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Ross’s Four Point Play: A look at the world of NBA basketball

Ross contemplating his bets.

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game happened this past Sunday night, and if you did not watch it, I do not blame you. This “game” that was supposed to start at 7 p.m. did not start on time. Instead, one of the wackiest and most uncalled for pregame shows of all time took place. I am assuming the number of people who watched are slim, but fear not! I have condensed down the first hour of the broadcast in order to tell my readers exactly what happened.

6:50: The game is on TNT, which means viewers are blessed with the most important pregame show in sports. Having two of the all-time greatest players, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, makes for a great show, but the chemistry those guys have with Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson makes for must-watch TV every Thursday night. Bonus points to Kenny as he tries to one-up the bow-tie god, Ernie Johnson.

6:52: This was the first year the NBA did not play the game in the typical Eastern versus Western conference fashion. Instead, leading vote-getters LeBron James and Stephen Curry were able to pick their own teams from the elected All-Stars. This lead to interesting matchups, including Kevin Durant, playing for Team LeBron, going against his fellow Golden State Warriors (Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green) on Team Steph.

“I’ve got the scouting report on those guys, so we’re shutting them down” Durant said, regarding his teammates. Comeon KD, we know you will not be not playing any defense.

6:57: Chuck and Shaq are taking Kevin Durant to win the MVP while Kenny is taking Russell Westbrook. I am going to take a wild swing and say someone random wins the MVP …  say Kevin Love! Can he make eight three-pointers with a broken hand? Maybe! There have been more ridiculous things in All-Star Games.

6:59: Current time spent watching the pregame show: 9 minutes.

Number of  “Black Panther” commercials shown: 3.

7:02: Kevin Hart actually might be the most important part of All-Star Weekend, and has been for nearly five years running now. Hart in the pregame video: “I’m going to become an NBA All Star.” I would honestly not be surprised if he gets in the game.

7:05: Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle are watching Jamie Foxx in a wild-west themed musical? And Kevin Hart is having amnesia, thinking he starred in Space Jam?

7:09: The guy from “Workaholics” is rapping with Queen Latifah, and the background dancers are dressed like factory workers about to go skiing. Still no basketball.

7:12: Now Ludacris is performing? I have not thought about Ludacris in about five years, but I am glad he still knows how to get a paycheck.

7:15: So after 15 minutes of a musical, it seems that Kevin Hart … all he wanted … was a jersey? Was that just an advertisement for the Jordan brand?

7:16: Ok now we actually have basketball players. Team LeBron is introduced first. This team has likely played just as many games together as LeBron’s Cavaliers have right now.

7:27: Things that have happened so far: Kevin Hart finally got his jersey, and name dropped his tour. Things that have not happened yet: basketball.

7:29: The Barenaked Ladies are here!!These Canadian Music Hall of Famers sing an amazing “O, Canada.” The camera keeps showing Toronto Raptors players Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan. Lowry is from Philadelphia and Derozan is from California, do they care about the Canadian National Anthem any more than the rest of these guys?

7:31: Fergie sings an interesting version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” followed by shouting “Let’s play some basketball!” *Insert Nicholas Cage “You Don’t Say” gif.*

7:35: No offense to Fergie, but Victor Oladipo should have sang the National Anthem. He is a great singer. Look him up on YouTube.

7:37: I would like to do some research on how Steph Curry shoots while wearing a headband. It seems like he only does it in the All-Star Game. Is it strictly aesthetic? Or is it a shot at LeBron, a former headband enthusiast? Or, is he trying to send a telepathic message to LeBron to join him on the Warriors?

7:41: Not that the outcome of this game will matter, I think Team LeBron would destroy Team Steph in a real game. LeBron, Durant, and Kyrie on the same team? That is unstoppable.

7:41: Anthony Davis is wearing injured teammate Demarcus Cousins’ jersey. A very cool moment. It makes me wonder why LeBron is not wearing Kevin Love’s jersey? *Borat voice: NOT>*

7:42: OH MY GOD!! Real basketball has started! Only 42 minutes after the announced start time of the game, the tip-off has occurred.

7:43: On the first possession of the game announcer Kevin Harlan remarks “Wow, LeBron is  really out there playing some defense!” about .2 seconds before LeBron commits a foul on Joel Embiid.

7:44: The game is spiraling out of control and it has just begun. Alley-oops are being thrown left and right, and the completion rate is somewhere around 20 percent.

7:46: Russell Westbrook throws a beautiful full court pass to Kevin Durant. With all these super teams being created in the NBA, maybe these two guys should team up.

7:48: After tuning into this circus act disguised as a basketball game, the only real analysis I can take from this game is the fact that Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo is the real deal. He is the perfect All-Star game player. He can receive and throw alley-oops from any angle on the court, he can get a rebound and go the length of the floor, and most importantly, he gives a crap! Actually caring about the game might possibly be the most important part of the game.

7:50: *At this time, Ross went to play in his intramural basketball game and tried to forget that he ever sat down and watched the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.*

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