Unfortunately, another year has come and passed, and the Charlotte Hornets still do not have any players participating in All-Star Weekend. But just because
all most of us have issues with basketball addiction doesn't mean we shouldn't find some way to be happy this weekend! Right? (Editors Note - It's not an addiction. I can stop anytime I want! )
Well, I think so. Here is a list of things we can do to have fun this weekend that don't involve rooting for the Hornets.
NBA!: I'll break each day down into individual categories, but let's start with the easy one. Friday isn't the most exciting night of All-Star Weekend, but there's some fun stuff here.
Celebrity Game: Full disclosure: this is actually my favorite part of every All-Star Weekend, which probably says more about me than the game itself. The teams are divided into USA vs. Canada this year, so here's a roster breakdown for each squad.
- Anthony Anderson: In his third appearance in the Celebrity Game, the star of Kangaroo Jack (and that one season of The Shield) has some game, but he's on the wrong side of 40, so his age curve doesn't look promising at this point.
- Chauncey Billups: After just having his number retired by the Detroit Pistons, Chauncey probably doesn't have much more to accomplish, but a win tonight would just add to his Hall of Fame resume.
- Muggsy Bogues: Okay, so I guess there is one Charlotte Hornet participating in All-Star Weekend this year. No word on whether the pink Monstar is tagging along, though.
- Nick Cannon: It's his eighth time participating in the Celebrity Game, which is not something I would have guessed.
- Elena Delle Donne: This one feels like cheating, I have to be honest. Her celebrity comes from being one of the best basketball players in the world, which is major loophole exploitation.
- Bryshere Y. Gray: He plays Hakeem on Empire. I had to look that up.
- Marc Lasry: Ever have the CEO of your company try to do your job? Lasry is the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, so that'll be interesting, at least.
- Joel David Moore: The guy from Dodgeball who wasn't any good at dodging. You'll recognize him.
- Jason Sudeikis: I was under the impression he was Canadian, but apparently that's not the case. The guy is funny and probably has some skill. If there's a non-athlete celebrity who breaks out on Team USA this year, my money's on Sudeikis.
- Kevin Hart (coach): Well, it wouldn't be the Celebrity Game without him.
A solid team, made better by the additions of some former stars (and one current superstar, which, seriously, what is that). USA has some firepower in their (presumed) starters, and some depth too, so they're my favorite to win this year, but there's always...
- Win Butler: The lead singer of Arcade Fire, which I can't imagine overlaps that much with large swaths of the NBA fanbase. Here's hoping his game is more Funeral than Neon Bible.
- Rick Fox: Hey, more old NBA guys! He's lately moved into an acting career, at which he's surprisingly solid, recently dated Eliza Dushku, and bought a professional competitive gaming team. Rick Fox seems kinda cool.
- Stephan James: Plays Jesse Owens in the upcoming biopic Race opposite Jason Sudeikis, which comes out next weeken...oh, I see what they've done here.
- Tracy McGrady: This is also cheating, as T-Mac isn't even from Canada, he just played there for a few seasons.
- Milos Raonic: Recently made the semifinals at the Australian Open for the first time, narrowly losing to Andy Murray in five sets. He's young, athletic, and 6'5". Could be solid at basketball.
- Drew and Jonathan Scott: You know them better as the Property Brothers, and you know them best as "those twins your wife watches all day on HGTV."
Editors Note - This tweet is semi-related to what Tucker just said about HGTV
*turns on TV, sees HGTV on*— Bo Churney (@bochurney) October 17, 2015
"I totes need to turn this to GameDay."
*20 minutes later*
"NO, WHY WOULD YOU PICK THAT HOUSE???"
- Tammy Sutton-Brown: I don't remember her WNBA career too well, but she was in Charlotte for several years, when the Sting still existed.
- Kris Wu: I have absolutely no idea who this is.
- Drake (coach): Wasn't he that guy on Degrassi?
- Steve Nash (assistant coach): Injuries suck.
- Jose Bautista (assistant coach): Worth paying attention to after every T-Mac dunk. He might flip the bench this time.
Later on Friday night is the Rising Stars Challenge, which I'm not normally too enthused by. Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Kristaps Porzingis is very enticing, don't get me wrong, but the Timberwolves do play the Knicks this season, and they'll both be trying in that game. Other interesting players include Mario Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay, Andrew Wiggins, and D'Angelo Russell.
But let's not act as if the only thing to do on Friday night is watch basketball! Here are some other options to occupy your time.
Go see a movie!: Deadpool opens this weekend, and Hail, Caesar! looks funny. Furthermore, since there's a Marvel property opening tonight, any local showing of the new Star Wars is probably pretty open, if you're one of the few people who hasn't seen that yet (I was until last week).
Listen to some music!: That new Kanye album, So Help Me God/SWISH/Waves/T.L.O.P./The Life of Pablo is going to be another fascinating entry into his discography. Or pick out an old favorite and spin it. Take some time to relax before you get into your plans for the night!
Cook!: You've been working hard all week, so you probably won't want to do too much, but you deserve a nice meal. I'll recommend scallops, my new favorite meal base. They're not cooked at home as often as, say, salmon, or fish sticks, but they're easier than you'd think, filling, and delicious when done right. Pick out a recipe online that sounds good and go at it!
Mourn Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's injury!: This is really sad and we will all need some time to process it! Nobody will hold it against you if you need some time alone!
Watch something else on TV!: Friday night's listings include the finale of the college tournament on Jeopardy, The Amazing Race and Sleepy Hollow at 8, Shark Tank and UCLA at Arizona (college basketball is still basketball) at 9, and 20/20 or Dateline at 10
NBA: The skills competitions are held on Saturday, so here's a list of the major contests.
Skills Challenge: I don't ever remember what skills are being challenged in this, but the contestant pool is an interesting one. Patrick Beverley dropped out due to injury, but Jordan Clarkson, C.J. McCollum, Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, and Karl-Anthony Towns remain. I guess we'll see who has the most skills?
Three-Point Shootout: Stephen Curry is here, ho-hum. He'll be joined by teammate Klay Thompson, and a solid spattering of players from around the league. Rookie/Phoenix Suns' last hope Devin Booker will be the youngest player ever to join the three-point contest, Chris Bosh is one of the tallest, and James Harden has the longest beard. Then there's Khris Middleton, J.J. Redick, and Kyle Lowry. A very strong group of shooters that will all lose to Curry.
Dunk Contest: Here we go, something that has the potential for excitement. Zach LaVine looks to defend his title against Will Barton, Andre Drummond, and Aaron Gordon. That's a very strong group, though LaVine probably has the best shot at winning this, because my goodness, that guy gets up. I don't think I've watched a dunk contest live since Blake Griffin jumped over a sedan, but if you're going to watch a Saturday event live, this is the one.
But, if you're inclined to not watch any of these events and just go have fun on your Saturday night, there are some more options.
Go to a concert!: If you're in Charlotte, Carly Rae Jepsen is playing at The Fillmore, and Raleigh has Kid Cudi. Two good choices! Hard to go wrong there. If you don't like either, ask your one friend who goes to a concert every week to recommend something local.
Have a drink!: It's Saturday night! You've earned this. Don't overdo it and be responsible, but you're (probably) a grown adult and can handle these things! Have some fun! My personal recommendation for this time of the winter, if you don't mind people seeing you with a colorful drink, is the aqua velva. Strong, but delicious.
Have a conversation with people you've never met before!: Talk to other people! Gain new perspectives on life! Get out of the echo chamber that your social circle can sometimes be! Enjoy diversity!
Buy stuff you don't need on Amazon!: We've all done this before! Doesn't it feel great to splurge on yourself? We all need some luxury every now and then, even if it's just something little! (Editors note - At The Hive is not responsible for that irresponsible purchase you've been thinking about. You know the one.)
Watch something else on TV!: Actually, don't do this. It's a Saturday night, so it's just reruns and a Presidential debate that you'll be able to hear the recap of the next morning. Just watch the basketball players do cool dunks instead.
All-Star Game: Finally, it's Sunday! The NBA All-Star Game is upon us. And, since there's still no Hornets, there's probably a decent chance you don't have a rooting interest. But you'll get to see Kobe Bryant play in the All-Star Game for one last time, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will team up again, Isaiah Thomas will be way shorter than everybody else (which is always funny), and Kawhi Leonard is making his first of what will probably be quite a few All-Star appearances. So there are storylines, at least, if you still want to check out the game.
Of course, there won't be defense. Or cohesion beyond a few simple plays everyone knows. But it's the best players all going out there at the same time, so that's always fun.
Also, my solution to the All-Star game: put all the All-Stars out on the court at the same time. 12-on-12. I'm serious.
Here are your non-basketball options for Sunday.
Go outside!: Go outside! Take in some fresh air! Go for a long walk! Jog or ride a bike-- as long as you're exercising! You could even play basketball if you wanted to! Outside!
Do some home improvement!: That spot in your bathroom probably needs to be cleaned again. And you might have guests over soon. Or you could start work on that project you've always wanted to finish! Maybe it's something as small as dusting, or maybe it's as big as building a fence, or a play-set for your kids. Just do something! No sense in just sitting around on a nice Sunday.
Watch something else on TV!: Or maybe there is some sense in just sitting around on a nice Sunday. There's a new Bob's Burgers at 7:30 (and that's if you're not a 60 Minutes or America's Funniest Home Videos fan), The Simpsons is a Professor Frink-heavy episode, which could be promising, the Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger collaboration Vinyl makes its series premiere on HBO, and The Good Wife starts up the back half of its final season.
So maybe don't go outside. And possibly watch basketball. You won't be alone in either of those things. The Hornets could use some rest anyway, and nobody will hold it against them that they want to be healthy and rested to play the games that count.