Shanoff's WUC: NBA All-Star 108, Pothole 500

Today's Calls: NBA All-Stars vs. 108,713 fans, Daytona vs. Potholes, Hannah Kearney vs. Johnny Spillane, Georgetown upset vs. Syracuse upset, Mavericks vs. Wizards, Coach K vs. Nets, Tim Lincecum vs. CC and Felix and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: What could eclipse a down-to-the-wire 280-point scoring binge by the NBA's biggest stars? ↵

↵

↵The fans. ↵

↵

↵ ↵

↵

↵Mark Cuban made good on his "everything's-bigger-in-Texas" boasts about NBA All-Star Weekend by packing in a record-setting 108,713 fans into Cowboys Stadium to watch last night's game. ↵

↵

↵And even watching on TV, you could sense that this was big -- on a scale five times bigger than your standard NBA sell-out. It was a spectacle the NBA needed to assert its place back among the "big" sports, to affirm its renaissance. (And to distract you from the nasty labor negotiations.) ↵

↵

↵I love that if a fan wanted to go to the game -- particularly a Mavs fan -- the ticket was there to be had. I'm not saying your seat would have been any good, but at least you could get into the building. It was basketball populism. ↵

↵

↵It also set a record that the sport will be hard-pressed to top ... at least until the next time the All-Star Game is in Dallas. (I think that Cuban proved that Dallas should be in the regular rotation.) ↵

↵

↵Now, speaking of "everything is bigger": How did those 100,000 fans like watching Dwyane Wade starring alongside LeBron ...? ↵

↵

↵Daytona 500: It's all about the pothole. Who can't relate to a street with a pothole that messes with traffic? But say this: Because of the ridiculous stoppages to fix the road -- particularly the second one -- the final 30-odd laps of the race were intense. And NASCAR got a close-to-ideal ending with Dale Earnhardt Jr. blazing through the pack to put a final surge on eventual champ (and 1st-time D-500 winner) Jamie McMurray. Still: Fewer folks will remember this as the "McMurray 500" as the "Pothole 500." ↵

↵

↵Danica a dud: The crash merely offered some crazy visuals; she never really challenged the leaders. ↵

↵

↵Hot Winter Olympic Action: ↵
↵• Hannah Kearney's upset gold over Canadian favorite Jennifer Heil in the freestyle skiing women's moguls final was the win of the weekend. ↵

↵

↵• Johnny Spillane enters U.S. Olympic lore by becoming the first U.S. athlete to medal in Nordic Combined. ↵

↵

↵• It was hard for me to get too excited about Apolo Ohno's record-setting sixth Winter Olympic medal, given that it took a two-skater crash ahead of him in the final turn to put him on the podium. ↵

↵

↵• Yes, watching Sunday's luge final was freaky, with Nodar Kumaritashvili's death on Friday in the back of your mind. ↵ ↵

↵

↵• Hey, Lindsey: How's the shin feeling? ↵

↵

↵CBB Mania: Saturday was about decisive wins, Sunday about undermining your confidence that you know anything about college basketball, heading into March. Saturday: From Kentucky out-pacing Tennessee to Duke destroying Maryland to Temple throttling Rhodey. (Granted, all wins were at home -- the neutral sites in March are a different story.) ↵

↵

↵Sunday? Big East insanity: Louisville -- on the bubble -- went up to Syracuse and beat the Orange, which should make you question everything you thought about the Cardinals not being Tourney-worthy ... or Syracuse being a Final Four-caliber team. And if Georgetown can lose to Rutgers, do they really belong on that short list of Final Four contenders? ↵

↵

↵NBA All-Star Mania: That was the worst dunk contest ever that didn't involve spinning a wheel. (The D-League's winning dunk was much better.) There is no more uninspiring "three-peat" championship in sports than Nate Robinson's dunk titles ... Stephen Curry should be invited to the 3-point contest every year ... Of my pre-weekend picks, at least the Steve Nash "Skills" one worked out. ↵

↵

↵NBA Trade Market: The Mavs fleeced the Wizards, who might as well forfeit their remaining games this season under "Tanking." But it's not like the Wiz are tanking for Lottery position to try to get John Wall. They are tanking to get under the luxury cap, tacitly acknowledging that a crappy team isn't worth paying for. (So: Who wants Antawn Jamison?) ↵

↵

↵Meanwhile, the Mavericks get much better -- they replace malcontent Josh Howard with consummate tough guy Caron Butler, who badly needed a new situation. In Brendan Haywood, they get size to throw at Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. And in DeShawn Stevenson, they get a perimeter defender unfazed by the idea of guarding Kobe Bryant. ↵

↵

↵Next up: Is Amare Stoudemire headed for Cleveland? That would be a huge deal -- but is it big enough for the Cavs to topple the Magic? It's not like Amare is better than Dwight Howard, and the Cavs still lack the "stretch-four" to keep pace with Rashard Lewis. But it will make LeBron happy ... for now. ↵

↵

↵Frank Thomas retires: I can't imagine him not making the Hall of Fame almost immediately -- although with this group of voters, you never know. I was living in Chicago when Thomas came up and took baseball by storm, so I'm partial to him. I also think that if you believe -- like I do -- that Thomas never came close to PEDs, then he might be the greatest non-tainted hitter of our generation. ↵

↵

↵Coach K to Nets farce: Why does ANYONE think that Coach K would want to leave Duke for the Nets? (If I was the Russian billionaire and didn't have to worry about a salary cap for my coach/GM, I would offer Coach K $15 million a year to do both roles, then dare him to not take it. Which he still probably wouldn't.) ↵

↵

↵Tim Lincecum gets paid: 2Y/$23M, with both sides avoiding arbitration. An average of $11.5M per year is still a bargain, if you compare what he is making to what, say, CC Sabathia or Felix Hernandez is making. ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: Too early for a 2010 NFL Power Rating? Never. ↵

↵

↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

Latest News

In This Article

Topics
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.