WATERCOOLER CHAT: ALL STAR GAME WEEKEND, DANICA PATRICK WINS DAYTONA POLE

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, it was all-star weekend.  This game has gotten lackluster in year’s past, namely because there is absolutely no emphasis on defense.  Teams don’t really have any incentive to play hard, but… it’s still an entertaining spectacle.

The much-anticipated event of the weekend was the slam dunk contest.  This year there were 6 participants (3 from the West and 3 from the East).  And they did a good job of getting some spectacular dunkers this year.  Gerald Green, James White, and Terrance Ross from the East, and Kenneth Faried, Eric Bledsoe, and Jeremy Evans (last year’s winner) from the West.  Before the event, TNT’s Kenny Smith predicted this would be in the Top 10 best slam dunk contests ever.  However, once the event started, the dunks weren’t that amazing, and you could tell the crowd was bored.  Terrance Ross and Jeremy Evans advanced to the final match-up, but neither of them did something that impressive.  Evans dunked over a picture of himself.  It was cool, but not enough to win the competition, and Terrance Ross took home the trophy.

There was been a lot of complaining that the Dunk Contest needs to get back to where it was in Jordan’s years, when stars would actually compete.  Jordan used to square off against Dominique Wilkins in very memorable battles.  Next year is commissioner David Stern’s last year, and he should convince stars like LeBron and Blake Griffin to get back into the contest.

As for the actual all-star game, that was a good time, full of high flying dunks, acrobatic alley-oops, and absolutely no defense.  The West had the advantage heading into halftime, but it definitely became a game in the second half.  It was rather close in the closing minutes, but Chris Paul hit some clutch 3-pointers to secure the victory and take home All-Start Game MVP.  Aside from winning rookie of the year, this is the only other individual award Paul has won.  But it won’t be the last.  West 143, East 138.

NASCAR

A huge milestone in women’s sports, as Danica Patrick made history.  Patrick almost always makes headlines for her gender (a woman in a man’s world) or some tabloid stuff like who she’s dating, etc… But now, Danica has become the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole.  This is a monumental achievement, and will certainly make spectators look at the sport differently.  Hopefully, other girls out there will be encouraged to get behind the 200mph wheel and drive into the sport.  Congratulations, Danica!!

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