I’m back in the Skybox for most of Friday and there is a lot of activity going on in the arena today.  

  • Run-throughs for the Haier Shooting Stars competition started at 9:00am.  Again, there are stand-ins for every person who will be on the court during the real thing on Saturday night.  For the Shooting Stars competition, that means there are 12 guys on the stage to go through the introductions.  Then they actually get to go through an actual competition.  The only thing I hope is that the actual competition goes better on Saturday than it is going in rehearsals.  Most of the guys look like they’ve played basketball before but that half-court shot must be a killer.  They finally changed the rules for the stand-ins so they would only take one shot from each location other than half-court.  It was just taking too long!
  • After the Shooting Stars rehearsal, they did the same thing for the skills and dunk contests.  This was a little easier for the four participants.  The hardest thing for them (and it always seems like for the real players as well) was the bounce pass through the vertical hoop.  The ball seems to go through and then bounces out.
  • One of the guys doing the skills contest thought he would add a little flair at the end when he needed to make a lay-up and instead tried to dunk the ball.  Unfortunately for him, his legs were a little more tired than he anticipated and the ball hit off the front of the rim.  He quickly attempted and made another lay-up and then was laughed at as he left the court.  The camera guys decided to help him out by continually showing his miss on the big screen.

The entire crew is now heading to the All-Star Media Availability for the next 2 hours.  I expect we’ll have some fun stories from that experience.

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