Slam Dunk Contest
Along with former Bobcats Shannon Brown, Gerald Wallace was eliminated in the first round of the least memorable Slam Dunk Contest in years on Saturday night. After a missed attempt, Gerald threw down a two-handed, double-pump reverse jam for his first dunk, garnering a 38 from the judges. On his Flip Murray-assisted second dunk, Gerald again missed his first attempt. On a second try, Gerald took a bounce pass from Flip while flying from right to left underneath the basket, eventually throwing it down one-handed. That one got a 40 and ended Gerald’s night. Oh well, here’s a nice profile on Gerald from the Observer’s Scott Fowler anyways.
Nate Robinson and DeMar DeRozan went on to the finals, where Nate finally finished off the yawnfest with a “pretty great for a little guy” reverse jam after a toss off the backboard. Good for Nate, as it’s a record-setting third Slam Dunk Championship for him; but unfortunately Charles Barkley stole the show with his sarcastic “maybe no one will win” comment while they were waiting for the internet votes to be tabulated. Good luck to the league as they will undoubtedly be looking into ways to spice up the Dunk Contest next year (if they don’t kill it off altogether).
Taking Care of Business
Two interesting stories that concern the Bobcats emerged from David Stern’s media availability. First and foremost, Stern confirmed that the Bobcats sale will most likely go through within the next sixty days. It’s been reported in the past that former Houston Rockets president George Postolos is leading a group that has made a respectable offer; it’s also known that current minority owner Michael Jordan has some kind of right to match any offer. What isn’t known at this point is whether or not Jordan is rounding up the partners to match said offer. He probably is — at the craps table at Atlantis.
The other interesting story is the ongoing quest by the NBA and the Players Union to come up with another Collective Bargaining Agreement. Stern projects almost $400 million in losses league-wide this year, which does not bode well for the players as the current CBA has less than a year to go. One thing that would help the Bobcats (and other small-market teams) in the new CBA would be some kind of revenue-sharing agreement, and both Stern and players’ rep Billy Hunter have mentioned strengthened revenue-sharing as a likely component of the next CBA. Donald Sterling cannot be pleased.
The Wizards have finally begun their demolition, dealing Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to Dallas for Josh Howard + flotsam + jetsam. This should start to loosen everyone else up, and things will likely be fast and furious on the transaction front between now and Thursday’s trade deadline. The next piece to fall into place may be Amare Stoudemire to the Cavs.
The Bobcats are almost certainly still on the lookout for a power forward, with DJ being the likely bait. I haven’t seen any new published rumors, except for the tidbit that the Cats rejected the Wizards offer of Andray Blatche for DJ. Easy call, we’re looking for someone that will help us in the playoffs this year, not a young guy who still has a ways to go.
The big game is at 7PM ET on TNT, live from Cowboys Stadium. I’ll be tweeting as Gerald Wallace will become the first Bobcat to play in an All-Star game, and we’ll be back with some postgame thoughts either later tonight or tomorrow morning. Happy Valentine’s Day, Baseliners.