Bernucca: Fixing the Fans’ All-Star Mistakes

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Kyrie IrvingNBA fans do an awful job of protecting the image of their favorite sport.

This is not the NFL, which has been America’s pastime for a generation and can do no wrong in the eyes of its fans. The only time the NFL has an image problem is when a storm affects satellite reception.

This is also not baseball, which has a considerable image problem with its collection of prima donnas on PEDS. But it also has more than a century of tradition on its side.

NBA fans constantly have to argue the merits of their sport not only against other sports but against other versions of their sport. The international game is more fluid. The college game has more energy and emotion. The women’s game has more fundamentals.

So what do NBA fans do to cultivate and protect the image of their favorite sport? They ignore common sense and vote their darlings as All-Stars.

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NBA players react to Carmelo Anthony’s historical night

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Carmelo AnthonyIt has been a down year of sorts for Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks.

After coming off a year in which they were the second best team in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks have struggled mightily to a 16-27 record – fifth-worst in the conference.

With news that offseason acquisition Andrea Bargnani would be out indefinitely due to a torn elbow ligament, some wondered whether the team’s fortunes would turn for the better. The reason? Anthony would return to the position that made them so successful last season: power forward. 

Schayes: Comparing Today’s Great Scorers with Players from the Past

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Carmelo_AnthonyAs I watched the Knicks-Nets game the other night I marveled at the Knicks. It was the middle of the 4th quarter and they had amassed a whopping 68 points, getting drilled in the process by the juggerNets.

‘Melo is a drop-dead scorer, right? His Madison Square Garden-record 62 last night proves it. He draws so much attention that the other guys are usually open, right? J.R. Smith can light it up, shoot you in and shoot you out, right?

I keep hearing that the players are better, more athletic, and younger than the players of yesteryear.

As I watch the great scorers of today I look at the differences between today’s scorers and yesterday’s scorers. Kevin Durant is lighting it up. Kobe is unstoppable when healthy, and LeBron will flat out wear you down and run over you. ‘Melo? Let’s see if he can get over 40 a bunch more times, because the Knicks are going to need it.

I had the good fortune of playing with some of the great scorers in history. For my first six years in the league I played with at least one (sometimes two) of the top 5 scorers in the league. I usually played on the highest-scoring team in the league during the highest scoring time in league history.

And I even played in a game where we scored 184 points and LOST!

Players around the league react to All-Star voting results

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Curry and IrvingAfter months of anticipation, the All-Star voting results finally came in on Thursday, courtesy of NBA on TNT.

There were plenty of expected names on the roster like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and (gulp) Kobe Bryant.

There were also plenty of first-timers like Stephen Curry – receiver of the fourth most votes in the league – along with Kevin Love, Paul George and Kyrie Irving.

Tweet of the Night: Players Rave About Kevin Durant’s Recent Play

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Kevin DurantOklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is on an indomitable scoring tear while leading his team to five consecutive wins. Over the course of that stretch, he has averaged 40.4 points per contest—including a 54 point outing against the Golden State Warriors.

Additionally, Durant has scored 30 or more points in nine consecutive games.

Not only is he putting up big numbers, he is being exceptionally efficient at it. He is shooting 52.6 percent from the floor and over 39 percent from three over the past nine games.

His most recent outing against the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs saw him post 36 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

His string of insanely efficient and overwhelming offensive firepower has players talking about how amazing he truly is.