On the heels of NBA All Star Weekend, it seems necessary to write about the greatness that is brewing in the world’s premiere professional basketball league. As Kobe Bryant stated in his post game press conference, the league is full of young players. The emphasis here is on the word young. This group of young players is arguably the best talent that the league has seen as a collective whole. From high-flying Blake Griffin and the versatile Kevin Durant to a flashy Derrick Rose and the ever-unstoppable LeBron James, the NBA is poised to explode with highlights over the course of the next ten years.
This weekend’s All Star events were some of the best to watch. This was not due to the forearm-hanging, Kia-leaping win of Griffin in the Sprite Dunk Contest, (although that was quite entertaining), but rather due to the smiling faces of the players. Watching these guys have fun with the game while still playing their hearts out reminds basketball and sports lovers alike what it is all about—loving the game you play, and playing the game you love.
The All Star game this year was about having fun, and passing the torch from older talent to the juvenile whippersnappers of the game. Watching guys like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce ride the bench while Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudamire fight for power of the key was a true story of the times. Even so, the All Star game remained competitive with the West’s win coming down to the last few minutes. Despite LeBron James’ best efforts to motivate his team, down the stretch the win went to MVP Kobe Bryant and his squad from the West.
All in all, the game was, for once, a joy to watch instead of the usual frustrating blur that lacks any semblance of defense. All Star Weekend 2012 should be one for the record books—hopefully the likes of John Wall, Monte Ellis and LaMarcus Aldridge will make an appearance.