The Young and the Old

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For the first time in 15 years, Kobe Bryant will not partake in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night. After he was voted a starter by the fans, his left knee will keep him on the sidelines. First time all-star, Anthony Davis, of the Pelicans, will take his place. To me, this will be the first of many appearances for Davis. This year, the festivities will take place in New Orleans. Davis’ home court. But is that the main focus of the weekend? Today is Valentine’s Day and I’m sure many people are going out and celebrating with loved ones, or boycotting. I’m laying in bed and writing about all-star weekend. Damian Lillard is going to be busy. He is the first player to compete in all the events. He will be competing in the Three-Point Contest, the Slam Dunk Contest, the Rising Stars game, the Skill Challenge, and the All-Star Game. The fact that he was a sixth overall pick, five other teams passed on him, he was still named Rookie of the Year. The Wizards were one of them. But we have the sharp shooter Bradley Beal. Beal will challenge Lillard in the Three-Point Contest and play on the same team as him in the Rising Stars Challenge. John Wall will go against him in the Dunk Contest and the All-Star Game. Lillard is looking to repeat in the Skills Challenge this year. This years All-Star weekend should be very eventful and full of surprises. I’m predicting a John Wall win in the Dunk Contest and a Bradley Beal win in the Three-Point Contest. I’m not sure if that’s biased but hey, my hometown favorite players are in them. John Wall is the first Washington Wizard to make it to the All-Star since Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison in 2008. Years of terrible records have given us the chance to build our roster for the future, and the future is now.

But I’m not sure how much Kobe Bryant we’ll see in the future.

Hopefully 20 more years.

Doubt it.

-RV

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Wall-Star

The Washington Wizards are above .500 for the first time since 2009. They’ve had 8 other chances throughout this short season alone to climb the hurdle that’s haunted the Wizards for the past 51 months.  Can anyone guess who the starting line up was for that win against the Nets? Well, Gilbert Arenas is a definite, Brendan Haywood(not in the league today), Fabricio Oberto (who?), Randy Foye(well he did hit a game winner last night), and Mike Miller(old, yet still playing).   But today, the Wizards have a very talented starting lineup that includes the explosive John Wall, the sharp shooter Bradley Beal, the veteran Trevor Ariza, the big Brazilian Nene, and the bald one Marcin Gortat.  The win comes at a surprise to me because the Trail Blazers are one of the top teams in the east.  Wall had 22 points and 5 assists to lead the team.  Fresh off making the All-Star team, Wall has proven to the fans and coaches, that he is the player he once was.  Wall graduated from the University of Kentucky and was taken first overall by the Wizards in the 2010 draft.  A recent snub from the National team could be the reason for why he’s been playing so well. If you ask me, he deserves the chance to play for the USA in The Olympics.  His level of play this year has been overall better.  The past year or so, he’s been plagued with injuries and lack of support.  Now that his back court mate Bradley Beal is healthy and playing night after night with him, they have grown on and off the court to become one of the top back courts in the league.  I say this because what other team has two young high-flying guards that can do what Beal and Wall can do? The Wizards are on the up and up right now, and I see no signs of them slowing down.  Unless the injury bug flies from Southern California to the nation’s capital by the end of the season.

-RV