Even though it wasn’t much like a real game — being played in 12-minute halves with a sudden-death overtime — last night’s USA Basketball Showcase at the World Basketball Festival was more than worth the wait. The atmosphere was definitely closer to an All-Star Game than the first scrimmage we saw on ESPN a couple weeks back. Playing on a totally unique stage (Radio City Music Hall) in a totally unique setting clearly inspired dudes to bring out their A-game material. Rudy Gay almost snapped his shoulder off cocking his arm back as far as possible on a dunk, and Andre Iguodala and Derrick Rose unleashed some sick dunks of their own while trying to make the crowd gasp … But on the flip side, guys like JaVale McGee tried to get loose and it didn’t work. One time McGee tried some kind of post move and ended up on his butt throwing up a very ugly version of one of Jordan‘s signature no-look shots. Somebody sitting near us deadpanned, “I think Odom is coming in for JaVale now.” … When the score was tied at 47-all after the second half, they announced overtime would be sudden death. (But you didn’t have to win by two.) That drew a cheer from the portion of the crowd who really just showed up to see Jay-Z’s concert after the scrimmage. In maybe the most tension-filled exhibition possession ever, Rajon Rondo ended it for the Blue team by hitting Tyson Chandler with an alley-oop … Don’t be surprised if Iguodala and Kevin Durant hook up for at least one lob in every World Championship game. Those two have an obvious chemistry, and Iguodala will be a MONSTER the day he doesn’t have to be the best player on his team. Are you paying attention, Sam Presti? It might cost you something like Jeff Green and James Harden in a trade, but an OKC lineup running KD at the three and AI2 at the two would be beastly … Lamar Odom is wildly popular — only Carmelo Anthony and LeBron (watching courtside) got bigger ovations all night. Not sure if it’s because Odom is from NY, or because he’s spent more time on the E! Network than any NBA player ever … Also watching courtside: Amar’e (wearing a hat from the Bert Sugar Collection), D-Wade, Chris Paul, Jadakiss, Fabolous and Charles Barkley. And LeBron would be the dude wearing shades indoors … Normally Anthony Anderson is pretty brutal, but he was mad funny in his role as co-MC last night. During one timeout they brought up three kids for a dance-off, and when the girl got a little too Trina-like with her moves, Anderson said, “You gonna have ‘em throwing money on the stage, make somebody lose their liquor license.” Then when the token Sean May look-alike danced, Anderson kept screaming at him, “Twerk yo’ jelly!” … If last night’s scrimmage was any indication of who’s getting cut before Turkey, we’re thinking Eric Gordon and Danny Granger (who just hurt his finger earlier this week). Neither really did anything to stand out. Although it would make sense to carry three point guards instead of four, and Russell Westbrook is probably the last PG on the depth chart … Iguodala got the MVP of the scrimmage, and got a nice plaque that looked like somebody actually put some thought into it rather than the candy dish from Grandmama’s house that Durant won in Vegas … In between the scrimmage and the Jay-Z concert, they aired some famous Nike ads on the big screens flanking the stage. It’s crazy seeing Barkley back when he had muscle definition and could still see his own junk, and seeing Spike Lee when he could have passed for a teenager … We’d heard a depressing rumor earlier in the day that Jay-Z was only going to do three songs, but he delivered the money’s worth. He ran through a medley of stuff from Reasonable Doubt, and hit all the new classics like “Run This Town,” “Public Service Announcement,” “99 Problems,” “On To The Next One,” and of course closed it out with “Empire State of Mind.” All in all, it was an amazing night, whether you’re a basketball fan or not … Check back today and throughout the weekend, as Dime will be all over the WBF like nobody else … We’re out like JaVale Olajuwon …
Smack / Aug 13, 2010 / 12:01 am
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