtics are made of.” ChicagoMcHale on how the Celtics are playing at this point in the season: “(The Celtics) are ok right now, they are getting where they want to be. When you get to the age where Kevin Garnett is, and Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen is, it’s always going to be after the All-Star break. You do pace yourself. When you’re 22 or 23 you’re out there going gung ho, you have no idea what you’re doing anyway. You’re playing on energy and running around. As you get older you start conserving your energy and you start to realize you can be 40-10 at the All-Star break. If you play poorly down the stretch and don’t get in the playoffs on a roll, healthy and playing well, it doesn’t make any difference. I think they are pacing themselves. When you are a jump shooter, it comes and goes, it’s hard, I can’t imagine being a jump shooter and relying on that shot all the time. I always liked when Ray would drive a little more and get fouled and get free throws; he’s such a good free throw shooter, but as you get older that gets harder to do. Doing that for 82 games is very hard. Is he getting longer in the tooth? Yeah, but that’s what happens. If you stayed 25 none of us would ever play because Jerry West and Bill Russell and everyone would never let us play. So as you get older they start looking at the season differently, it’s going to be after the All-Star break. I’ll be able to assess that team a lot better after the All-Star break. They are fine, they are where they need to be. They are geared for the playoffs and have a different mindset than a lot of the other teams.” BostonMcHale on the Wizards’ slow start to their season and the impact of the locker room incident: “Flip (Saunders) is a tremendous offensive coach, he calls the game on the sidelines like an offensive coordinator does in football. But he puts a lot of stuff in, so I wasn’t surprised that they were struggling at the beginning of the season. Flip puts a comprehensive package in really quickly. I’d say, ‘Flip, how can you add 10 plays in two days?’ He’d say, ‘don’t worry, they’ll get it, I’d rather get it in and have them know and we’ll refresh it as we go.’ I was always surprised at how he was able to put a lot of stuff in. Even the years that Flip was winning 50 games here in Minnesota and doing well, his teams started off slower and then hit their stride, so that didn’t surprise me. People don’t realize that not having Mike Miller on that team is a big factor. Mike really knows how to play, he moves the ball, he makes three pointers and can really do a lot of stuff. Then when the gun incident happened, that was so disruptive. This whole thing with (Gilbert) Arenas and the gun, it goes through the whole team and makes everything really odd. When you’re a good team and you get your momentum and you start rolling and playing better it’s a snowball going downhill in a positive direction. On bad teams that snowballs goes downhill but it’s all in a negative direction. I just sense that there’s a negative vibe with the team. You’ve got to give Flip a chance, he’s a tremendous coach and I think he will get them. I wasn’t surprised that they started slowly, but after what happened with the gun thing I thought all bets were off.”Miller on how the brawl in Detroitimpacted the Pacers drawing parallels to the situation in : “Being on a team when total chaos hit, it was deflating to our team from the simple fact that we had gotten off to a 7-2 or 8-1 start. We were going to beat Washington Detroitin , it was the closing moments of that game. Our arch rivals who beat us in the conference finals and went on the win a championship. We were getting ready to beat them in the Palace, we had signed Stephen Jackson who was going to be coming off the bench as our sixth man, so we thought we were primed to get back to the conference finals and get over the hump and get back to the championship. Then all hell broke loose. You’ve got Ron (Artest) who was suspended for 73 games, Stephan Jackson for 30 games, at the time Jermaine O’Neal was slated to be suspended for 30 games, but I think he ended up out for 15 games and came back in mid-December. So God Bless Coach (Rick) Detroit Carlislemaking makeshift line-ups on the go, calling up NBA D-League players, guys off the street were suiting up. It was deflating because it took the wind out and on top of that it was my last year as well. Everything just built up and it was tough. I can only imagine what’s going on in that locker room because Ron never really came around. He would show up here and there. I’m not sure if Gilbert is showing up and practicing or working out on his own. Now that he’s been suspended for the year there’s no need to work out. But we never saw Ron, Stephen would come here and there. It was tough. Hats off to Carlisleand his staff, we ended up in the fifth or sixth spot and we were lucky to get that and move on to the second round. We made it work, Flip (Saunders) will make it work. As they always say, and this too shall pass. This will pass. We don’t know what the future holds for the Wizards, but Flip is an excellent coach. I know he didn’t sign up for this, but it’s very, very unfortunate. (The Pacers) still haven’t recovered. Other than Danny Granger, who was an All-Star last year and ( ) Hibbert’s playing well this year. They play hard, but the Pacers have never, ever recovered from that night. Things will never be the same until they get lucky in the draft, they are able to overpay a free agent and things get turned around, but things will never be the same. Let’s hope that’s not the case in the nation’s capital with the Wizards, but it’s just not the same.” RoyCollins on the Bulls and what factors have led to their success: “I like a couple of things that Vinny (Del Negro) has done. First of all, John Salmons was really struggling to start the year, he couldn’t make shots, (Kirk) Hinrich couldn’t make shots and he was out of sorts. Derrick Rose did tweak his ankle in preseason, but I personally don’t think he came into camp in great shape. He learned a valuable lesson this year about the importance of the offseason and preparing himself especially when you come off that Rookie-of-the-Year and what he did. I remember talking to Jerry Reinsdorf, we were talking and he said after the Celtics series, he was very happy with the way the team competed, but he said, ‘I had to let the team know the fans here love you so much, don’t forget the fact that you lost that series, you didn’t win that series. So we’ve got places we’ve got to go and we’ve got to get better.’ I like what Vinny did, I like putting Kirk Hinrich in the starting lineup. I think it helps your defense, I think it helps Kirk, I think Salmons settled in coming in off the bench and started shooting the ball well. Luol (Deng) has been very consistent this year. They have a real surprise in Taj Gibson, what a mature young guy he is and what he’s done there. Joakim Noah who could have been an All-Star with the way he’s played and the energy he’s brought. It’s a combination of things and I think they are confident now. They were totally out of synch offensively, their defense really has been very good all season long, but they couldn’t score. Then all of a sudden they got into rhythm offensively and it starts with Derrick Rose with the ball in his hands, when he gets that ball and he starts attacking, he gets to the foul line. Early in the year he was flipping shots at the basket and not getting to the line, now he’s creating contact, playing at an incredibly high level. It’s all worked together, Vinny making Hinrich a starter and he got his confidence back and it helps get Salmons back in the swing of things. A lot of good things are happening in Chicago .” ChicagoMcHale on the difficulty of guarding Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony: “The thing I love about Carmelo (Anthony) is he gets to the line. You put a small guy on him because he makes a couple of jump shots. You’re the opposing coach so you say, ‘I’m going a little smaller because he made a couple of jump shots, so I’ll get a smaller guy to push up on him on the perimeter.’ Then he turns around and takes him off that right box where he does most of his work, not a true low post, but a step or two off that post. He turns and goes, he’s strong as an ox, he gets to the hole and all of a sudden you’ve got the small guy on him. You’re thinking, gee, he takes him to the post, we’re fouling, I’ll put the bigger guy on him. Then he steps back out and makes some shots. He’s impossible to match-up, he’s too strong and big for the smaller guys who can contend with him on the perimeter and he’s too gifted, he can shoot it, he can make threes, he beats the bigs off the dribble when you go bigger on him. He’s a match-up nightmare. I love the fact that he’s more patient, he’s going slower this year. He’s taking his time and scoring at his pace. I think the maturity in his game is showing. He scores as easy as anyone in our league. He can have a so-so energy night and end up with 28 points.”Miller on Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups being a key to forward Carmelo Anthony’s success: “It’s no coincidence that he’s having his most efficient year and you have a point guard like Chauncey Billups, a guy who understands big shots, big moments, has played on championship teams and has been to so many Conference Finals. He’s directing you and giving you the ball and going over game film with you saying these are the positions in your ‘kill zones.’ It’s not a secret that his game has evolved to a different level. When I played against Carmelo his rookie year, he was in such a hurry to take the quick shot, make the quick move, very impatient and that showed in his shooting percentage. But now he’s much more patient, he’s reading defenses much clearer, he understands time and score and all that is predicated on the success of the Nuggets with Coach Karl, but adding a true, understanding point guard in Chauncey Billups has elevated his game.”Collins on where Thunder forward Kevin Durant ranks on his MVP list: “I put him in my top five (of MVP candidates). I had LeBron (James), Oklahoma City (Bryant), (Kevin) Durant, Steve Nash and Carmelo (Anthony). The thing I go on is what has he brought to the franchise. Those people are so excited about basketball in Kobe , it’s an incredible environment, it’s almost like a college crowd the way they cheer on that team. They have a chance to win every night. He’s consistent, he’s fun to watch, he plays with great energy. A big part of being a star is that charisma, that energy, where you walk out onto the floor and you bring a presence. He has that. At the same time, he’s incredibly humble, his team is winning, they’ve done a nice job putting pieces around, they’ve got a lot of draft picks. They are in the thick of things in the playoff race. As long as they are, you have to start talking about him. Is he probably going to win over LeBron or Oklahoma ? The chances are probably not, but now that he’s an All-Star and you’re starting to talk about him and the breadth of what he does for his team…I love the young guy and he plays the game.” KobeMiller on Thunder forward Kevin Durant needing to be in the MVP conversation: “Will (Kevin Durant) win an MVP this year? No, that’s probably going to go to one of the big two: Oklahoma City or LeBron. But this is my magic number, if he can get to 50 or 55 games (of scoring 25 points a game), you certainly have to strongly consider this guy if he continues to play like this. When you talk about these teams – how do they win on the road? Kobe is winning games in the road, this is a team who is finding ways to win. What is scary is when a young, athletic team finds a way to win on the road. So 50 or 55 games and if he continues to play like this and score and elevate his team, then you absolutely have to put him in the same breath with Carmelo, Oklahoma City , LeBron, Dwyane Wade. It will probably happen more so later on in his career because these guys are at the pinnacle of their careers.” KobeMiller on the state of the 76ers: “They are going to have to come up with a solution for Andre Iguodala. Are they going to trade him or are they going to keep him? He’s reading his name in the paper every time he’s going into the sports complex. They bring back Allen Iverson the senior member of that team to try to bring back some stability. This is not the Philly team that we all expected; we expected them to be one of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference so it’s been a little tough. Lou Williams was out with that broken jaw for a month or two months, so we haven’t seen the real Philadelphia 76ers.” PhiladelphiaCollins in the 76ers biggest problem being a lack of a point guard: “People now are starting to figure out how important Andre Miller was to that team. You take a point guard off that team, Andre Miller is one of the best to throw the ball ahead on the break and let guys attack. Sometimes you lose assists that way and usually a lot of point guards hold on to that ball until the last second to get assists. This guy advances the ball, he can get down to the post, play out of the post. When you look at Philadelphia , the year that they had the really good finish and they went to the playoffs, it was a team that was built on speed and quickness, they played a small line-up. When you get Elton Brand and you put Elton Brand with Samuel Dalembert, all of a sudden you have two guys (Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala) playing out of position with no point guard. Now all of a sudden your struggles start coming and you’ve got to teach an offense predicated on cutting and moving and reading. That’s an offense that takes a lot of time to learn and a lot of time to teach. Now you have some injuries and you bring Allen Iverson into the mix and they play a different style. They are twisting and turning in between, they are all over the board with what they are trying to get accomplished. That Philadelphia team is much better playing one big guy and four smalls and running and getting in the open court. I just don’t think the pieces fit well and they really, really miss a point guard.” Philadelphia
NBA.com and NBA TV also have big plans for the game as well.
NBA Digital Tips Off Extensive Multiplatform Coverage of All-Star 2010 in
DallasFans will have an all-access pass to All-Star 2010 weekend with more than 50 hours of live programming and original content across NBA TV, NBA.com and NBA MobileNBA Digital will bring the live energy, action and thrilling entertainment of NBA All-Star 2010 to fans by providing access to more than 50 hours of exclusive content to all the weekend’s activities through NBA Digital’s extensive portfolio of television, on-line and mobile platforms. NBA.com brings the action to the fans’ fingertips starting Friday, Feb. 12 with 12 hours of LIVE streaming coverage. NBA TV takes the court with 20 hours of original content, including behind-the-scenes looks at All-Star Media Day and All-Star East and West Practices and NBA Mobile scores by providing live mosaic coverage throughout the weekend available on the Android Market™ and the App Store®.NBA TV will also be on the scene throughout All-Star beginning on Thursday, Feb. 11 with a Slam Dunk Marathon to showcase the slam dunk competitions of the past 24 All-Stars. The network will then tip off its wall-to-wall coverage in with the rookie and sophomore practices for the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday, Feb. 12. During its all-day coverage, NBA TV will also present live the announcement of the finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. DallasOn Saturday, Feb. 13, NBA TV’s coverage will continue with the All Star East and West Practices, followed by the NBA D-League All-Star Game. The network will also present a front row seat at Commissioner David Stern’s NBA All-Star Press Conference, which will lead up to TNT’s exclusive presentation of All-Star Saturday Night. Finally, the network will build up to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game by giving fans a seat at the NBA Legends Brunch on Sunday morning, February 14. NBA TV will then wrap up its All-Star coverage when it presents its NBA All-Star Pre-Game Show featuring musical act . One RepublicNBA.com’s all-access coverage will feature:
- NBA Game Time All-Star Player Interviews — TNT and NBA TV reporter Craig Sager will interview All-Stars live on Friday and give fans the opportunity to ask the players questions via Twitter.
— Fans will get an entertaining behind-the-scenes look at six All-Stars as they answer questions during Friday’s media availability with NBA TV’s Kyle Montgomery hosting. All-Star Press Pass
- All-Star Scene –, All-Star Scene (www.nba.com/allstarscene) returns as players and celebrities will utilize HD pocket video cameras to provide an all-access pass to NBA All-Star 2010. These behind-the-scenes videos will be posted in near real time, giving fans access to all the major events and happenings throughout the weekend as they happen. In addition, All-Star Scene will feature musical superstar Michael Bivins (New Edition, Bell Biv Devoe) and popular actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse (best known as McLovin from the film Superbad) serving as the fans’ personal guide to All-Star 2010.
- Additional live coverage includes the D-League Dream Factory and an episode of the successful online franchise, The Jump on NBA.com, featuring Brent Barry, Dennis Scott and Kyle Montgomery from the NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas.NBA Mobile will provide fans with access to live coverage available on the Android Market™ and the App Store®. NBA.com All-Star Slam Dunk Live is an innovative application that provides access to four LIVE camera feeds during the Slam Dunk Competition on Saturday, Feb. 13. Live access to the feeds will be available at 10pm ET on Saturday night. The app is available to download for $0.99 cents from the Android Market™ and the App Store®.
And ESPN also has its coverage plans ready for All-Star Game weekend.
ESPN’s Multiplatform Coverage of NBA All-Star 2010ESPN to Televise NBA All-Star Celebrity GameESPN Radio and ESPN International to Broadcast 59th NBA All-Star GameESPN Inc.’s comprehensive coverage of NBA All-Star 2010 will tip off with ESPN’s telecast of the 2010 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Friday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. ET. The game, held at the Dallas Convention Center, will also be simulcast on ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV. Participants will include actors Chris Tucker, Joel Moore (Avatar) and Michael Rapaport, Grammy Award-winner Common, NFL star Terrell Owens, former NBA players Rick Fox, Robert Horry and Chris Mullin, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, WNBA players Becky Hammon and Angel McCoughtry, PGA Tour golfer Anthony Kim, several members of the Harlem Globetrotters, and more.ESPN analyst Magic Johnson and former NBA standout Alonzo Mourning will coach the teams, with Extra host Mario Lopez and recording artist Drake serving as assistant coaches. ESPN’s lead play-by-play commentator Mike Breen will referee the game. ESPN’s Mark Jones will provide play-by-play commentary with analyst Jon Barry and reporter Stuart Scott. The telecast will include interviews with several NBA All-Stars.Celebrity Game rosters (subject to change):
Team Dallas Team Mavericks Coach: Alonzo Mourning Coach: Magic Johnson Asst. Coach: Mario Lopez, Extra host Asst. Coach: Drake, recording artist Dr. Oz (host, The Dr. Oz Show) Anthony Kim, PGA Tour golfer Chris Tucker, actor Terrence J., host, BET’s 106 & Park Joel Moore (Avatar) Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner Pitbull, recording artist Common, Grammy Award-winning artist Terrell Owens, NFL six-time Pro Bowl selection Michael Rapaport, actor “Flight Time” Lang, Harlem Globetrotters “Special K” Daley, Harlem Globetrotters “Big Easy” Lofton, Harlem Globetrotters “Scooter” Christensen, Harlem Globetrotters Angel McCoughtry, WNBA’s Atlanta Dream Becky Hammon, WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars Nancy Lieberman, Basketball Hall of Famer and head coach, NBA Development League affiliate of Dallas Mavericks Chris Mullin, five-time NBA All-Star
Robert Horry, seven-time NBA champion
Rick Fox, three-time NBA champion ESPN RadioFor the 14th consecutive year, ESPN Radio will provide comprehensive coverage of NBA All-Star events – including all of the following events – culminating with the NBA All-Star Game Sunday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. Jim Durham will provide play-by-play for the events with analyst and Hall of Famer Dr. Jack Ramsay and reporters Ric Bucher and Shelley Smith, with studio host Mark Kestecher and studio analyst Will Perdue.Friday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m., Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam – Memphis’ O.J. Mayo, New Jersey’s Brook Lopez and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook will lead a sophomore class against the rookie team featuring Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings and Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans.Saturday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m., Meet the All-Stars – interviews with players and other personalities attending NBA All-Star events.Saturday, Feb. 13, 8:30-11 p.m., NBA All-Star Saturday Night
- Shooting Stars – for the sixth straight year, four teams consisting of an NBA player, WNBA player and former NBA player will compete in a timed shooting event. This year’s participants: Atlanta (Joe Johnson, Hawks; Angel McCoughtry, Dream; former Hawk Steve Smith); Los Angeles (Pau Gasol, Lakers; Marie Ferdinand-Harris, Sparks; Brent Barry, former Clipper); Sacramento (Tyreke Evans, Kings; Nicole Powell, former Monarch; former King Chris Webber); Texas (Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks; Becky Hammon, San Antonio Silver Stars; Kenny Smith, former Houston Rocket).
- Skills Challenge – four NBA stars will compete in an obstacle course challenge that tests shooting, passing and dribbling skills. Chicago’s Derrick Rose will return to defend his title against Milwaukee’s Jennings, Phoenix’s Steve Nash and Utah’s Deron Williams.
- Three-Point Shootout – Miami’s Daequan Cook will attempt to defend last year’s triumph against Boston’s Paul Pierce, Denver’s Chauncey Billups, Golden State’s Curry, New York’s Danilo Gallinari and Phoenix’s Channing Frye.
- Slam Dunk – New York’s Nate Robinson will try and repeat against Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace, the Lakers’ Shannon Brown and either Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan or the Clippers’ Eric Gordon (DeRozan and Gordon will compete in a “dunk-in contest” to determine the fourth participant, which will be held at halftime of Saturday’s Rookie Challenge on ESPN Radio).Sunday, Feb. 14, 7:45 p.m., 59th NBA All-Star Game – ESPN Radio will broadcast the action between the games’ elite players, including Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Tim Duncan (Spurs), Dwight Howard (Magic), LeBron James (Cavaliers) and Dwyane Wade (Heat).ESPN InternationalESPN International will televise the NBA All-Star Game to 109 countries and territories throughout Asia (excluding China, Philippines and Taiwan), Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada (via TSN), the Caribbean, Japan (via JSB), New Zealand and the United Kingdom.News and InformationSportsCenter – Mark Jones will host SportsCenter’s coverage from Dallas with analyst Jon Bary and reports by Colleen Dominguez. ESPN’s Rome is Burning (M-F, 4:30 p.m.), Around the Horn (M-F, 5 p.m.), Pardon the Interruption (M-F, 5:30 p.m.) and ESPN2’s First Take (M-F, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.) will also provide NBA All-Star content.ESPNEWS – The nation’s only 24-hour sports news television network will feature guest and player interviews from Dallas.ESPN.comESPN.com will provide a special NBA All-Star Live page with video highlights of every event and in-depth perspective and information from ESPN’s analysts, reporters, and bloggers. Former three-point champion Tim Legler will also preview the All-Star events and give his predictions for the Rookie Challenge, All-Star Saturday Night and the All-Star Game. The site will also include an All-Star Scorecard featuring ESPN.com experts’ grades for the participants in each event.TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott will contribute on-site reports from Dallas. Additionally, ESPNDallas.com will provide in-depth coverage of all the All-Star festivities and each local site in Chicago, Dallas, Boston and Los Angeles will follow players from the hometown cities throughout the weekend.ESPN MobileFor a mobile interactive experience, through the App Store, users will be able to download for free a location- and event-based game app NBA on ESPN RV Chase, where fans can show their fandom by watching games, visiting locations, and accumulating points against others for bragging rights and virtual trophies. Locations for the game include NBA arenas, ESPN Zone locations and NBA Store, among other local spots, where fans gather to watch their favorite teams and players. The RV will be stationed in front of the Jam Session throughout the weekend in Dallas.ESPN ClassicESPN Classic will celebrate the NBA All-Star break with the following programming Saturday, Feb. 13:
- 10 a.m., 1972 NBA All-Star Game – Jerry West hit a last-second jumper in a 112-110 win for the West;
- 12 p.m., 1982 NBA All-Star Game – Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Nate Archibald led the East with a fourth quarter push to win 120-118;
- 2 p.m., 1988 NBA All-Star Game – Michael Jordan tallied 40 points for the MVP in a 138-133 East win;
- 4 p.m., 1993 NBA All-Star Game – John Stockton and Karl Malone led the West to a 135-132 OT win;
- 6 p.m., 2003 NBA All-Star Game – Michael Jordan’s final All-Star Game was a double-overtime loss as the West prevailed 155-145.
That will do it for this post.