*(Via LA Times) – The Eastern Conference finally stopped Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin — then stopped their losing streak at the NBA All-Star game.
Kyrie Irving had 31 points and 14 assists and was voted the game’s MVP, Carmelo Anthony made an All-Star record eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points, and the East rallied for a 163-155 victory over the West on Sunday night.
“It’s a great honor,” Irving said. “We had a few MVPs. Everyone out here today is an MVP.”
Durant and Griffin each finished with 38 points, four shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star game record. But the East scored the final 10 points to pull out a game it trailed by 18.
Get MORE of this story at LA Times.
*Foot Locker is getting into the spirit of the holidays with its new “Week of Greatness” themed ads that see famous athletes poking fun at their scandals.
The ads are based around “things that make you feel all’s right with the world,” which Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving dreams about while courtside with his buddies in the opening moments.
Cut to Mike Tyson approaching Evander Holyfield’s mansion, ringing the doorbell and telling the heavyweight, “I’m sorry, I got your ear,” before giving his old foe a big hug. The line references the pair’s legendary 1997 match during which Tyson bit off his opponent’s ear. “I kept this in formaldehyde,” says Tyson.
Next, Dennis Rodman is cheered at the airport after requesting a one-way ticket to North Korea – a nod to his recent friendship with the country’s leader Kim Jong-Un. “He’s never coming back!” yells one delighted passenger.
NBA analyst Craig Sager is seen throwing his infamous colorful, mismatched suits into a huge bonfire, and retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre pokes fun at his will-he-won’t-he retirement drama by turning down another slice of pie and musing “a man’s got to know when to walk away.”
*President Barack Obama was in New York City Wednesday to participate in the long-awaited Obama Classic, a basketball fundraiser with current and former NBA and WNBA stars.
Originally scheduled during the 2011 NBA lockout when basketball fans had nowhere to see their favorite players play, the event was canceled after the lockout was resolved and rescheduled for this summer.
With a nod to his basketball star host, Michael Jordan, Obama used a sports analogy at a fundraiser in New York on Wednesday to describe the election campaign and his opponents, who he said played “dirty.”
“I can’t resist a basketball analogy. We are in the fourth quarter, we’re up by a few points, but the other side is coming strong and they play a little dirty,” Obama told a group of supporters, saying his team was ahead but had some injuries.
“I’d say there’s about seven minutes to go in the game. And Michael’s competitiveness is legendary, and nobody knows better than Michael that if you’ve got a little bit of a lead and there’s about seven minutes to go, that’s when you put them away.”
Also attending the event were Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving, and Alonzo Mourning. Obama, an avid basketball player himself, joked that Jordan, a former star player for Obama’s hometown Chicago Bulls, and the other players at the event were dwarfing his star power.
“It is very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person,” he said, drawing laughter, after being introduced by Jordan. “Usually, the folks want to take a picture with or sit next to me, or talk to me — that has not been the case at this event, and I completely understand it.”
About 120 people attended the fundraising dinner, dubbed the “Obama Classic,” at a cost of $20,000 a person. After the dinner, Obama threw on some gym clothes and shot hoops with some of the players in attendance.
The campaign was expected to raise close to $3 million from the night.
Irving will return to Cleveland to be examined by team doctors Sunday and said he likely will undergo surgery. The Cavs said in a release Saturday night that they expect Irving, their leading scorer last season who recently dazzled during scrimmages against the U.S. Olympic team, to be ready for the start of training camp in late September. However, the team said it will not have a timeline for Irving’s return until after he is examined.
The team said Irving injured his hand slapping the padding on a wall at the team’s practice site. The injury occurred after Irving committed a turnover toward the end of the morning practice. Irving was in Las Vegas practicing with Cleveland’s summer league team.
“It was just a freak accident,” said Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
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*NBA stars never seem to say “no” when asked to test out their acting chops.
They are good sports that are actually quite entertaining. Remember those Campbell’s soup commercials with Larry Johnson of the New York Knicks as “Grandmama?”
That was a very successful run for that company and now Pepsi Max is trying something similar with a new star in the NBA.
The NBA’s 2011-2012 Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has put himself out there for a successful run as “Uncle Drew” for the new Pepsi Max ads. (more…)
In a short film produced for Pepsi MAX called “Uncle Drew,” Irving pokes fun at his generation of players and street ballers (while also providing an homage) with his uncle Drew character at Clark’s Pond Courts in Bloomfield, N.J.
Looks like home boy is on to something. Check it out: