In case you missed it, the final score of the All-Star Game was 152-132, and sad to say, it wasn't even as "close" as the score suggests as the West was simply toying with the East. After the game, Henry Abbott caught up with Chauncey Billups:
So, um, was the 2007 NBA All-Star Game a good basketball game?
"No." Chauncey Billups didn't hesitate for a second. "I didn't like it at all. I loved being here. I loved being a part of it, but I don't like it at all. We need something to make the guys play a little harder, to compete against one another."
He's saying something that was blatantly evident from press row. This was not high-level basketball, and nobody claimed it was. This was a creampuff -- 99 percent air.
"If I paid my hard-earned money to see KG and Kobe and Wade, I want to see them really play. You know what I'm saying?" Billups said. "Not practice. I want to see them play."
Billups said he even brought it up with his teammates, imploring them to at least try to win the game. And he didn't buy the playing not to get injured approach: "I could get hurt just walking back here. There's nothing you can do about that. I'm not one to dive on the floor or take crazy charges. I don't expect that. But I expect that they'll at least compete against one another."
For what it's worth, Billups tied with LeBron James for a team-high six assists in 16 minutes, chipping in eight points. Rip Hamilton also scored eight with six boards in 15.
(On a side note, eliciting answers like this is one reason why I'm happy to see Abbott land with ESPN ...)