Fusicology News

2008 NBA ALL-STARS hit the BIG EASY 02.15 – 02.17

on February 21, 2008with 1 comments

This past weekend in Nawlins was a trip. Mainly because we don’t usually roll baller-style, but it was actually kinda fun. Somewhat justified with Common and Swin Cash from the WNBA’s Detroit Shock, along with “Everybody Hates Chris” star, Terry Crews, representing for the “Hornets” team on Friday evening @ the 2008 All-Stars Celebrity Game. Not to mention appearances from Maze & Frankie Beverly with, interestingly, Snoop Dogg.
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The weekend kicked-off with the Celeb Game, (after a day of playground & court builds) hosted by McDonald’s and ESPN, and then continued with the ESPN afterparty. Aside from the hype half-time show with Lupe Fiasco, one of our favorite game highlights was at the very end, when it got a little intense, and the “New Orleans” team won by ONE POINT, after two fumbles… one of them being Common allowing his shot to get blocked by a GIRL – that’s right, WNBA San Antonio Silver Star, Ruth Riley, ganked our boy’s game like she was doing laundry. Ouch. S’ok, Common, we know you’re hurtin.
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After the Celeb Game, most rolled to the ESPN party, and some hopped over to House of Blues to catch Biz Markie for a minute. Saturday started out in the afternoon with a trip to the New Orleans World Trade Center (kinda creepy, when you think about it) on the river, and shot to the 31st floor to Ray’s & Club 360 for a Dwayne Wade pre-party featuring DJ Kid Capri and a super-hottt fashion show by up-and-coming NOLA urban designers, Jerk & Jon. Belvedere was a-flowin’ and the view was incredible! Most everyone seemed to have run through this joint just before heading to Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Competition and game.
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Next it was some good ole Crescent City seafood & cocktails, and then onto NBA Association Official Afterparty @ the EM Convention Center where Maze and Snoop shared the same stage – a unique juxtaposition that everyone stuck around for. Packed, the NBA party was certainly the event to be at for the networking guru.Soon it was on to catch a set by rising local soul singer, Tondrae Kemp, and his amazing band, just before heading over to the Playboy party, which, surprisingly, was over by 2:30… and walking out to head to the TNT party only led to the discovery that almost ALL the parties were shutting down early! Even Harrah’s Casino, in the middle of the madness, had security locking the doors, as the Fire Martial had apparently mandated that they hadexceeded capacity, and had to shut down. Insane. The last stop of the night, back @ the NOLA WTC 360, for Wade & Iverson’s afterparty, found shady bouncers trying to get $2G’s outta folks to get in! Now that’s ballerific. And that was a wrap.
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Sunday, of course, involved sleeping in, and many folks heading to the Game, which, for those that attended, was amazing, of course. A mass load of phenomenal human skill on one small court. The afterparty of the night though was hosted by All-Stars West-Coast Team player, Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, and celeb actor, Idris Elba, from “The Wire” and most recently, Jay-Z’s “American Gangster.” Put on by Jas Events and several partners, the party featured 3 rooms of fun, including local love with an all-NOLA music line-up with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Big Sam & his Funky Nation, as well as local DJ legend, Captain Charles. Carmelo & Idris were among the last to leave hanging until the wee hours.
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Now, after all the fun is said and done, we, of course, want to know what the billion-dollar NBA industry is doing to assist New Orleanians re-build, considering the fair city hosted the millionaires all weekend…??? So we would like to take a minute to note some of the programs that the NBA had in place to help some of the city’s people build.
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The NBA organized 3 main projects for the week, which included playground builds, home builds, and youth basketball clinics, all as part of their NBA Cares campaign. These projects deployed over 2,500 NBA players, staff, and volunteers on Friday, February 15 – dubbed their NBA DAY of SERVICE - to playground and home sites to physically build equipment and phases of housing construction, as well as conduct youth and SpecialOlympics NBA & WNBA b-ball clinics @ the convention center.
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Laurel Elementary School in New Orleans received a brand new set of basketball courts courtesy of NBA Cares and Midway, as well as school refurbishments as part of the NBA Cares Day of Service. Additionally, students attended the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam.
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View footage from the NBA Day of Service, as well as commentary & photos by some of the youth involved in the playground builds and basketball clinics here –>http://www.youtube.com/user/NBACaresVideo
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Individual NBA players that were honored this month were: NOLA’s own Chris Paul aka “CP3″ (the Hornets‘ ‘little guy’ that runs through the court like he’s 8 feet tall, making all the moves) for consistently helping his city to re-build over the past 2 years; LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers for his work on building new playgrounds for kids in destroyed areas; and Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets for pledging $75,000 to build a school in Chad as part of his “Stand Up for Darfur” project.
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OK, I guess there are some filthy-rich ballers out there that actually care. ;)
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Phew.
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- Jocelyne Ninneman for Fusicology.

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