Well we’ve been left with a bit of a lull here in Boston coming out of All Star Weekend. The Celtics have been off for the past five days and things are quiet on the trade front outside of the Sam Cassell deal. I knew things were getting desperate upon finishing writing 800 words about a deal that involved a player in Cassell that hadn’t played a minute for the Green all season.
To make matters worse I came out of this year’s All Star festivities feeling a bit under whelmed as well. Sure we had the debut of HORSE but the dunk contest was mediocre at best and the All Star Game itself was a blowout.
Even more disturbingly was the fact that no Celtics played a prominent part in the events of the weekend. Sure The Big Three were able to play their 20 minutes in the game itself but with the game being a snoozer they didn’t do anything to stand out from the rest of the field.
The bigger disappointment for me though was that there were no Celtics involved in the other all star proceedings in Phoenix. There was no Paul Pierce in HORSE. No Eddie House or Ray Allen in the 3 point shootout. And yes there wasn’t any Celtic worthy of inclusion in the dunk contest but Bill Walker had a couple nice jams in the preseason so as a biased fan I have to be naturally bummed he wasn’t selected for that either.
Looking at the whole weekend as a Celtics fan it would be tough not to be let down by being unable to root for C’s in any of these events. Their absence though produced a great idea by my buddy JRo to turn back the clock on the All-Star Weekend and throw out a fun question to ponder.
What are the top 5 all time moments for Celtics participating in All Star Weekend?
Enthralled by the possibilities I went through the archives of the events at nba.com as well as clips on Youtube of the All Star Weekend festivities since 1980 looking at the games and events involving Celtics players. So without further ado here’s one man opinion of the top 5 Celtic All Star moments accompanied by video of the each one of the performances.
Larry Bird 1987 3 point Contest: This really should be on this list but if it was included Larry Legend would have taken over half of the entire list so this one got the bump. Probably the least impressive of his three shootout wins though still memorable clip of him falling off the bench upon Detlef Schrempf missing the moneyball that gave Bird the win in the final round of the competition
Greg Minor 1996 Dunk Contest: This doesn’t really deserve honorable mention at all. I just wanted to see if anyone remembered that Minor actually took part in this contest or the fact that Brent Barry actually won a dunk contest. These events probably led to the event being put on hiatus for a couple years shortly thereafter.
The full list after the jump.
5) Ray Allen in 2008 NBA All Star Game:
I have to admit I did not watch this game live. Upon further review it is clear that Allen turned in one of the most efficient performances in All Star Game History to the tune of 28 points in 18 minutes including 3 straight three pointers (shown in the youtube clip below) in the final 3:15 of the 4th quarter to lead the East to a 134-128 win.
Lebron James took home the MVP with a near triple double for the game. However, Allen outscored James while playing 12 minutes less during the contest so in my estimation Ray still has a bone to pick with the powers that be over not receiving that award. It probably worked out better for the league as I get this crazy notion that James winning the award garnered more publicity than Ray would have. Kind of like Kobe and Shaq winning it this year. Hmmmm. All things considered a phenomenal All Star debut for Ray in Green.
4) Gerald Green 2007 Dunk Contest:
Bryan Roy tried to talk me into pushing this one higher up the ladder but Gerald faces too much stiff competition from those above him. This win may ultimately serve as the highlight of Green’s career. Celtics fans may remember Green hyping up himself for the competition and campaigning for inclusion throughout the early parts of the 2006-07 season. Green came through and delivered the aerial goods upon admission with an impressive variety of dunks. The dunk of the evening was his homage to Dee Brown with the no look one handed jam over Nate Robinson while sporting Brown’s number 7 jersey. Green got some nice publicity for the victory and many hoped this would catapult him into being a real contributor to the Celtics. Those hopes did not last long as Green was shipped off to Minnesota in the KG deal and has bounced around the league since then so far failing in his attempt at becoming a consistent NBA player.
3) Larry Bird 1986 3 Point Shootout:
A guilty pleasure of mine and surely most Celtics fans is to watch old clips of Bird on youtube. One of my favorite pieces is the NBA TV special on Larry Bird. In it they have a tremendous bit detailing Bird’s trash talking surrounding this competition. Larry backed up his promise to deliver the goods crushing the competition in the debut of this event making 11 straight shots in his route to a score of 22 in the finals. This score stood as highest final round total until Mark Price went for 24 in 1994. All in all Bird made sure the introduction of this event was a success while cementing his place as one of the best shooters in the league.
2) Dee Brown Dunk Contest 1991:
I was only six years old when Brown participated in a historic battle with Shawn Kemp in the finals of this contest. The rookie was almost immediately catapulted into a star by pumping up his Reeboks and taking the crown from Kemp after pulling out the no look jam, one of the most memorable dunks in the competition’s history. That pose remained on my bedroom wall through my childhood and instantly made Brown a favorite for many Celtics fans. Unlike Green, Dee Brown’s victory actually led to a productive 13 year career for the shooting guard, 8 of which were with the green. Check out below for an impressive montage of the back and forth between Brown and Kemp throughout the contest.
1) Larry Bird 1988 3 Point Shootout
A performance that encompasses the magic and confidence Larry Bird had as one of the greatest performers in NBA History. Going into the finals of the event Larry was clearly cocky having scored a 23 in the semifinals, to this day the 3rd highest score ever for the competition. Bird went second in the finals and only needed a score of 15 to bring home a third straight title. It was clear from the start that Bird was off his game though bricking the majority of his balls through the first 3 racks leaving him with an almost insurmountable deficit to overcome. It would foolish for me to try to describe the final 20 seconds so I will let the clip do the talking. Enjoy.