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NBA All-Star Events Give Houston Little To Root For

This year's NBA All-Star Game will take place this Sunday in Los Angeles, with a typical Saturday lineup that involves the Slam Dunk contest, the Three-Point Shootout, Shooting Stars, and the Skills Challenge. Friday night will yield the Celebrity Game and the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge.

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And out of those three nights, a grand total of 0 current Rockets will be involved in the proceedings. Not a one. Yao Ming will probably wave to fans in a suit, sure, but no one will actively be participating. Part of this is just Daryl Morey's way: he values basketball skills first. For that reason, we have Shane Battier instead of Rudy Gay, and we have a hardworking team of role players instead of athletic youngsters that can really dazzle anyone. Well, except Terrence Williams, who just doesn't play for whatever reason. I don't mean that as a criticism, it's just a function of the type of teams the Rockets build. Kevin Martin and Luis Scola are efficient scorers, but they aren't going to throw down a jaw-dropping dunk.

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So, what rooting interests can we cook up? How about Daniel Gibson in the three-point contest? He's a Houston native, played for the Texas Longhorns, and it might be the last time the Cavaliers win anything this season. 

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If you want a real stretch, you can root for Team Texas in the Shooting Stars challenge, which has somehow avoided the cutting room floor even while good ideas that weren't carried out to perfection (like HORSE) were put down. It involves gritting your teeth and pulling for Dirk Nowitzki, but you get to see Kenny Smith try desperately to hit a half-court shot for the better part of two minutes. I guess that's something, right?

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.