The stars were out in full force in Los Angeles tonight as the 60th NBA All-Star Game kicked off at the Staples Center. Even with people like Jay-Z, Spike Lee, and Mark Walburg at the game there was one celebrity in particular who made sure to steal the show early; TNT’s Charles Barkley. Today is his 48th birthday, and he made sure to remind everyone as many times as possible. TNT even went as far to get him a giant birthday cake likened to an NBA championship ring.
Lenny Kravitz and his band helped introduce both the Western and Eastern Conference All-Stars, which was interesting. Not the biggest Kravitz fan personally, but it was kind of cool to see the players come out to live music like that. The East definitely wins when it comes to the pre-game warm ups this year, the West’s black and glittery gold outfits just aren’t doing it for me (Craig Sager’s shiny purple suit isn’t doing it for me either).
I enjoyed watching all 5 of the Eastern Conference starters throwing up the baby powder LeBron style, nice to see a group of guys like that show some unity.
The game started out rather sloppy, but was had an early highlight by Kobe Bryant taking Derrick Rose baseline, darting around to the opposite side of the hoop, and slamming down an impressive two-handed dunk. Chris Bosh also had a pretty sweet throw down off of a missed shot with about 2:30 minutes to go.
Doc Rivers checked in his whole Boston Celtics group with about 6:30 left in the first quarter, and were immediately greeted by an emphatic round of booing. Teamed up with Dwight Howard, the big 4 and Superman make an impressive squad to watch. Chris Bosh led all scorers for the East with 8 points.
As for the local All-Stars, Kobe played almost all of the first quarter, going 4-7 from the floor for 11 points, while adding 2 steals. Pau Gasol had 6 points and a rebound while Blake Griffin had a couple of nice dunks, and finished the quarter with 4 points. The West leads the East 37-27.