The 2011 NBA All-Star reserves were announced Thursday night, completing the roster's for this year's game in Orlando, and ending
months weeks days? of speculation among NBA fans and writers. For just about everybody, this still feels weird; the whole season's been a blur of sloppy basketball and fluke injuries, and somehow we're already at the midway point.
That doesn't mean it won't be cool. The All-Star Game's always cool, at least for the first few minutes, just because of the sheer absurdity of seeing someone like LeBron James on the same team as Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose. Even fans who say the NBA's been terrible this year and it's way too early to have the All-Star game and blah blah blah--they'll still watch, because any time you've got all that talent together, the spectacle's too much to ignore.
But as far as spectacle's concerned, the NBA could do even better. We're not talking about superstars here; instead, what about putting together the most hilarious rosters possible? That's always been part of what makes the NBA great. It's spectacular, but also spectacularly weird.
Everybody in the world has a different idea to improve All-Star Weekend, but mine would be this: Come up with two of the most ridiculous rosters imaginable, voted on by an expert team of bloggers, and have them play a game at the end of All-Star Saturday Night. For spectacle alone, it would blow the actual All-Star Game out of the water. Here's what my dream teams would look like.
TEAM WORLD PEACE
For this team, we're going with an international flair.
C Nikola Pekovic, Wolves — Because he's secretly the most terrifying dude in the NBA, and the world needs to see him up close. Let's all take a moment to shudder in the face of his gigantic tattoo, a templar knight atop a bed of skulls.
PF #HumbleBargs, Raptors — "No one man should have all that pasta" is reason enough.
SF Metta World Peace, Lakers — He's been legitimately terrible at various intervals this year, but he's still
Ron Artest Metta World Peace. All-Star Weekend needs as much World Peace as possible.
SG JR Smith, CHINA! — Our emissary from the far east! It's not an official statistic, but I'm pretty sure J.R. Smith has been averaging 75 points-per-game in China, and his team still missed the playoffs. On the bright side, that means he'll be back in America in time for All-Star Weekend, so... It is goin' DOWN.
PG Jeremy Lin, Knicks — First, because it'd be a shame to have All-Star Weekend without the biggest story in the NBA. Second, because it'd be really funny to see if spending time with J.R. Smith could single-handedly corrupt him, and derail Linsanity forever.
Coach — Greg Popovich and/or JR Smith's Sister.
SG Tony Allen, Grizzlies — Our emissary from outer space!
SF Andrei Kirilenko, CSKA Moscow — Russians always make things more interesting.
C Spencer Hawes, 76ers — If you make up a team full of the weirdest international players in the NBA and you don't include the NBA's most lovable redneck, you're doing it wrong.
C Josh Harrellson, Knicks — See above. They could try to lead a coup together.
SG Jimmer Fredette, Kings — JIMMER! He's included for the sake of religious diversity, with the caveat that he must participate in the game's companion E:60 segment, "Jimmer And J.R. Take All-Star Weekend."
SF Hedo Turkoglu, Magic — Only if he smokes cigarettes on the bench, though.
C Javale McGee, Wizards — Tell him it's the real All-Star Game and see if he notices.
TEAM LEGALIZE IT
This team would have the greatest All-Star party of all time.
C DeMarcus Cousins, Kings — DeMarcus doesn't drink or smoke, but let's not let the facts get in the way of the most emotionally volatile frontline in NBA history.
PF Rasheed Wallace, North Philly — SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED.
According to police reports, Stoudamire and Wallace eventually told officers they had been smoking marijuana, but had finished it all.
"Stoudamire hesitantly admitted that marijuana had been smoked in the vehicle, but stated that it had all been burned up and/or smoked," the report reads. Later, Wallace told officers "they had smoked one 'J" but that all the drug was gone, according to the report. ... "The question (the trooper asked) was, is there anymore (marijuana) left and they said, 'No we smoked it all up."'
SF Stephen Jackson, Bucks — Captain Jack has spent the entire season trying to coexist with Scott Skiles. He's earned his moment in the sun at All-Star Weekend.
SG Nick Young, Wizards — Heaven is a playground in outer space, where Nick Young spends every day of his life hoisting 40-foot threes and nodding to himself proudly. SWAGGY P.
PG Ricky Rubio, Wolves — Just for the hell of it.
Coach — Phil Jackson on peyote
C Joakim Noah, Bulls — Far too functional to for this group, but we can make an exception.
SG J.R. Rider, N/A — Part of any All-Star Weekend includes the occasional nod to the great one's from the NBA's past. As the AV Club notes, "A 1996 soda can/bong possession charge was the least interesting illegal extracurricular of Rider’s career."
SF Lamar Odom, Mavericks — This team should really be documented by a camera crew.
SF Michael Beasley, Wolves — "I'm a monster, every day is Halloween"
PF Zach Randolph, Grizzlies — Why not?
PG Allen Iverson, Puerto Rico? — Tragic or not, it's just not All-Star Weekend without The Answer.
It'll never, ever happen, of course.
But that doesn't mean we can't dream.