Forget Valentine’s Day! In fact, forget about your girlfriend or wife for a while. Why? Because the NBA All-Star Weekend is once again upon us! This year, the midseason spectacle will be held in The Republic of Drake or also known geographically as Toronto, Canada.
Aside from the All-Star Game between the East and West (watch for the Black Mamba try to win his final All-Star MVP trophy), fans also await the side events, most especially the Three-Point Shootout and the Slam Dunk Contest.
But we here at FHM feel that the side events have become quite staid and regular in recent years. The Dunk Contest has become too gimmicky and props-oriented, while the Three-Point Shootout lacks drama. The Skills Challenge has become boring too since most contestants have already perfected the course. Then there’s the Shooting Stars Competition, where slow, flabby NBA legends miss point-blank shots.
We want to make the events more thrilling and cutthroat. So if by any stroke of crazy luck, we get to sit down with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, here are 10 side events we’ll suggest to save the All-Star Weekend from the wrath of the social media warriors and their armchair comments. Let’s make it happen, NBA!
While it’s not forbidden, it’s frowned upon when NBA players drink heavily. Just ask the Player Formerly Known as Ron Artest, who admitted he took shots of Hennessy every halftime during his stint with the Chicago Bulls. We all know what happened to him. But for the All-Star Weekend, why not make an exception? A beer-drinking contest should happen.
Participants chug all the beer they can in five minutes. Oktoberfest in February! With the way NBA players are built, it’s safe to assume they can hold loads of booze in their wide, barrel-like bodies. We bet the Europeans are perfect for this since they like to get plastered a lot.
FHM’s pick: Boban Magrjanovic
While we’re really tempted to pick Dirk since beer is synonymous with Germany, we’re going with Boban Mania! Just look at him for fuck’s sake! Tell us he can’t drink cases of beer.
If there’s a drinking contest, then there better be an eating contest. It’s only fair. Like the Hack-a-Shaq strategy. Oh, wait. But nothing says bestial competitiveness than devouring mountains of food like a hungry grizzly bear.
Since lots of NBA players like pizza (Hedo Turkoglu used to munch on pizzas before every game), let’s make it—wait for it—a pizza-eating contest. Participants gorge as much pepperoni pizzas as they can in 10 minutes. Crust included! No puking too, that’s very important. It will be the NBA’s answer to the world-famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. The league leaders in PER body mass index are naturally cut out for this.
Boris Diaw – San Antonio Spurs
Jared Dudley – Washington Wizards
Kyle O’Quinn – New York Knicks
Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies
Jared Sullinger – Boston Celtics
FHM’s pick: Jared Sullinger
We thought of putting Andrea Bargnani in the contest (he’s Italian, duh!) but he might botch even the simple task of eating pizza. So we’re going with Sully on this one. Again, just look at him. Lugi ang Palm Card ng Pizza Hut!
Awful three-point shooting contest
Hear us out first. With the way the game is played these days, almost anyone can sink a three-pointer. It’s not just for specialty players anymore like in the NBA’s short shorts days. The long range bomb has become a favored weapon of most teams. In 1979, Brian Taylor led the league in three-pointers made with 90. Fifty games into this season, Stephen Curry already has 245. Simply put, the three-pointer has become so regular, it has become mundane.
So why not make dreadful shooters compete in a three-point shootout? It would be disastrously hilarious. Who wouldn’t want to see big men hoist treys as accurately as Jobert Sucaldito’s articles?
Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons
Tyson Chandler – Phoenix Suns
Roy Hibbert – Indiana Pacers
Dwight Howard – Houston Rockets
DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles Clippers
Winner: Roy Hibbert
Here are their 3FGM totals: Hibbert – 6, Howard – 5, Drummond – 3, Jordan – 1, Chandler – 0. Okay, we cheated a little bit.
Trip to Jerusalem
Or as they call it in the States, Musical Chairs (makes much more sense than Trip to Jerusalem doesn’t it?). Forget the Skills Challenge! This is the true test of all-around skills. Speed, quickness, agility, reflex, sitting accuracy, you name it. The NBA’s active guys are apt for this one. This is one game they’d rather take sitting down. They’ll outwork, outwit, and out-gulang each other until only one victor remains. It’s a war for the NBA All-Star throne of sorts. Tell us that won’t be exciting to watch. Of course, there’s also awkward dancing involved so there’s that. The winner will get an actual, all-expense paid trip to Jerusalem.
Tony Allen – Memphis Grizzlies
Corey Brewer – Houston Rockets
Tyler Hansbrough – Charlotte Hornets
Andre Iguodala – Golden State Warriors
Lance Stephenson – Los Angeles Clippers
FHM’s pick: Lance Stephenson
Because he’s crazy enough to do anything.
Come on, tell us you don’t want to watch that with popcorn on hand. NBA players are physical specimens. They take care of their bodies as they need to be in tip-top shape all the time. Having bulging muscles, a six-pack, and brute strength are huge factors. As the age-old philosophical question goes: Do you even lift, bro? But we see them bang bodies with each other all the time. So we’re upping the ante a little bit. Why not wrestle with a real live alligator? It sounds extremely safe, right? The player who takes down the alligator the fastest wins a million dollars. The losers will eat the alligator.
DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings
Kenneth Faried – Denver Nuggets
Marc Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies
Serge Ibaka – Oklahoma City Thunder
LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers
FHM’s pick: Serge Ibaka
Have you seen Ibaka wrestle? We haven’t either. But we assume he can hold his own against an alligator. Although he might be more comfortable with gorillas since he’s from Congo.
Basketball is a very stressful game, especially during crunch time, that’s why having the proper psychology is imperative. If players break their focus, they fail most of the time. They can’t shoot. They can’t defend. They can’t run. They can’t do shit. Like JaVale McGee every game. So what better way to test their unyielding and indomitable focus by holding a staring contest? First one to crack, smile, or blink loses. It’s as simple as not understanding the Triangle Offense. The players who are all-business and no-nonsense are perfect for this pressure-packed contest.
Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio Spurs
Paul Millsap – Atlanta Hawks
Kendrick Perkins – New Orleans Pelicans
Rajon Rondo – Sacramento Kings
Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls
FHM’s pick: Kendrick Perkins
Kawhi and D-Rose are clear favorites, but we’re going with the underdog here. Perkins never smiles. N-E-V-E-R. Did we spell that correctly? He has not a single funny bone in his body. Plus, with the way he has lost his minutes in NOLA, he’s won’t be smiling anytime soon. Fact: The last time he smiled, World War II erupted.
As we've said, basketball is also a mental game. So aside from having resolute focus, it helps to have actual smarts too. There have been certified nerds in NBA history. Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas was famous for memorizing phone books. So why not look for more intellectuals in the league? Why not stage a good ol' quiz bee?
The questions won’t be about basketball at all. It will cover a wide range of subjects: European migrant crisis, Higgs Boson, Kierkegaard-an life philosophies, stock market trends of the 19th century, Russian literature, Pythagorean arithmetic, etc. As linguists would say, it would be entertaining AF.
Pau Gasol – Chicago Bulls
Gordon Hayward – Utah Jazz
Jeremy Lin – Charlotte Hornets
Chris Paul – Los Angeles Clippers
Marcus Smart (obviously) – Boston Celtics
FHM’s pick: Pau Gasol
He’s a UNICEF ambassador. He speaks several languages. He was enrolled in a medical school before deciding to pursue basketball. He’s also smart enough to bolt the Lakers.
As much as the All-Star festivities are about the players and fans, coaches should be in the limelight too. After all, the players wouldn’t be All-Stars without their mentors. Somewhere out there, David Blatt, Jeff Hornacek, and Derek Fisher are nodding while hugging each other. So to give the coaches a taste of the action, too, there should be a three-on-three challenge. Coaching staff vs. coaching staff. Single round-robin. Each game up to seven points. Best record will be declared champion. We’re sure coaches are a proud bunch, too. They may shake hands after every game but losses eat them up inside. Like bacteria creeping in James Harden’s beard.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Tyronn Lue, Larry Drew, James Posey
Golden State Warriors – Steve Kerr, Luke Walton, Jaron Collins
Orlando Magic – Scott Skiles, Adrian Griffin, Mario Elie
San Antonio Spurs – Gregg Popovich, Chip Engelland, Becky Hammon
Toronto Raptors – Dwane Casey, Jerry Stackhouse, Jamaal Magloire
FHM’s pick: San Antonio Spurs
It would be wise to pick the Raptors since they have two relatively young ex-players in Stackhouse and Magloire (both former All-Stars at that). But we’re selecting the Spurs. Pop will be one heck of a playing-coach, Engelland is a legendary shooter (played for the Philippine Team, too), and Hammon is always a pleasure to watch.
Kerr can still shoot though:
Of course, we can’t not have a Filipino game. After weeks of exhaustive research and heated arguments that will put the US presidential debates to shame, we decided with the traditional pabitin. For kids out there, it’s the one where participants try to reach for various prizes (e.g. candies, toys, and coins) suspended from a bamboo contraption. The NBA’s highest leapers are suitable for this. But instead of cheap prizes, luxurious ones are literally up for grabs: keys to a Bentley, a gift certificate to punch any player they like, a day pass to the Playboy Mansion, a maximum contract, etc. The participants will surely kill each other for those.
FHM’s pick: Russell Westbrook
Russ’ competitiveness borders on homicidal. We can’t imagine him allowing others to win. He can jump really fast, too. Plus, he looks like a Ninja Turtle. Cowabunga!
Since players like to talk smack a lot, this is the perfect stage for them to lay down all the smack they want. No holds barred. Take no prisoners. Just pure verbal savagery. Of course, the league’s biggest trash-talkers will battle it out. The participants can cuss all they want without referee Joey Crawford a.k.a. "The Notebook" (because he’s sensitive) tossing them out for profanity. They can drop bombs about their opponent’s mom or girlfriend (Honey Nut Cheerios, anyone?). Or that time they broke ankles with a nasty crossover or sank a cold-blooded game-winner. It’s a can’t-miss event. Besides, lots of NBA players are wannabe rappers, too. Put yo' hands up!
Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Garnett – Minnesota Timberwolves
Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors
JR Smith – Cleveland Cavaliers
FHM’s pick: Draymond Green
He’s clever and witty. That’s always a plus in a rap battle. Kobe would be a close second since he already has a rap album. The title? K.O.B.E. Mind-blowing display of creativity right there.