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The Downbeat #1277 - "The All-Star Weekend 2014 and Social Media" Edition

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

What is your favorite event of All-Star Weekend? Is it the All-Star Game? The Three point contest? The Dunk Contest? Remember Jam Session? Is that still a thing? Is it whatever a Utah Jazz player is in?

I think the All-Star game is silly, and rarely watch it. I'm much more interested in things like the Skills contest (which actually translates to actually playing basketball in a game pretty well) than something odd like the three point contest (you never shoot off of a rack in the NBA). This is probably a product of being a Canadian though because the NHL all-star weekends never had things like dunk contests, so they had to think of things to showcase. So they showcased fundamentals / skills for things like who had the hardest slapshot, or how fast each player was with the puck, or how accurate they were at hitting targets on a goal, and so forth.

Of course, it's time for the low hanging fruit joke about "the only skills contest Tyrone Corbin is about is where they just carbon date the players, and the oldest wins."

Silly jokes aside, the more I learn about the weekend the more I begin to see that this weekend is super important for the big money decision makers in the NBA, and super important for the individual players in it to expand their brand. You make a name for yourself in these silly contests. You get in the good books with the NBA by not turning things down, and really going out there to do the 'service' part on the Friday. You mingle with potential future team mates during the after parties. And if everything all works out -- you may get to play in the game on Sunday at some point in your future.

For a guy like Trey Burke, being in this environment is good, and necessary for his progress within the league. He's the most marketable player on our team, and that had to be part of the reason why the Jazz drafted him. (Maybe like 3-6% but still, it was a factor.)

So what's your favorite event?




I don't even know what that means, but yeah, no teeth here for Gordon Hayward.



Soooooo . . . Trey Burke had a pretty rough shooting night in the BBVA Rising Stars challenge, huh? It's a good thing that he's not just there for that one event.

Here's Trey with Tim Hardaway, Michael Carter-Williams, and Jared Sullinger building houses with Kaboom! (Parks and Rec reference)

Him signing merch for the NBA:

Hanging out with team mates MCW, Hardaway, and Kelly Olynyk -- in the future he may have to try to get one of these guys to come to Utah, so better start building friendships now!

And check this video of him and Brent Barry talking about the Utah Jazz, Alec Burks, vets, learning, and surprises.

For the record, Trey had a bad shooting night in the rookie/soph game, but still finished with 6 assists and 0 turn overs. MCW and Victor Oladipo both had better games -- but Tim Hardaway stole the show for their Team Webber side. I almost feel compelled to write more about this game (how does the team that has a 3.2 to 1.0 assist to turn over ratio lose? By not going to the line. That's how), but I didn't watch it.

Trey also has the Taco Bell Skills contest tonight, where he will be pairing up with Damian Lillard.

Yup. Trey is actually wearing himself out but paying his dues by doing everything the NBA is asking of him. How this helps him get past the rookie wall, I'm not so sure. But he's a stand-up guy who is going to do whatever it takes to get the job done. And this weekend his job is to represent himself, his team mates, and the Utah Jazz at the All-Star Weekend. And he really has to do it all his own; it's not like in previous seasons when we had a legion of Jazz players at the ASW with Deron Williams being in the Skills comp, Carlos Boozer being an All-Star, Ronnie Brewer and Paul Millsap being in the rookie game, and Kyrylo Fesenko and Morris Almond in the NBA DL All-Star game.

But if there is a guy on this squad who is best equipped to handle all of the hoopla, media, fans, and big stage all by himself -- it's Michigan's Trey Burke, the National player of the year.



Well, Trey's not completely alone in NOLA this weekend. Karl Malone is there.

So if you are starved for Jazz action you still have the Spite Shooting stars with Karl Malone to look forwards to, beyond Trey's skills contest thing. But more than just the 2 people in all of Jazzland who are there, my question is what are the rest of our guys doing this weekend? (Aside from mandated trips to Mexico to hang out with David Locke)

I can only imagine that New Orleans + All-Star would be like that once scene from Easy Rider for Enes Kanter. He seems like he would have trouble with that city. It's almost good that he's not there.

For the sake of our guys, I hope they are resting so that they can really play well (not the same thing as win games) over the next 30.



So, buckling under pressure, the New Orleans Pelicans changed the look of Pierre. I don't think we really talked about this here, so here's an IG pic from #TheStarters (formerly #TBJ) guys J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Trey Kerby, and Leigh Ellis.

So, it's obvious that they'd never chance the look of Bear, right?