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The Madhouse: Week of 1/31: The new All-Star Game format will not include Devin Booker

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The NBA got it wrong.

NBA: FEB 13 Suns at Clippers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Suns Stuff

Devin Booker got f***ed.

NBA All-Star reserves were announced Thursday. Here are the names that will fill out the rosters:

Eastern Conference reserves

Western Conference reserves

Dave King put together what a lot of us are already thinking.

There are multiple names on that list that should not be participating in the NBA’s mid-season celebration ahead of Book. I mean if we’re looking at, you know, BASKETBALL REASONS.

So the reasons are not about basketball. Voter fatigue? The desire to see familiar names in what will undoubtedly be an All-Star Game that is unlike any other we’ve ever seen? I don’t know. But Devin Booker has played well enough to earn this accolade. It is the most significant ASG snub in quite some time.

More importantly, your Suns continue to stay in the Western Conference playoff race after taking two of three last week JUST LIKE I SAID THEY WOULD.

Up next is Devin Booker All-Star spot thief Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder, tonight. Then it’s three on the road against Milwaukee, Brooklyn, and Detroit, before we chat again.

I’m not greedy. I’ll take a split of the four. That may be good enough to inch closer to the eight spot in the West. Portland’s a game ahead of Phoenix but has the Lakers, Jazz, and Nuggets up next. The Spurs are sitting ninth but have the Hornets, Clippers and Lakers.

So treading water may be good enough.

If you are interested in turning money into more money, last time I checked you can get the Suns at +450 to reach the postseason. Basketball-Reference.com says Phoenix has a 6% chance of making the playoffs. But check somewhere else and you may get a vastly different number. Because if this were easy, we’d all be rich.

NBA Stuff

Sounds like the the NBA’s salary cap for 2020-21 is going to be in the $115 million range, up about $6 million from this season.

You remember that beef that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had with China? Well, here’s an article that says a couple of his tweets cost the NBA anywhere from $150 million to $200 million.

Memphis and misogyny at MSG may mean money for miserable Marcus Morris. Maybe.

Melo passed KG on the all-time scoring list this week. Up next is John Havlicek and Paul Pierce.

Josh Jackson got some NBA minutes. All NBA minutes are good. Except these. These were not good NBA minutes.

I own a lot of hats. 40? 50? I don’t know. It’s a lot of hats. And sometimes I wonder, ‘how do they keep coming up with these new hats? What are they going to do when they run out of ideas for hats?’ Well now I know. They’re just taking your favorite NBA hat and adding a picture of food.

Here’s how close Under Armour was to seeing Steph Curry wear a competitor’s shoe.

Remember the old Dwight Howard? Not this one. Or the one before that. But the one before that??? Well Dwight Howard wants you to remember that Dwight Howard, so he’s back in the dunk contest. Smart move.

Fan engagement on social media means a lot of things, but evidently increased viewership is not one of them.

With a week before the trade deadline, the Lakers are maintaining their high price for Kyle Kuzma.

My Stuff

What I’m reading: Yesterday - A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, C.A. Fletcher. Tomorrow - I haven’t figured that out. Give me a suggestion.

What I’m playing: I got a smoking deal on a PS Now subscription about a month ago. The streaming service isn’t great. I moved the PS4 into a different room, fiddled with the modem, and got it working well enough to put some time into Raiden IV and Raiden V. Checked out Tokyo Jungle as well.

What I’m listening to: The Office Ladies podcast.

What I’m watching: Nothing new. Make with a suggestion.

What I’m doing: Learning the guitar. A couple of weeks in. I’ve been using the tutorials on justinguitar.com It’s a lot of fun.

What I’m Thinking

I don’t have a lot to say about the death of Kobe Bryant. Or certainly nothing that I think I can properly articulate on this platform, anyway. I’ll just say that Sunday prompted me to think extensively about my own mortality, more so than any celebrity death ever has.

The NBA has announced that they are going to implement some gigantic changes to its All-Star Game format. Straight from the league:

In the 69th NBA All-Star Game, Team Giannis and Team LeBron will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with the score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set.

The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points – the 24 representing Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career. The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first team to reach the Final Target Score will win the NBA All-Star Game.

For instance, if the cumulative score of the first three quarters is 100-95, the Final Target Score would be set at 124 points. To win the NBA All-Star Game, the team with 100 points would need to score 24 points in the fourth quarter before the team with 95 points scores 29 points, and vice versa. With no minimum or maximum time on the clock in the fourth quarter, the NBA All-Star Game will end with a made basket or a made free throw.

This is going to be a lot of fun. And I acknowledge that maybe ‘fun’ is not the best word to use about a change in an event that was prompted by such a terrible tragedy. But I can’t think of a better word.

We’re going to see how this goes, but this may be something the NBA wants to carry forward. All-Star games are when we should experiment. Get fun. Get weird. I loved it when Major League Baseball used the ASG to determine home field advantage for the World Series. I love the Team LeBron, Team Giannis format. For now. Skills competitions, new, different, bizarre rules, I want it all.

I have never read an article that stated “Sports League XYZ isn’t taking it’s All-Star Game seriously enough.”

So look, it was a terrible thing that got us here. And it’s hardly the most important basketball thing that is going to happen in 2020, but innovations like this are good. The good ideas are good. The bad ideas are good. All the ideas are good.

West: 124

East: 108