All-Star Edition: Friends With Words

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Friends with Words - Joe Gabriele and Sam Amico

Check out the double feature with Cavs.com Beat Writer, Joe Gabriele and FOXSportsOhio.com Beat Writer Sam Amico as they tackle a special All-Star Edition of "Friends with Words"... and they promise to have you in and out of the mess in about 5 minutes or under every time!


1. Best city for an All-Star Game to be hosted?

Joe G: I’d have to say New Orleans. There’s a reason they get Super Bowls and Final Fours. Fans, media and players all like it. The city has incredible history, the music and the food is fantastic. And it’s really hard to get in trouble. One night, I stumbled into a bar where this great jazz band was wailing; the next night, that band (Rebirth Brass Band) played the player intros at the All-Star Game.

Sam: Well, I think that goes without saying: Cleveland, the site of the greatest All-Star weekend ever (1997). Plus, it’s my favorite city, America’s most underappreciated city, the city where the NBA team with the best owner is located, and of course, home to Joe G. That last part basically puts it over the top.


2. Favorite All-Star Moment/Memory…

Joe G: The 1993 All-Star Game in Utah. (I wasn’t actually there for this. I’m not THAT old.) On All-Star Saturday, Mark Price won the Three-Point Shootout. In the actual game, Price hit six threes, Brad Daugherty and Larry Nance were each 3-for-4 from the floor. PLUS, it was a great game – though the West won in OT.

My favorite personal memory was: One night, I stumbled into a bar into New Orleans …

Sam: I like it anytime Kobe Bryant talks trash. Larry Bird and Michael Jordan introduced flapping one’s gums at a meaningless game, and Kobe has kept that tradition alive. Without him, this would basically be just a lazy Sunday afternoon picnic. With him, it’s fairly competitive.


3. All-Star '97 in Cleveland was...

Joe G: Incredible energy in Cleveland that weekend, with 47 of the NBA’s 50 greatest players in town. A proud moment for the city. And pretty amazing to think Kevin Garnett played in that All-Star Game and he’ll be playing on Sunday. I don’t like the guy, but that’s astounding.

Sam: The greatest ever. The 50 Greatest Players (at the time) all in one town, our town, making history. No All-Star event has ever been more meaningful. That’s why the NBA needs to update the list of players and deliver the game to Cleveland once again. And soon.


4. Favorite All-Star Event and Why?

Joe G: The final four minutes of the actual All-Star Game. I’ve outgrown the Slam Dunk and the Skills Challenge doesn’t do much. The Three-Point Contest is cool, especially with Kyrie in it on Saturday. But I like when the best in the world get it on for a concentrated stretch.

Sam: The three-point shootout. As a guy whose game consists of nothing but standing behind the three-point arc, calling for the ball, and frantically waving his arms like he’s chasing down a taxi, I can only dream of standing next to a rack of balls and getting to fire away without getting chastised.


5. Being Named to Participate in All-Star Weekend means…

Joe G: The worst player in the NBA is arguably the 450th-best player on the entire planet. There’s a couple dudes in Europe, but the NBA is pretty much the summit. To be chosen to be the best of that group means that – at a job every person would want – you’re the best of the best of the best.

Sam: Respect. Any player chosen is either 1.) a fan favorite or 2.) respected by coaches. In all of sports, the only better feeling than that is winning a championship.