Good morning. Let's basketball.
ALL-STAR WEEKEND IS HERE: Here's your full schedule of events. You don't want to miss any special Kevin Hart moments, after all.
THE SOUL OF THE DUNK CONTEST: We released our big Dunk Contest feature on Thursday. The individual essays and posts: Flannery on the Jordan vs. Nique years, O'Donnell on the Vince Carter revival, Conrad Kaczmarek on the players who owe their fame to the contest, Prada on the evolution of the windmill and yours truly on the six best non-winning performances and the dunks that could have been awesome.
I've been rightly ripped; in the best non-winning performances, I forgot about Dre. As penance, here's Andre Iguodala's 2006 performance set to "Ante Up." Enjoy.
THE ANNALS OF BAD IDEAS: If you're Chris Kaman, trying to dunk on Serge Ibaka is a BAD IDEA. Smarten up, Chris. (The Thunder beat the Lakers, by the way. A stunner, I know. WTLC's celebratory Valentine's themed Photoshop says it all.)
BACK IN NEW ORLEANS: Yahoo!'s Marc Spears with quite a good story on why and when Chris Paul decided to leave the Hornets. It had a lot to do with New Orlean's declining to re-sign David West, as it turns out. Interesting stuff two years later.
WELP: It would appear that in the dystopic future, sleeved jerseys will be the norm. Can't wait for "sleeveless jersey throwback night" in 2042.
SILVER TOUCH: The new commissioner makes it pretty clear in an interview with USA Today's Sam Amick that the league will seek to raise the age minimum to 20. Silver's claim: "Our draft would be more competitive if our teams had an opportunity to see these players play an additional year." The draft will be ... more competitive? What does that even mean?
THE ALL-STAR GAME THAT ALMOST WASN'T: The excellent Steve Aschburner revisits the famed 1964 All-Star Game, which almost didn't happen as players threatened to boycott it in the face of being ignored as a legit union by owners. Needless to say, the threat worked and paved the way for the league the players and fans currently enjoy.
YOUR WEEKLY REMINDER: Spencer Hawes is pretty despicable, owns toilet paper with President Obama's face on it. Evan Turner publicly shamed Hawes and says he refused to use it. Good for you, Evan Turner.
MEET THE ALL-STARS: We profiled all 24 All-Stars. The East fellas are up, and the West bros are coming today. We have a lot of new faces in New Orleans.
SWITCH AND BURN: The always enjoyable Doug Eberhardt explains how to ruin the other team's awesome after-timeout play.
THE HISTORY OF THE ASSIST: From Maravich to CP3, a look at the best passers in NBA history.
OKAY!: The NBA now has an official tire -- Kumho Tires, based in South Korea. I'm so looking forward to the branding on the Skills Challenge. Sorry, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
THE MT. RUSHMORE OF MT. RUSHMORES: Our team blogs have devised their own Mt. Rushmores, and at 9 a.m. Eastern you'll be able to find them right about here. Now if you'll excuse me I'll be over here with my chisel defacing all likenesses of Robert Horry ...
SAGE WORDS: Kings player development director/1991 Dunk Champ Dee Brown is helping Ben McLemore prep for the Dunk Contest. Best advice: "Best of all enjoy it. It's a dunk competition. Your living is not based on a dunk contest." Tell that to James White.
MEANWHILE ...: Blake Griffin leaves open the possibility he'll come back to the Dunk Contest at some point. Maybe after he has a few kids he can dunk over a Ford Aerostar?
Happy All-Star Weekend. Be sure to check out our full coverage all day every day. See you back here in your inbox on Monday.