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Old 02-15-2016, 11:30 AM   #1
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Daily Craig: Cleveland had it by far

(Cleveland had it by far)

The NBA All-Star weekend ended in Toronto last night. I didn't make the trip as I have seen what Canada calls bacon. I have to think the best All-Star weekend ever was 1997.

Cleveland was the host for the first time in that city's history and it was the 50th anniversary of the NBA. The weekend was at Gund Arena, something I thought you had too see a doctor about. My then 14-year-old son, Cody, and I made the trip. Charles Barkley was on our flight. He was not in coach. Chuck and Clyde were on the West roster, but didn't play due to injury. At least that's what we were told.

Rudy T. was the coach for the West and Hakeem got the start at center. It wasn't the game that was so memorable, but rather the build-up. The 50 greatest players were honored. Except for a couple who had passed, they were there. My son got to go hang with Elvin Hayes while I did my Ch. 2 thing. Elvin took him to a VIP luncheon. The kid has his Rockets jacket on and is sitting with Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas and Dr. J. He gets to meet all the tall guys he can find, including Michael. Barkley makes sure everything is going smoothly.

You talk about star power. Jordan gets the first triple-double in All-Star history. Glen Rice comes off the East bench to be the MVP. Kobe won the slam dunk and Steve Kerr took the 3-point shoot-off. To add a taste of color ,RED AUERBACH AND RED HOLTZMAN coached the rookie game. To cap it off, my kid got a free ticket for the game. As I recall, if the game had been played on the roof he would have been in the second row.

Hey, you can't have everything, but you can come very close.

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