Notes from TNT’s Coverage of 2011 NBA All-Star – Saturday, February 19, 2011: Blake and the Fellas Made the Dunk Contest LIVE!

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The redshirt rookie was able to carry the entire night but had serious competition…

I will always wonder why LeBron James and Dwyane Wade won’t compete in the dunk contest because every other dunker of their ilk and superstar lineage has, but last night was pretty exciting nonetheless. There was mad creativity and JaVale McGee made a name for himself. I know you all saw Julius try to slob his Mom down before his three ball dunk right?

Yeah there were some misses before the completion of dunks and I thought the idea of having the fans vote for the winner was flawed but it was a good show. I’m sure we all like seeing dunks we never saw before.

The 2011 NBA All-Star weekend concludes on Sunday, February 20 at 8 p.m. (ET) with the NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com followed by TNT’s exclusive coverage of the NBA All-Star Game at 8:30 p.m. (ET).

Stop hatin’ because he didn’t try and break his neck going over BD and the roof…the cat jumped over a car…right? How stupid would that have been after missing an entire season with a broken knee cap?

Oh and DeMar DeRozan wus wobbed…

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Hey Mama, I found out what happened to your curtains.”

–Barkley on Darryl Dawkins’ suit.


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NBA All-Star Game at 60

Ernie Johnson, Kevin McHale, Chris Webber and Charles Barkley

Barkley on playing with the legendary ‘Dr. J’ Julius Erving: “It was an honor and a pleasure playing with Dr. J. I was so excited thinking about my rookie year in ‘84 when I went into the locker room. The night before training camp I was thinking, ‘what do I say to Dr. J?’ I could not sleep the night before my first training camp, but Doc made it easy. He came up and said, ‘Hey, I’m Doc’. I love watching those highlights and I love giving some love to my man Paul Westphal, one of the great people I’d ever been around in the NBA.”

McHale on remembering Dr. J’s hairstyle: “The thing I remember about (Julius Erving), the first time I met him and I played against him, in 1980, he had a great big afro. It had its own orbit.”

Barkley on the 1991 game when Magic Johnson played months after announcing he was HIV positive: “It was awesome. Magic Johnson, who I have great admiration and respect for, it was really cool the way the players embraced him because we didn’t know a lot about HIV at that time. I give the NBA credit, they brought doctors in to say that just hugging guys and sweating is not going to get you HIV positive. It was just really an awesome weekend, Magic was fantastic, Isaiah (Thomas) was a great leader during that time and the fans in Orlando were fantastic.”

Barkley on the 1997 All-Star Game in Cleveland in which the NBA’s 50 Greatest were assembled: “That was the highlight of all my All-Star Games, that was a who’s who. It was very unique because the only one who was not there was Pete Maravich. But to have all those guys together and everybody was fantastic. Kevin (McHale) knows this better than anybody, Bill Russell is the funniest human being in the world. To sit around with him and listen to him tell stories, it was really awesome to be there.”

Barkley on the impact his former teammate Moses Malone had on him and the importance of veteran players to act as mentors in the NBA: “My grandmother is the greatest influence in my life, Muhammed Ali is the second greatest, but the third greatest is Moses Malone. I wasn’t playing a lot my rookie year and I went to him in private and I said, ‘why am I not getting to play?’ Moses said, ‘well, number one, you’re fat, and number two, you’re lazy.’ I’m like, ‘I’m fat and I’m lazy?’ He took me under his wing, I played in college right around 300 pounds, and at that point, I was 290. Moses worked out before, got me down to 250 (pounds) and I became a great player. I called him Dad because I wanted to give him the respect that he deserves. There were a bunch of guys on that team, but Moses got me in shape. Doc (Julius Erving), Moses (Malone), Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, Bobby Jones, Clemon Johnson and Clint Richardson. I think that’s one thing missing from the NBA today, these teams need to have a veteran liaison. I wish these kids stayed in college for two years, we had been drafting high school players, but they need an older guy on the team to teach them about the game, but also to teach them about life.”

Webber on the first time he ever stepped into the locker room at the NBA All-Star Game: “The first time I went into the All-Star locker room, I looked for someone I knew because I was nervous. After that, I took my jersey around and I asked everyone for their autographs. This is the time to be reflective. You realize you don’t get to see guys like this all of the time that you watched All-Star Games and based your career off of.”

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NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kevin McHale

McHale on Clippers forward Blake Griffin being the favorite in the Sprite Slam Dunk: “It would be so easy to take Blake Griffin and say if you do the dunks you do in the game you might win the Slam Dunk contest.”

Barkley on his pick for the Sprite Slam Dunk: “I’m going with JaVale McGee. You go back and look at all of (Blake Griffin’s) great dunks, they are just power dunks. I’m not sure he can do any finesse type stuff.  The other guys can do more finesse type things that will get the judges on his side.”

Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal joined the pre-game show live on the set.

O’Neal on taking over for regular studio analyst Kenny Smith: “First of all, I’m not a guest. I’m taking Kenny’s position. I’m so glad to be in Kenny’s seat right now, it feels good. You’re not getting it back, Kenny!”

O’Neal on his gratitude to McHale and Barkley and enjoying All-Star Saturday Night: “First of all, I’d like to thank these two guys for making me who I am. I can remember as a youngster watching the great Kevin McHale, one of the greatest big men, and the great Charles Barkley…in my room in San Antonio (I was) trying to be like these guys. These guys inspired me to come in and work hard.  I’m here at the end of my career, I live in Los Angeles, I’m just here to have a good time. I’m actually here to watch my son’s favorite player, Blake Griffin. He’s a monster, he reminds me of a young Charles Barkley. I’m here having a good time. Again, fellas, Hall of Famers, thank you very much. You inspired me as a youngster to be here and you inspired all these other players.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Bulls guard Derrick Rose.

Rose on Barkley declaring him the mid-season MVP: “It’s great, it’s an honor that he said it. If anything, it will make me work harder. If anything, it will make my teammates come at me a little differently in practice and push me harder. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be in this position.”

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NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm

Haier Shooting Stars
Kevin Harlan, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller; Cheryl Miller reporting

Participants:

Team Atlanta: NBA TV’s Steve Smith, Al Horford and Coco Miller (winner)

Team Chicago: TNT’s Steve Kerr, Taj Gibson and Catherine Kraayeveld
Team Los Angeles: NBA TV’s Rick Fox, Pau Gasol and Tina Thompson
Team Texas: TNT’s Kenny Smith, Dirk Nowitzki and Roneeka Hodges

Miller on Bulls Taj Gibson’s half court shots: “If I’m any of the players on the Chicago Bulls, some of his (half court) shots were embarrassing!”

Miller on Kenny Smith hitting his first half court shot to eliminate Steve Kerr and Team Chicago during the first round: “There’s been a lot of trash talk going back and forth between Kenny Smith and Steve Kerr. If you watched the Fantasy Draft Show, Steve Kerr was really giving Kenny Smith a lot of jabs. A little bit of payback for Kenny (tonight).”

Miller on Kenny Smith’s physique: “Kenny needs to get in the gym, you see the gut on Kenny? Wow. Get on an exercise bike. Kenny. He and Chuck have been hanging out. What is going on on that set in Atlanta? What are they serving?”

Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Kevin Harlan, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller; Cheryl Miller reporting

Participants:

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (winner)

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

John Wall, Washington Wizards

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
Miller on the field’s participants: “This may be the best field ever put in this competition. You’re getting a chance to see the young up and coming point guards of this league.”

Fratello on the long outlet pass on the obstacle course: “What’s interesting about this longer pass is they are not used to these outlet passes. They are used to receiving them.”

Miller on Bulls guard Derrick Rose taking his time during the obstacle course and getting eliminated in the first round: “You can’t be too cool in this event, (Derrick Rose) is just chilling. He knows he’s in the All-Star Game tomorrow.”

Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout
Kevin Harlan, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith; Cheryl Miller reporting

Participants:

James Jones, Miami Heat (winner)

Daniel Gibson, Cleveland Cavaliers

Ray Allen, Boston Celtics

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Dorell Wright, Golden State Warriors

Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
Smith on the participants not being accustomed to being the only player on the court: “The one thing about the contest that is always different, very rarely are you on center stage in front of 22,000 by yourself, without your teammates. So when you walk onto the floor it’s always a little uncomfortable. But as Reggie does, when you shoot you shoot, after that first rack goes down that’s when everyone starts finding their comfort zone.”

Miller on his pick for the winner of the three-point competition; the player who recently broke his all-time three-point record Ray Allen: “Ray (Allen) shoots the basketball the same way every time. A lot of these other guys are makeshift shooters, they learned how to shoot along the way. Ray shots the same way every single time. I’m going to go with him in this competition.”

Smith on liking Thunder forward Kevin Durant in the shootout: “I like Kevin Durant, his mentality of making buckets, he always wants one more. Sometimes a shooter kind of psyches himself out.”

Smith on the better shooter between Reggie Miller and Ray Allen: “We always have the argument on the better shooter, (is it) Reggie or Ray Allen? Every basketball camp or barbershop (you debate it).”

Barkley: “I would take Reggie Miller. I mean no disrespect to Ray Allen, he’s a great player, but I can’t remember one big shot he’s hit. I can remember a bunch of big shots Reggie Miller has hit.”

Barkley on the best scorers in the NBA: “I think Carmelo Anthony is the best flat-out scorer in the NBA, but this guy, Kevin Durant, to me is second.”

Miller on the approach to the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout being similar to the Homerun Derby: “This is like when you go to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and those guys are doing the Homerun Derby, they switch up their swing just for that. They will tell you, when they come back to play in regular baseball their swing is messed up from participating in the h

Homerun derby. Same thing here, that’s not (Kevin Durant’s) normal gait when he’s taking threes during the game.”

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
Kevin Harlan, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and guest analyst Dwight Howard; Cheryl Miller reporting

Participants:

DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors; coached by Darryl Dawkins

Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder; coached by Kevin Durant


JaVale McGee, Washington Wizards; coached by TNT/NBA TV’s Chris Webber

Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers; coached by TNT’s Kenny Smith (winner)

Howard on his first experience in the Sprite Slam Dunk: “I was a little nervous. I’m not going to lie. I was like ‘what am I going to do to get the crowd’s attention?’ People always say the same thing, ‘he’s a big guy, it’s easy for him to dunk, what is he going to give us?’ You’ve got to get the crowd going, if you don’t get the crowd into it you’re just a sorry dunker.”

Griffin on how his dunk coach Kenny Smith has helped him prepare: “He hasn’t really helped me at all. We’ve just been talking and stuff. I guess I’ m on my own. He just told me how to hype the crowd, hopefully that helps me.”

Smith on his coaching of Blake Griffin tonight: “Sometimes the best coaches get out of the way.”

Barkley on Darryl Dawkins’ suit: “Hey Mama, I found out what happened to your curtains.”

Miller on Serge Ibaka marching out with an entourage and Africa banners: “I love it, it’s all about presentation. Win the crowd, you’ll win your freedom!”

Harlan on Serge Ibaka’s dunk, which started behind the free throw line: “Ibaka is behind it, Dr. J didn’t even do that, nor Michael Jordan. That is right behind the free throw line!”

Miller on JaVale McGee’s dunk into two baskets: “I don’t know if there is anyone else on the planet that can do that.”

Miller on Kenny Smith hyping Blake Griffin’s dunks to the judges: “I tell you what, it’s good to have Flavor Flav as your coach. You need a good hype man. That is exactly what Kenny Smith is right now.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal during the Sprite Slam Dunk.

O’Neal on the first round of the Sprite Slam Dunk: “It was an impressive first round, JaVale McGee did something that I’ve never seen before. But Blake Griffin, special big man. He’s one of those big men that only comes around every 10-15 years, he’s a joy to watch.”

Barkley on the four dunk participants: “These four gentlemen brought their A-Game today.”

Barkley on Blake Griffin: “When (Griffin) learns how to play basketball, it’s going to be scary. Right now he’s playing 100% on talent.”

Barkley on the final dunk by Blake Griffin where he dunked over a car: “I hate to say this, but that wasn’t the greatest dunk. That’s like when you got a pretty girl and she’s dumb, it doesn’t matter. That kid is impressive, but that wasn’t an impressive dunk.”

Barkley on Serge Ibaka: “Serge Ibaka got robbed.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Sprite Slam Dunk Champion Blake Griffin.

Griffin on his Sprite Slam Dunk experience: “Just being out here and having the experience, this is something I watched growing up, so to be able to be out here with these guys is a lot of fun.”

Howard on the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk: “The dunk contest is back. I thought it was a great dunk contest this year. JaVale McGee, Blake Griffin, DeMar DeRozen, Serge Ibaka, those guys were very impressive tonight. The two guys who made the finals, it was a great dunk contest. I’m real proud of JaVale.”

Barkley on NBA All-Star Saturday Night being his favorite night: “I love this weekend, but tonight to me is the best night overall. It was fantastic again this year. I’m proud of NBA Commissioner Stern for putting on this great weekend for all these players.”

Here’s how you really do it…

And of course Chris Lowery…like Mike Lowry on the asphalt…

but not this…

And especially not this hilariousnessss…

Oh as Lynn Pounian and my cousin Will Warren correctly stated on facebook, Serge Ibaka was wobbed too…

One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of 2011 NBA All-Star – Saturday, February 19, 2011: Blake and the Fellas Made the Dunk Contest LIVE!”

  1. GrandNubian says:

    All hype by the analysts/commentators…..not much substance. I need to see something more creative than jumping over a car or imitating Vince Carter with the elbow hangin’ from the rim.

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