The New York Knicks are already sending 2 players to Houston to participate at All-Star weekend, Olympic gold medalists Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. They will be representing the Eastern Conference in the East vs. West all-star battle that will surely include wide open 3’s for Melo and a few alley-oop lobs to TC. Unfortunately, Mike Woodson will not be headed to Houston since the Heat still have a 1.5 game lead over the Knicks in the EC standings and the coach of the #1 team in each conference gets to coach the all-stars. The 35 year old rookie, Pablo Prigioni, and Chris Copeland will most likely not be heading to Houston either since they were not chosen to participate in the Rookie-Sophomore challenge. Despite the fact that J.R. Smith got snubbed in the all star game (still don’t understand how you can replace a guard with a center), he and a few of his teammates still have a great opportunity to participate in the various events included in All-Star weekend.
Unlike past years, the 2013 All-Star competition is very different and much more competitive. In several of the events, such as the dunk competition and 3-point shootout, the Eastern Conference participants will be pitted against their Western foes to see which conference reigns supreme in each competition. One “captain” from each conference gets to recommend which players they want to see compete in each event to represent their conference. This year, the captains are Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul. Their recommendations are reviewed by the league office, which then can either approve or reject the proposed participants.
Dwayne Wade has been showing some respect for the Knicks, perhaps because they have manhandled his Heat team twice this season. He has already recommended 3 Knicks to participate in the competitions. Wade wants to see former Marquette University teammate Steve Novak, participate in the 3-point shootout as well as J.R. Smith and James White in the dunk contest. The only other recommendation Wade has made so far is Terrence Ross for the dunk contest. He has already asked his best buddy LeBron James to participate in the dunk contest and 3-point shootout, but the balding one respectfully declined. These are some very good recommendations by Wade, although I think seeing LBJ in 3 competitions would be a little boring. However, there is still another Knick who deserves a recommendation from Wade to participate in an event. Carmelo Anthony has been shooting a career high .409% from long distance, good for 10th best in the Eastern Conference. Combine Melo’s long distance accuracy with his quick release and Carmelo Anthony will be a legitimate threat in the contest.
Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul still have a few more days to send in their recommendations for the events. The final participants will be announced on Thursday, February 7th. Wade has already made some good choices by recommending Novakaine, Flight White and #Tape8 but hopefully he makes 1 more Knick recommendation in Carmelo Anthony. If all goes well, the Knicks will be taking home a trophy from All-Star weekend for the 2nd straight year (Allan Houston, Landry Fields, and Cappie Pondexter won the Shooting Stars Championship last year while representing New York) as all of the recommended Knicks players have a legitimate shot at winning their event. Carmelo has a pretty good shot at taking home all-star MVP honors as well. But the most important aspect of All-Star weekend is that the rest of this Knicks team will be taking some well deserved rest and relaxation during the break.