The Sixers' Lone Representative for NBA All-Star Weekend

The Sixers only had one representative in Los Angeles for All-Star Weekend. Was Evan Turner snubbed?

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year.  Ever since I was little and nearly wore the film out of our Dazzling Dunks and Basketball Bloopers VHS tape, I have looked forward to the slam dunk contest.  Now the NBA has incorporated all sorts of competitions into All-Star Weekend making it that much more enjoyable.

Since I have a forum to write about the NBA I decided it was time to dissect some of the more exciting moments from the past two evenings.  You may notice that this article is published prior to the actual All-Star game...Yea, I noticed that as well, but I don't really care.  The game is the least exciting part.

My problem with the All-Star game is this...Nothing any of these guys do will surprise me.  Everyone in the world knows what they are capable of.  We have been watching Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett for years now.  Nothing short of Lebron diving for a loose ball, and emerging from the pile as Teen Wolf would shock me.

That being said, I do still get excited at the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge.  It's a chance to see the up and coming players showing off for a nationally televised audience.  Case and point DeMarcus Cousins.  I have not seen him play yet this year.  I've watched highlights; however have not sat through a full Sacramento Kings game.

From what I saw Friday night...He's pretty good.  I know he has a bit of an attitude, but if I am an NBA general manager, I may have to take the good with the bad. 

I also was excited since this was the only portion of the weekend that featured a member of the 76ers...Not to mention the BBVA Celebrity game.  (Justin Bieber is not that bad...It pains me to say so, but he impressed me with his ball-handling ability.)

In fact, Jrue Holiday was the only member of the organization that made it to Los Angeles.  I was surprised by this.  Surprised that Kapono was not asked back into the 3-point contest?  Not really.  Surprised that Iguodala would not be in this years dunk contest.?  No.  Mostly surprised that Evan Turner was not asked to be a participant in this years NBA T-Mobile Rookie Challenge.

As I watched the Rookie Challenge I was shocked at several players making up the Rookies roster.  Mainly because the number two pick in this year's draft was conspicuously missing.  Dare I say snubbed?  Now I know how Justin Bieber must have felt after losing the "Best New Artist" at this year's Grammys.  (Yikes, two Bieber mentions in one article!  Bieber Fever?)  

I know Evan hasn't been as productive as some fans would like, but he is definitely one of the top rookies in the NBA right now.  I decided to break down the stats to see how the roster of the rookie team compares.

Player

Points Per Game

Rebounds Per Game

Assists Per Game

Minutes Per Game

Eric Bledsoe

6.6

3.0

3.8

24.1

DeMarcus Cousins

14.0

8.3

1.8

27.2

Derrick Favors

6.3

5.3

0.4

19.5

Landry Fields

10.1

7.1

2.0

32.6

Blake Griffin

22.8

12.6

3.5

37.9

Wesley Johnson

8.8

2.8

1.9

25.9

Greg Monroe

7.4

6.4

0.9

25.3

Gary Neal

8.8

2.4

0.9

19.7

John Wall

15.0

4.2

8.9

36.9

Evan Turner

7.2

4.4

2.1

24.6

As you can see, Wall, Cousins, Griffin, and Fields all are playing better basketball than Turner.  I can live with that because I see a lot of potential in Evan.  I am bothered more by the snub.  The Sophomores have 10 players while the Rookies only have 9.  Are you telling me that Evan Turner was not good enough to fill that final spot?

Hometown allegiances aside, I found the rest of the weekend to be very entertaining.  Especially from the analysts.  TNT has put together a great group of ex-players, which have a natural rapport.

Kevin McHale and Steve Kerr were pretty funny Friday night.  I don't know if they prepared material or if they are naturally funny.  Whatever it was I was legitimately entertained.  In particularly with McHale, who at one point turned the broadcast into his own personal stand-up act.  I need to figure out when he will be performing at the Borgata so I can get tickets.

Hopefully he will be opening for Charles Barkley, who is by far the most entertaining announcer in sports.  Any chance we can pair him with Zumoff so I can be entertained every night? 

Speaking of entertaining, can you imagine a world where Blake Griffin and John Wall are on the same team?  I don't care who you surround them with, they will be the most entertaining team in the NBA.  You can put me, my brother, (also played professional basketball) and my wife (good shooter) around those two and it wouldn't matter.

Griffin also risked life and limb during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, which by the way, was the best dunk contest of all time.  The fact that DeMar DeRozan did not even make the finals showed how talented the remainder of the field was. 

Every dunk I found myself yelling out loud.  I believe Griffin could have made the infamous "car-jumping" dunk from the foul line.  He almost over shot the rim.  I'd like to see him one up himself next year by jumping over a Chevy Tahoe from the foul line.

Now that the All-Star break is nearly over, the Sixers need to focus on the path ahead.  With just under two months remaining before the playoffs, this team needs to continue to develop if they want to be a force come May.

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