An All Star Performance - Charles, is that you?Apparently the All-Star game being held in Vegas was legendary. Apparently there were copious amounts of high to-do celeb bashes to the point where the Hoff had to hit 5+ parties per night. Apparently nobody slept and it was impossible to get around town.
But riddle me this NBA, what did any of that do for me? Johnny fan.
Zero. Nada. Nothing.
I mean at a bare minimum Vegas guaranteed a huge boost in celeb power, which is always fun (usually accidentally) to see. And then another debacle strikes as TNT is at the reigns and apparently has never heard of 'panning the crowd'. If you don't know the 'if Tony Parker does anything, show Eva" rule, you have no business hosting any type of big time event. It's a no brainer.
What Vegas did bring us was a wickedly ancient but newly Botoxed Wayne Newton. A Roy or Siegfried? who could barely stand through an introduction and a bunch of All-Stars who had been bendering so hard all weekend, (and who can blame them), that the game was actually below expectations. And my bar was set low. Real low.
This one was so much worse because everyone told us it would stink right from the outset. Everyone said people would be dog tired and benders would rule all....everyone was right. So give Vegas a team, just don't give them another all-star game please.
Quick notes: Dunk contest was decent (but either give the big man some props or don't put big men in it), and 3 point contest was at least competent. All in all typical. Until....
One of the greatest moments in All Star weekend history.
"Did he just do that?"
"Did Dick Bavetta and Charles Barkley just kiss?"
Rewind the PVR....slow mo....oh dear sweet mother of ….
In one of the strangest events in any All-Star game history Charles Barkley (a 43 year old stay puff marsh mellow man) had challenged Dicky B (a 67 year old ref not too unlike "Blue") to a race. Great hype leading up to the race, a lot of current and former players riding Charles hard and picking Old Man River to win. It turned out Charles had too much in his tank and the race ended with Barkley running backwards over the line and eventually falling over (mostly due to Dicky B’s late dive for the line). Yes, he dove across the finish line, bloody knee and all. That man's got heart and pride.
And then they hugged. And then they leaned back in, arms embracing each other in a loving caress and they kissed. On the lips. Puckered up. Ready to go. In slow mo you can see, nobody was trying to duck out of the way. And nobody said anything. It just went to commercial (okay there was a quick line about Ricky Bobby). And then silence. It’s like it didn’t happen.
You make fun of Charles for weeks and weeks about a race, but when he and Dick have a man kiss in front of millions nobody says a thing? Are you kidding me? This will go down as a legendary moment in All-Star lore, as one of the biggest of mouthes laid one smack dab on Dicky B. Who kissed who, it's impossible to tell. It's like they knew it was going to happen, like magic just struck them. For those of you who saw it, remember it. And the next time Chuck is riding your team hard and talking total nonsense you can just kick and wonder once more....did that really happen?