[Moderated by Matt Jones]
The NBA All-Star Starters were announced, and while it came as no surprise, it was still a disappointment to not see any Cats on the list. The only hope we had was the Eastern Conference starting point guard position with Wall and Rondo, but some point guard in Chicago has that spot in a strangle hold for the foreseeable future. But colleges in general are under-represented, as 4 of the 10 starters came straight out of high school. Although Cats fans should feel somewhat represented as Derrick Rose was the first recipient of the mythical point guard touch from Calipari, and Lebron James of course has long been a supporter of Big Blue Nation.
While by this time of year, the SEC schedule season is in full-swing and NBA All-Star Weekend may be low on some people’s priority list, I would still like to see the Cats better represented during this showcase of elite talent. I cannot even recall the last time a UK player started in the All-Star game and just off the top of my head can only think of Jamal Mashburn and Rondo as former UK players that became All-Stars recently. I would certainly enjoy seeing a Cat in the Slam-Dunk Contest, with all the hype the contest has received in recent years. But it may be better to not watch a former beloved player utilize props to win the fans over like Gallagher the watermelon smasher (which is what the Dunk Contest has become). Or worse, the Skills Challenge, which can hold my attention only slightly longer than a WNBA game/Juwanna Man.
The McDonald’s game and Jordan Brand Classic games are filled with UK recruits (with the whole 2011 recruiting class participating in the former), and so it is time the NBA caught up. The future of course is bright; in the next couple of years, we could see Rondo, Wall, Cousins, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, or a couple of players who have not even suited up for UK yet representing Big Blue in the All-Star game. The NBA All-Star game is a showcase of dunks, new shoes, and apathetic defense, so I understand the interest level is minimal to the casual fan. But hopefully with the massive pipeline extending from Lexington to the NBA, we have yet another bolster to our claim as the Mecca of basketball.
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