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Shakira In A Cage, And More Highlights From Last Night’s NBA All-Star Game

The pageantry. The drama. The 2010 NBA All-Star game! While everybody else watched figure skating, basketball’s best players got together for the most exciting (and sloppy) pickup game on earth. Here are the highlights, the lowlights, and the things you may have missed from last night’s game:

Most Valuable Stat: This was the biggest crowd to ever watch a basketball game, with 108,713 people crammed into Cowboy Stadium. Normally, NBA all-star games are relaxed affairs, with the level of play rarely exceeding that of a YMCA rec league (albeit, a rec league populated by guys who’ve been able to dunk since 5th grade). But because of the huge crowd, there was a palpable excitement in the air before tipoff.

Most Valuable Public Speaker: Before the game, ambassador of Dallas basketball and big German Dirk Nowitzki grabbed the microphone to thank the home crowd/work them into a frenzy. It went something like this: “Hello. Thanks for coming out! And, uhh… everything’s bigger in Texas!” Play Ball!

Most Valuable Sound Bite: They had some of the players wired for sound, so you could hear, in carefully edited snippets, what they were saying as they were playing (side note: it would be great if the NBA ran an unedited stream of these soundbites online… but they would never do that). Dwight Howard was the MVP of this segment: every time he dunked, the ensuing “Oh!” conveyed the sense that even he couldn’t believe how high up he was. It was if he was a normal guy who had woken up that morning to discover that he was a 6’11 basketball player who could jump over other people. He also broke out his famous Charles Barkley impersonation.

MVP of Endorsements: Speaking of Chuck, he was in at least six different commercials last night, all during the first half. This was the best one. And this was, by far, the worst one.

MVP of Inanimate Objects and Articles of Clothing: Craig Sager, TNT’s notorious poor dresser and roaming sideline reporter, really went for it last night. His sequined tie almost stole the show, and he almost made out with Shaq. He was edged out only by Cowboy Stadium’s ridonkulously large HD screen. If you were at the game, and anywhere other than the first first five rows, you spent more time looking at the screen than the actual action on the court. There’s definitely a metaphor in there somewhere about technology and humanity.

MVP of Halftime Performances: Definitely not Shakira, who probably borrowed her costume from a figure skater and spent the beginning of her performance inside of a cage. Thankfully, Alicia Keys came through and actually sang. Bonus points for singing “Empire State of Mind” in Cowboys Stadium, negative points for changing the lyrics around so they applied to Texas (does Austin even have any “concrete jungles where dreams are made of?”).

Most Valuable Tweeter: Nate Robinson in a landslide. The slam-dunk champ had two gems, one during the Alicia Keys performance (“Keys face looks like she should be an angle sent from heaven WORD AAPP, lol”) and another comparing LeBron James to a movie alien that’s cheating at video games (“lebron james is a cheat code he’s not from this planet, he’s ET WORD AApp”).

The game itself was pretty entertaining too, as far as all-star games go. Lots of dunks, lots of big guys doing things their coaches don’t usually let them do (Dwight Howard got to shoot a three pointer!), and very little defense. Check out the highlights below.

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