NBA All-Star Weekend: 3 things an Indian NBA fan should not miss
The 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend will be jointly hosted by the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks. All the festivities and competitions will take place in Barclays Center, home court of the Nets. Meanwhile, the 64th NBA All-Star Game will be take place in New York’s Madison Square Garden, 17 years since it last hosted the main event of the All-Star Weekend.
In the midst of the grind of the 82 game regular season, the All-Star Weekend is seen by many teams as an opportunity to take a breather. It serves as an essential break to teams and their coaching staff to assess and plan for the remaining games of the season. On the other hand, it is a once in a year opportunity to see the 24 best basketball players on the planet sharing the same court.
Here in India, we miss out on the telecast of the All-Star practice or the Halftime show at the All-Star Game. Nonetheless, with the help of Sony Six we do receive the telecast of a lot more NBA games than we did couple of years back. Let us look at the bright side of things without complaining.
Abhishek Bachchan at the Celebrity All-Star Game
The growing popularity of basketball in India has not been taken lightly by the NBA. Dwight Howard visited a school in Bangalore four years ago,while Chris Bosh came to Mumbai two years ago with the Larry O’Brien trophy after winning his second NBA title in two years.
The Association has been busy promoting the game here in India for many years now, but for the first time an Indian would take part in a NBA game. Sim Bhullar was close, but Bollywood Actor Abhishek Bachchan is the person we are talking about here.
He is the first Indian to feature in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game set to take place on Friday night. The pride of watching an Indian play along many others in a NBA supported game played in a full-fledged arena is a feeling you wouldn’t want to miss.
Foot Locker Three Point Shooting Contest
If Thompson and Curry are the Splash Brothers, Kyle Korver is the Splash Father. He is averaging a jaw dropping 50% from beyond the arc while taking no less than 5 shots a game. He is also shooting 50% from the field and 90% from the free throw line.
There are two past champions in the line-up. Kyrie Irving who won it in 2013 and the defending champion Marco Belinelli. It’s easy to count out the remaining three shooters in the line-up, but mind you each has a strong case for them to win this.
Harden is an ultimate competitor, Reddick is one of the most under-rated pure shooters in this league and Mathews drops treys like a jumper from anywhere else on the court.
Yes, India face arch rivals Pakistan on this day in the ICC Cricket World Cup, but the Foot Locker Three Point Contest is loaded and is arguably the best line-up ever. The cricket match does not tip off before 8:50 am, while you could watch the best three point shooters in the league compete against each other an hour before that time. Some luck eh?
So don’t miss it.
Fourth Quarter of the NBA All-Star Game
Sunday night celebrations in New York’s Madison Square Garden for the All-Star Game are quite opposite to facing Monday morning blues of having to go to work or school in India.
Catching all the top stars in the league descend on one common court to compete against each other is an event that occurs only once a year in the NBA. However, if you’re a huge fan of star players going at each other, you can afford to skip the first three quarters of the All-Star Game. Tune into the broadcast just before the fourth quarter starts.
Before the fourth quarter, you will see a lot of uncontested dunks and no help defense. Basically, it’s a case of the players just enjoying themselves and the referees also don’t get too involved keeping the whistles restricted to time - outs or out of bounds calls.
Once the buzzer sounds for the final 12 minutes, you will suddenly see the game-faces of these ultra-competitive players show up. Winning becomes a necessity as the pride of these champions is at stake. So in your grueling and mundane schedule of a Monday morning, reserve half an hour for the final quarter of the 64th NBA All-Star Game.