First were the 3-point shootout and hotshot competitions. Now, I am not going to steal Kris' thunder on his side of the participation, but I will happily say that I will be pleased if I never launch another NBA three again. Never has 23 feet or so seemed like 100 miles away.
However, I did do well in the hotshot competition, and was in third place as the last few contestants worked through the first round. As the contestants wound through, the scoreboard above Philips Arena kept updating, still with yours truly at 3rd place with 10 points. Then, inexplicably, I was off the board, and some 9 point contestants on the board instead.
Asking around, nobody could determine why my score was scrubbed. Fortunately (or unfortunately), my 10 points would have finished 4th, just off the Top 3 needed to advance, but it was a sign of things to come for the Peachtree Hoops team.
Next were the lights out, spotlight introductions. Now while Kris and I were placed on the same team, which was cool, one of our provided teammates, both of which came from La Vision News, had never played basketball before. She was Nadya. Her colleague, Zulma Luna, had played and was acutally a better shot than I was on this day. Of course, a well conditioned kangaroo would have been a better shot than I was on this day.
The entire Hawks coaching staff, I believe, was on hand to high-five us, as was Kevin Willis, who apparently came aboard to laugh at the people that cover the game.
Then came the games. Our intrepid 4 person team took the floor---and we were immediately matched up with the player who was currently in first place (by a long shot) in the 3 point and Hotshot competitions, Darryn Moore from WSB. Darryn and Mark Arum magically didn't have their two other teammates, and with everybody else in play, Moore's team picked up two players to play....Hawks assistants Bob Bender and Nick Van Exel.
So, in the first round, we have the leader in the 3 point shooting and Hotshot Darryn Moore, Mark Arum, Bob Bender, and Nick Van Exel against a guy who is 3 months out of ACL surgery and can't cut or jump (that would be me), two ladies who were the combined height of Kevin Willis, and Kris Willis.
Let's just say there was a lot of pressure on Kris to produce. A lot.