The Dress That Broke the Internet First
Clyde Lovellette: The term “jersey dress” doesn’t mean what it used to. I didn’t find out until Googling “jersey dress,” but apparently a “jersey dress” is any type of casual dress made of varying materials. In my day–specifically February of 2003 when I was in eighth grade, when Mariah Carey did the NBA All-Star Game–a jersey dress meant a sports jersey repurposed into a dress.
Carey actually wore two dresses during that halftime performance, which was a tribute to the career of Michael Jordan during his third and final retirement year. I barely remember the first dress, an awesome short red throwback Chicago Bulls jersey dress, but the blue Washington Wizards jersey dress will be seared in my memory forever. It was the single-best thing to come from Jordan’s Wiz tenure, including the time he scored 51 points.
There are a few other notable jersey dresses throughout history: Myá in the North Carolina jersey dress in the “Best of Me (Part 2)” video, Rihanna in the Adidas jersey dress with a cape, and Beyoncé in the Derrick Rose jersey bodysuit in the “Feeling Myself” video. They can only hold a candle to Mariah. That form-fitting floor-length Wizards jersey is as important to NBA culture as Jordan’s long shorts, Allen Iverson’s tall tees, and Marvin Gaye’s rendition of the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.
This year’s All-Star Game will be Kobe Bryant’s last, and there will no doubt be a tribute to him at halftime. Unfortunately, there probably won’t be any jersey dresses present at the proceedings. I guess that’s why Jordan’s better than Kobe.
Off The Heezy
Varoon Bose: 2003 marked the year that streetball had officially been brought to the attention of the mainstream public. The And-1 mixtape tour was featured heavily on ESPN2, and kids all over the country were practicing their “Hot Sauce” ball handling instead of their jump shots.
No one really ever thought that streetball would (forgive the pun) crossover into main stream basketball, let alone the NBA. But guys like Allen Iverson, Jason Williams and even streetball legend turned NBA player Rafer Alston brought the style and bravado of streetball to the highest stage of basketball.
And it all came to a peak during All-Star weekend 2003.
It’s one thing to try to make someone fall with a crossover, or throw down a windmill dunk, especially during a rookie/sophomore showcases game. But those moves are relatively defensible since they seem like part of the game. They’re natural moves.
This one was not.
The audacity. The nerve. The gall. With time winding down in the, Warriors legend Jason Richardson actually bounced the ball off the head of All-Star turned somewhat internet laughing stock Carlos Boozer, and then calmly drilled a 3-pointer. There’s literally no other reason to do this unless you simply want to embarrass your opponent out of the building. Not to mention, you have to actually make the shot. And he did it at the buzzer (basically). It almost stuns me that this wasn’t Gilbert Arenas because this type of move really fits his M.O. But still, bless you Jason Richardson for ridiculing this shit out of Carlos Boozer. And damn you Carlos Boozer for not shoe-polishing your hair that day, so that we could see the mark of the ball on your head as a symbol of shame.
The Kings of the East
Jared Mintz: Since I was a little kid, NBA All-Star weekend has been one of my favorite sports extravaganzas. Memories of Robert Pack in the dunk contest, two-ball, and of course White Chocolate Jason Williams bouncing a pass off of his elbow have had tremendous effects on my life, but my favorite memory of NBA All-Star weekend has to be the 2001 All-Star game.
Growing up a Georgetown fan thanks to my love for Patrick Ewing, I was one of the first among my peers to wear the cape for Allen Iverson. From Questions, and Answers on my feet, his rookie jersey, and corn…ok I didn’t have cornrows as a kid, I’m not as cool as Kristaps Porzingis…I was pretty much obsessed with Iverson. I don’t need to further elaborate on my love for AI, but playing in an era with guys like Shaq, Kobe, and KG to name a few, I felt like I was on an island rooting for the East against the powerhouse out West.
With the East down 89-70 heading into the fourth, I remember not really wanting to watch the rest of the game. Good thing I stuck with it, as my hero went on to drop 15 points in the fourth quarter, which combined with two HUGE three’s from Stephon Marbury in the final minute of the game, helped the East take home a 111-110 win.
This very easily could have been my least favorite All-Star memory, as Kobe hit a couple of huge shots in the final minutes of the game in his best effort to prevent the East from climbing back into the game. But the combination of Iverson and Marbury showed too much heart to make their momentous comeback not count.
Usually if a team is down 21 in the fourth quarter of an All-Star game it’s all but over, but this game was so symbolic of Iverson as a basketball player: the underdog who thrived going against players who were bigger, stronger, and probably more talented. It’s rumored that when Iverson went to the scorer’s table to check back into the game in the fourth quarter he asked if anyone wanted to bet whether or not the East could come back. Hopefully no one took his bet.
All That Glitters Is Gold
Mel Evans: “Some-BODY once told me the world was gonna roll me…” Simple notes in 4/4 time that strike a sense memory so pure and true that everyone has a story. Where were you? Where were you when you first heard Steve Harwell growl out that you should get your game on/go/play? You can’t forget that memory – it’s a life marker. You remember where you were when the Challenger exploded. You remember where you were when the Towers fell. You remember where you were when you first heard Smash Mouth’s “All Star.”
I think I was in the car, probably. It was 1999 and we didn’t have fancy Sirius radio so we just listened to whatever Clear Channel told us to. I had to have heard it in the car. It definitely wasn’t at an All-Star game, because it came out in May. Despite immediately selling the song to any and all advertisers, it was not played during the NBA game – it was played during the MLB All-Star game. Nope, it was played in at least five movies, dozens of TV shows, and commercials for the Oscars, but you may never remember it specifically from the NBA All-Stars.
It had to have been played during the basketball game. Smash Mouth will sell the rights to anyone. Kobe even said last year he wanted to play “smash mouth” basketball last year – surely he was talking about the #2 hit on the Billboard charts. The song from “Shrek” kind of basketball.
So no, you probably don’t remember the first time you heard “All Star” at the All Star game – but you can probably remember that the Celtics were the first basketball team whose play was described as “smash mouth.” God bless you, Steve Harwell and Eric Camp.