2012 NBA All-Star Game

            Jordan. Magic. Bird. Russell. Kobe. The greats of the game have come and gone. But the stage to showcase their talents has always remained. And now it makes its triumphant return to the city owned by Mickey. The sixty-first edition of the greatest basketball players in the world comes to Orlando this Saturday. With it will come the all the memories of 3-point assassins going at it, men flying through the air to dunk a ball and moments of greatness by the gods of basketball on the grandest stage of all.


            This year in the NBA has especially been a roller coaster to say the least. We went from thinking we might not even have a season to a compacted 66-game sprint with teams playing back to back to back games. I guess you could say it about the money. The owners and players fought, scratched, and clawed to get their side the best deal but in the end they couldn’t give up losing the 2 billion dollar business. So here we are with a crazy 66-game sprint cobbled together in 4 months with All-Star balloting beginning after two weeks! Absolutely crazy. But as they say, the show must go on. So here we are, a city with a game that wasn’t even planned a mere 4 months ago.


            We cannot discuss the All-Star game without bringing up the impending free agency of Orlando’s greatest player, Dwight Howard. Will he stay or will he go? Will he get traded, will he leave as a free agent. Will he leave the only city he’s every played for and 30 million dollars on the table to pursue a ring? It’s quite a conundrum. And I’m only one person armed with an opinion. But if you had to ask me, I think Howard is moving on no matter what. Because while he could become beloved in Orlando, while he could make more money and create a lasting legacy as the greatest player in Magic history, I simply don’t think that’s enough. He’s watched as LeBron James left his hometown for Miami, as Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of Denver and to New York. As the return of the super teams from the 80’s like Magic’s Lakers and Bird’s Celtics makes a comeback, Dwight’s been left at the altar. There’s no Robin to his Batman, no Kato to his Green Hornet. Only Dwight and his hot and cold 3-point bombers.


Dwight’s stuck in the worst place in the NBA, the good enough to be a playoff team but not good enough to realistically compete for a championship. Being here is like being in purgatory. When you’re awful, you at least have the chance of gaining a superstar youngster; you have something to hope for. When you’re a real contender you have the hope of a legitimate shot at a title to compete for. But when you’re stuck where Dwight is, there is no hope, no future to look forward too, and no present to enjoy. Only what looks to be another failed playoff run. In my book, that’s a pretty good reason to walk away. After all, what’s a legacy without a ring?


The storylines are endless, the drama never ending. But for one week this February it all comes together in Orlando.

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