Greetings from Los Angeles, California! I’ll be here all weekend covering NBA All-Star Weekend for SIKIDS.com. The city is swarming with NBA players past and present.
On Friday, the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott hotel was packed with reporters and NBA players for an interview session. Each player sat at his own table and fielded questions for 45 minutes. Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard had most reporters surrounding them. Later in the afternoon, I checked out the celebrity game at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Here are some of the highlights from Friday:
CP3 GOES BACK TO THE FUTURE
Chris Paul was asked if he has seen the NBA’s Where Amazing Happens commercial that shows video footage of him from when he was in high school. " Somebody put [the video] on my Twitter and I looked at it,” he said. “It's crazy. I'm still trying to figure out where they got that footage from. I know it was practice in my junior or senior year because I was on varsity. I got my parents trying to figure out where they got that from.”
Paul was also asked which of his West teammates he was most looking forward to playing with on Sunday. “K.D. [Kevin Durant] and Blake Griffin,” said Paul. “I’m excited to throw [Griffin] a lob.”
DIRK GIVES PROPS TO TYSON
Dirk Nowitzki is the Mavericks best player by far, but he credits a lot of the team’s success (40-16 record) to an unsung hero: center Tyson Chandler. The 7’1” center was acquired over the summer and has given a big boost to the Mavs’ defense and given the team a lift with his upbeat attitude. “He's so positive about everything,” said Nowitzki. “It's great. He's vocal during timeouts and in the locker room he's always talking and communicating with guys. He has good energy.”
DOC DISHES ON BLAKE
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked what he thought about Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin. While Rivers was impressed by Griffin’s highlight reel dunks, he felt another part of his game has been overlooked. “What's missed through all his dunks is his passing ability,” said Rivers. “Obviously the dunks scream at you, but I'm more impressed by how well he passes the ball.” Griffin’s 3.5 assists per game are third in the NBA among forward-centers.
MVP BIEBER: IT PAYS TO BE POPULAR
Led by Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, the West team beat the East, 54–49. Even though legends such as Pippen, Chris Mullin were playing, most of the fans’ attention was on singer Justin Bieber of the East. Bieber had a couple of good highlights: He it two three-pointers and had some flashy dribbling moves. But he also missed several shots badly and turned the ball over several times. In the end, that didn’t matter. Bieber won the MVP of the game even though he scored just eight points on 3 of 11 shooting — and his team lost. (The MVP winner was decided by a fan vote.)