PREFACE: Being a business migrant who’s persistently and unrelentingly absorbed with travel, I’ve regretfully been derailed from completing my coverage of All-Star Weekend in New York. In a blogosphere assembled with the lack of real deadlines and/or monetary compensation, these types of things are often gotten away with it, though the letdown my inability to publish content in a timely manner has caused for our readers is unforgivable. Yet, I still seek your forgiveness. Actually, you don’t need to forgive me, just try to divert your attention and humor me one last time to the bitterly freezing Sunday it was for me, and the glorifying one that it was for John Wall.
Wall’s advancement into stardom was cemented in stone and enshrined in our hearts upon the completion of All-Star Weekend. I can attest to this personally given the noticeable increase in national attention Wall received this time around in contrast to his All-Star debut last season. Granted, the festivities being held in a mammoth-sized market like New York City can play a substantial factor in regards to the media coverage given to Wall (the place was a flat-out zoo of incredible sorts), but so does evolving into arguably the best player at his position.
And with the limelight burning, Wall shined. Though the personal mark he had set for Magic Johnson’s All-Star Game assist record wasn’t reached, the pinnacle of popularity deservedly was. And good for him. Good for John, a man who’s credibility as a leader was endlessly questioned. Good for John, a man who’s every personal decision was dissected and scrutinized. Good for John, a man who’s handled his grudges with his naysayers only on the court and not through his mouth or social media accounts. Good for John, a man whose dim childhood and unfavorable past was lightened by the continued leaps to success.
Wall played in 29 All-Star minutes, enough to accumulate 19 points on 16 shots, seven assists and two steals. There were a few missed assists, namely LeBron’s dunk fail, but otherwise they were missed mainly because of, well, LeBron being a point forward and Carmelo Anthony chucking up as many shots as he could in the final 30 minutes of his 2015 NBA season.
But regardless of how John’s performance turned out (it turned out fine), the achievement of celebrating the second of many more All-Star seasons had been made, and the glaring smiles on his face were the evidence.
Without further adieu, a visual recount of #WallStar Sunday.
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) February 15, 2015
Soon after my making my entrance onto the MSG floor, I was informed that Kevin Durant had just woken up.
Some shots of the All-Star stage, jumbotron, and hardwood at MSG.
East All-Stars chillin’ out during intro rehearsal.
But Paul Millsap was chillin’ HARD
John Wall and his Adidas co-star Damien Lillard conversing with Boogie nearby and plenty on his mind.
“Damn b. Your cooling sleeve red. Mine blue.”
All-Star pre-game warmup sessions are more like family cookouts sans the Henny.
Except for Kevin Durant, who was all about a few side buckets while still carrying on a conversation with Wall and James Harden.
After the media finally got ushered off the floor before tip-off, I was notified that the overbooking of media had left me with no press seat inside the arena. This forced me back into the media workroom, planted in between two New York Daily News photographers who would return to their seats from the main court in between quarters, frantically disassemble their cameras to upload their pictures. One would query me for stats, the other would ask me to spellcheck his photo captions. FML.
My view of the game: