Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bombaccione Popcorn Chicken

 THE GAME: NBA All-Star Game

I don't actually remember the last time I watched the All-Star Game. I think it was 2006, and only because I wanted to see if Flip Saunders would play Dwyane Wade at the same time as the four Detroit Pistons who were on that team.

(For those of you who aren't big NBA fans, Detroit had a chance to draft Wade a couple of years earlier but instead selected Darko Milicic, a Serbian big man who went on to play for six teams in a less-than-impressive 10-year career.)

Because the NBA All-Star game isn't really a game. Sure, if it's close in the last couple of minutes, the competitive nature of some players comes out and it's kind of entertaining. But for the most part, it's just a series of guys throwing alley-oops, jacking up shots with no remorse, and playing zero defense. (It's a 100% replica of the way my friends and I played NBA Jam in donut shops in the mid-90s.)

Last year, the West beat the East 196-173. The 369 total points eclipsed the previous record by 48. 

This year, I decided to watch for two reasons: 1) to see if Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant play at the same time, and 2) because I have a website about eating food during games and there wasn't anything else I'm interested in watching this weekend. 

NOTES ON THE FOOD: 
  • One of my best friends gave me a present last weekend: a bottle of "Bombaccione" hot sauce. It purports to be the flavors of Southern Italy, though I must confess the last time I was there I was only 17 years old and drunk for most of the time. So I'm not entirely sure I can vouch for its authenticity. I will say that it is spicy and quite tasty. 
  • I fried up some popcorn chicken and tossed it with the sauce. 
  • It turns out it was just fine as is and didn't actually need any blue cheese as a dipping sauce on the side, but I put out some Bob's blue cheese anyway, just for the hell of it. 
NOTES ON THE GAME: 
  • LeBron James is the only returning starter for the East, a fact I learned from the description of the game on the DirecTV guide. 
  • There were a few years in the late 90s/early 00s where the players wore the uniforms of their actual team. I suppose I prefer that to the atrocious jerseys that they usually bust out for this game. But I don't really care. 
  • The record for most points in an All-Star Game is 42 by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962. I can't believe that it's lasted that long. I'm surprised Michael Jordan didn't have an incredibly efficient game where he shot something like 21-for-22. And I'm shocked that a certain longtime Laker didn't jack up 40 shots in an All-Star game to ensure that he broke the record. 
  • Barkley, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber... TNT loves to hire former players who never won a title. 
  • Halfway through the 1st quarter and it's 26-24. Will we see a team score 200 tonight? 
  • Durant to Westbrook for the dunk and Reggie Miller starts singing Kumbaya. I'm tempted to turn the channel.
  • LaMelo Ball is embarrassed by the defensive effort in this game. 
  • Years ago, I heard an interview with Jerry West where he said "There are some players in the NBA today who are called superstars, and I don't think they're any good at all." I think of that quote every time I watch Carmelo Anthony play. 
  • According to ESPN, there were 57 dunks in the entire All-Star Game last year; this year, there were 42 in the first half.
  • And on that note, I'm done watching. This isn't basketball. 

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