The Rookie Challenge isn’t always the most fun thing from All-Star Weekend. A lot of times, the players try to hard to be fancy and flashy and forgo anything that resembles basketball. But last year’s game was a ton of fun. But that probably has something to do with Kevin Durant going nova during it and dropping an All-Star Weekend record 46 points.
Last year, I did a live diary for the game. I’ll actually be in the building computer in hand this year, so no witty commentary on commercials or announcers. I know you’re bummed. I’ll just comment on the crazy vendor behind me that keep yelling “POPCORN” in a high pitch voice. So follow along and refresh this page for some live updates from the American Airlines Center. Sunday I’ll actually live diary the thing for real, but I’ll definitely have some updates from the arena tonight.
So hang around, talk a little and enjoy All-Star Weekend.
7:59 PM CST: And we’re like ready to start. The screaming children are everywhere and it’s deafening even though the arena is two-thirds empty.
8:00: James Harden has the headband on. LOOK OUT SOPHOMORE TEAM.
8:18: Yeah, this isn’t good defense.
8:22: James Harden in, Russell Westbrook out. What fun is that?
8:33: I’m quickly realizing that with no TV announcers to comment on, a live blog becomes somewhat difficult. But here’s some info from the arena: American Airlines Center has microphones on the rims so everything is loud either clanking the iron or swishing through. It sounds like a video game.
8:38: James Harden and Russell Westbrook are turning it on. At this rate, they might together catch Kevin Durant’s 46 points, which he scored by himself.
8:45: DeJuan Blair bringing the house down. Very nice. Very, very nice. But right before that, Westbrook had what might be the game’s only hustle play, by throwing it off Blair whilst diving out of bounds.
8:47: Tyreke Evans is absolutely ridiculous in every way possible. I shutter at the possibilities of him game three years from now.
8:53: Halftime! The Rookies are scoring at will. I know, I know. Who isn’t? But Kevin Durant is coaching these boys up evidently.
9:05: I think we’re all losers in that dunk-off. No creativity from DeRozan, which is disappointing because he has unreal leaping ability.
9:12: DeRozan won before the dunk-off even started. His Thriller Dunk has everyone buzzing. Smart move.
9:19: Russell Westbrook has taken two 3s tonight. That’s 20 percent the amount he’s taken the last 41 days.
9:31: Another hoist from Russ. He’s got a game-high 22 though.
9:39: James Harden from deep. He’s got 14. IT’S ALL IN THE HEADBAND.
9:43: At this point, with 7:29 left in the game, Westbrook has 34 points and is scoring at will. I would say he cares less about the Sophomores winning and more about sniffing KD’s record 46.
9:49: I’m sure Coach Durant is getting a little concerned at this point. He was up off the bench there either chatting up his team or Westbrook. Either way, Westbrook just ripped two straight 3s and has 40 with 5:30 left.
9:50: Russ checked out and when he did, KD stood up and clapped.
9:54: Westbrook was sat right next to Pat Ewing when he checked out and was in Ewing’s ear the whole time. Two and a half minutes, still needing six.
9:56: PUJIT 3 rims out for Westbrook. Darn it all. Durant clapped.
10:02: The Rookies pull through and win one by a score no one cares about, but another great showing from the Thunder in the Rookie Challenge. Westbrook finished with a game-high 40 and James Harden flashed some serious ability, netting 22.
I’m headed to the locker room and I’ll have some video and quotes to share here in a bit.