Keeping up with dunks at the 2014 NBA All-Star game proved to be just as challenging as tracking calories during a weekend foodie trip to the French Quarter.
At times, I wasn't sure if I was more interested in watching live action from Sunday's game or in-game Dunk Fest highlights, a rewind of a LeBron James leap at the rim, or Anthony Davis making the Pelicans proud.
Or John Wall reversing, with two hands. Carmelo Anthony getting vertical. Did I mention James?
Fast. Fun. Skills out of this world.
It's one of the reasons the NBA, for all of its overpriced stars, continues to be hip, the way their stars come together annually for a show full of aviation and accuracy. Even with Kobe Bryant watching from the stands, the star power carried TNT's broadcast, from the pre-game show, where Pharrell handled the intro performance, to the Euro-inspired game jerseys, a market the league is hoping to tap.
I must have missed half the game, too busy watching the in-game replays. Usually, you can't keep up with all the high-rising moments from James and and Davis, Blake Griffin and did I mention Lebron James? This way, we at least got another look, often two looks, and from different angles.
With respect to Wizards All-Star John Wall: the real Slam Dunk contest took place Sunday at Smoothie King Center, a spectacle to see. Even a couple of times.
OK, but that was some nice pump action late early in the fourth, John.
If only Davis was teamed with Paul: What if point guard Chris Paul was still in town, and teamed up with Davis, the Pelicans' power forward?
Perhaps we'd see more moments like we did early in the second quarter as Paul fed Davis for three consecutive scores for the West All-Stars, part of Davis' eight- point contribution of dunks, dunks and another dunk in a four-minute span in the second quarter.
First, Davis converted a jump shot near the top of the perimeter, set up by Paul. After a miss by the East All-Stars, Davis ran the court on the right side on a fast break where he caught he first of consecutive lobs from Paul. The second was off the glass.
Davis then caught a lob from James Harden.
Davis finished with 10 points and one rebound in the East win. He was a late addition to the All-Star game after Bryant backed out.
Bryant talks about his reputation: Speaking of Bryant, the Lakers' All-Star guard, he spoke to reporters before tip-off in a press conference which could rivaled President Obama's pre-recorded halftime interview.
The highlight: Bryant was asked if he was concerned with his reputation as a difficult teammate and how it could be a factor in attracting free agents this summer to Laker Land.
Not necessarily, he said.
"I'm a difficult person to deal with, for people who don't have the same kind of competitiveness or commitment to winning," Bryant said. "Then I become an absolute pain in the neck, because I'm going to drag you into the gym every single day. If you need to be drug in, that's what I'm going to do."
Gary Estwick, a correspondent covering the Saints for the Sun Herald, can be reached at email@example.com. Find him on Facebook and TwitterEstwickSaints.