Royal Rumble 2014: We watched WWE television so you wouldn't have to
There's a good chance that WrestleMania 29 was the last pro wrestling program you watched before this week. You want to watch the Royal Rumble, but you're concerned you won't know what's going on. We can help with that.
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Lots of people watch wrestling every single week, but just as many people tune it out between WrestleMania and Royal Rumble before coming back for WWE's best events of the year. If you're planning on watching the Rumble without having watched WWE in a long time or you flipped on Raw for the first time in a long time on Monday — something over a million people did — you probably have no idea what the hell is going on.
Today is your lucky day, because I watched nine months of WWE television so you wouldn't have to. Here's everything you need to know before you dive back in to the wonderful world of pro wrestling.
Daniel Bryan is a big deal
When you last saw Daniel Bryan, he was part of the lovable Team Hell No with Kane. After WrestleMania, they had a lot of arguments about who the "weak link" was in their team after a series of matches in which one of them screwed up, leading to their eventual breakup and Bryan's run as a new singles star. Some great matches and the 'YES!' chant led to live crowds going nuts for him, culminating in a title match against John Cena at SummerSlam.
Bryan won that match with the debut of the flying knee as his finisher, only to lose the WWE title seconds later when Randy Orton cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and Triple H, the special guest referee, hit Bryan with a pedigree. A three-month feud ensued, with Bryan continuously getting screwed by Triple H, Orton or those aligned with the two. He's now a two-time WWE Champion, but he's been champ for less than 24 hours total. He's so over with the fans that they hijacked a segment where Orton, Cena and Triple H were attempting to promote a title match between the former two at the TLC pay-per-view, chanting so loud for Bryan that they forced Cena to improvise on the spot and include Bryan in his promo.
After getting screwed for the final time by Shawn Michaels, Bryan moved on to a new program with a cult called The Wyatt Family. He's beaten them in matches, gotten beaten up, joined their cult, then turned back into the old Bryan during this segment, which featured some insane crowd participation.
Bryan's huge with the people who watch wrestling all the time, but he hasn't had a legitimate singles match at WrestleMania to establish himself as a star yet. That should change this year.
Randy Orton is a bad guy
When you last saw Orton, he was a babyface without any kind of serious direction. He'd get on pay-per-view and would main event Raw occasionally, but he wasn't really doing anything for anyone. He was just there. Ever since cashing in Money in the Bank on Bryan and aligning with Triple H, he's become the company's top heel.
He's been running with the belt since early fall and has to defend it in a rematch against John Cena, whose dad he beat up out of frustration after losing to Kofi Kingston on Raw. That led to a rematch with Kofi on Monday that got cut short by Cena's interference. Orton ran away from Cena, out of the arena, and jumped into a random car. Who just picks up a dude standing outside in wrestling trunks?
There's plenty of potential with Orton as the top bad guy in WWE, but it doesn't seem like he or WWE knows what to do with his character. He's alternated between being an unstoppable psycho monster, a total coward and a Rick Rude knock-off. They're all decent ideas, but they need to pick one and stick with it for a bit.
The Authority are at the center of everything
Vince McMahon has been mostly off-screen since the Smackdown before SummerSlam. Since then, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have been the company's main authority figures on television, dubbing themselves ... The Authority. It's not creative, but at least it's new. They're joined by Kane, who has shed his mask to become director of operations, Raw GM Brad Maddox and Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero.
The Authority spent the entire summer and fall being huge jerkfaces to everyone that questioned them, leading to some pretty excellent storylines. Cody Rhodes got fired and Goldust, his real-life half brother, failed to win a match to get his job back. That led to a tag team match against Shield members Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns for both of their jobs, which they won when their father Dusty stopped Dean Ambrose from interfering by beating his ass with a belt. The Shield have also been made to beat up Bryan and CM Punk while working for The Authority.
This wonderful segment set up awesome potential stuff heading into Mania season. Note the Bryan chants when the ending of the segment is absolutely not about him at all.
The Shield are amazing and Roman Reigns is their breakout star
The community at our pro wrestling blog Cageside Seats put together their list of the 50 best matches of 2013. An incredible 17 of those matches featured at least one member of The Shield, with Seth Rollins appearing in 16 of them. There's no doubt that Rollins was the best in-ring performer of the group when they debuted, but Roman Reigns is going to become the star of the group.
Reigns owns the most protected finisher in WWE, a spear that no one has kicked out of and that no one will kick out of until he faces a massive star at WrestleMania in a year or two. It sounds unoriginal, but he's a former defensive tackle, so it fits, and it looks 10 times more devastating than any spear Edge ever delivered. He's added a couple of other fun signature moves to go along with it, a Samoan drop and a Superman punch.
Even though Reigns was the least polished of the group when they came up from NXT, WWE's developmental territory, everyone should have seen this coming. WWE loves big guys, athletes from other sports and family lineage. He's about 250 pounds, he played at Georgia Tech and he's related to The Rock, Rikishi and two dozen other Samoan pro wrestlers.
WWE have started his push by having him pin some big stars clean and tie the eliminations record at Survivor Series. Expect him to rack up a crazy number of eliminations at the Rumble.
The Wyatt Family are the best new act to debut in years
At least in terms of their characters and their storyline potential. The Shield are outstanding wrestlers who have put on the best matches of the last year, but they have a pretty one-dimensional gimmick and their only value is in beating people up and putting on great matches. It's a very effective gimmick for pro wrestling, but they don't match the range of things the Wyatt Family can do. There are so many places WWE can go with a redneck cult intent on teaching people that the world is corrupt and no one cares about them.
Their leader, Bray Wyatt, is better at wrestling promos than you will ever be at anything.
Batista is back
He's going to promote his new movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy," extensively while he's with WWE. He's looking less fake muscly these days. He'll probably go deep in the Rumble and win a title at some point. I can't tell you one mildly interesting thing about Batista's return or his character. Hopefully WWE comes up with something.
Miscellaneous and less important things
Big E Langston could rival Reigns and Wyatt as the top young star in the company. He's not getting the same monster push, but he's the Intercontinental champ and he has the giant bodybuilder look that Vince likes. Before making a singles run, he was the bodyguard for Divas champion AJ Lee, who now has a very intimidating female bodyguard. AJ has taken up the character of a crazy person who kicks and screams. She also carelessly skips around the ring giving approximately zero shits while her muscle, Tamina, is losing.
Every year, the Royal Rumble contains a number of surprise guests, returning heroes and shocking participants. We run down who's most likely to make us leap out of our seats this time around.
Chris Jericho has been off WWE television for a while, along with Sheamus. Jericho works on and off so he can do things like tour with his rock band and write books, while Sheamus picked up a nasty shoulder injury six months ago. They could both make surprise Rumble returns, along with Rob Van Dam, who returned for a three-month run with the company this summer. Brock Lesnar, who works a limited schedule with the company, is back after taking an extended break post-SummerSlam. Expect him to get into the main event picture shortly, though he may not stay there since he's never going to sign a full-time contract with the company.
Oh, and *Spoiler alert*, Sting might show up at some point in the next three months. The biggest star in pro wrestling to never work for WWE is getting written off TNA television on Thursday night, so don't be surprised if he shows up soon. It might not come at the Rumble, but it'll come eventually.
* BTW Trinity and John are married ^__^ *
Also a pic from Brie and Daniel's Noh8 shoot
Ricky Rubio played catch with an adorable little girl during a Timberwolves game
While the Minnesota Timberwolves were in the process of blowing out the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, Ricky Rubio took advantage of an extended timeout to pass the ball back and forth with a little girl.
Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved’s nose started bleeding, and a grounds crew was sent out to mop up the mess. During the stoppage in play, this girl found her way onto the court (thanks to the Jazz’ mascot), and made a new friend in Rubio.
At least one Jazz fan will have a fond memory of an otherwise completely forgettable game.
NY-NJ area ready for ‘mass transit’ Super Bowl
NEWARK, N.J. — For all the consternation over whether Mother Nature may or may not visit in northern New Jersey for next weekend’s Super Bowl, another unpredictable force could determine whether the event turns into a transportation debacle: the football fan.
The $64,000 question, beyond whether Feb. 2 will bring another storm the likes of the one that dumped nearly a foot of snow Tuesday, will be whether the estimated few hundred thousand visitors to the area heed organizers’ advice and leave their cars at home or at their hotels.
Police officials say security for the Super Bowl will include about 4,000 government and private officers assigned to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on game day next month.
Police officials say security for the Super Bowl will include about 4,000 government and private officers assigned to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on game day next month.
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If fans do decide to take mass transit, they will find plenty of options waiting. If they don’t, they will find out what New York metro area residents already know, that the slightest disruption to the traffic system, be it construction, an accident or the influx of more vehicles, can tip an already delicate balance into chaos.
And that’s on an average day.
“There’s a certain degree of angst that I have right now, quite frankly,” said Jim Kirkos, head of the Meadowlands Chamber, a business organization covering the area surrounding MetLife Stadium. “But people at the host committee have been studying this for a long time and they have a really solid transportation plan. They’re going to have a lot of assets and resources working on this, so I have a lot of confidence this will find a way to work itself out.”
The efforts to make this the first “mass transit” Super Bowl fall into two categories: the days leading up to the game and the game itself.
Geography dictates the former. More than 20 miles separates Times Square, site of the NFL’s Super Bowl Boulevard attraction, and Florham Park, N.J., where the Broncos will practice. In between is Jersey City, site of the team hotels; East Rutherford, home to MetLife Stadium and the Seahawks’ practice facility, and Newark, where media day will be held next Tuesday.
New Jersey Transit, the nation’s third-largest commuter rail system, will expand service and add cars onto some trains starting on Wednesday of Super Bowl week, and will have additional bus service into New York from next Wednesday through Saturday. The agency is offering a $50 “Super Pass” good for travel on its rail, light rail and bus lines from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3. NJ Transit spokesman John Durso Jr. said about 1,300 of the passes had been sold so far.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridges and tunnels between New York and New Jersey, will add trains to its PATH rail service between Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken and Manhattan beginning next Monday.
Two years of planning have gone into figuring out how to move 80,000-plus people in and around MetLife Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday in any weather. Two factors in organizers’ favor: weekend traffic is less onerous, and parking restrictions will keep down the number of cars that can get onto the stadium grounds.
Fewer than 15,000 of the normal 28,000 parking spaces are available and must be reserved by ticketholders for $150 each. (As of Wednesday some were being sold on eBay for upwards of $300.) Buses and limos won’t be allowed to drop off passengers and leave, and will also have to pay for parking spaces.
That leaves trains and buses as the mode of transportation organizers hope a large number of fans will choose.
The Super Bowl host committee is running buses from six locations in New York and three in New Jersey — one in Secaucus, one at Newark Liberty Airport’s Marriott hotel and one in Hanover, close to the Broncos’ practice facility in Florham Park. Tickets are $51 roundtrip — no discount for one-way travel — and are on sale through this Friday. They’ve been selling well, according to host committee spokeswoman Alice McGillion, though she wouldn’t specify how many had been sold. The buses hold about 50 people each and will be allocated to the different locations based on demand, McGillion said.
NJ Transit lengthened its lower platform at the Secaucus train station to accommodate longer trains for the Super Bowl, and will offer trains about every 10 minutes or so on game day, according to Durso. Riders should expect to have their game tickets checked and go through security screening, Durso said.
“It’s going to be ‘load and go,’ where once we bring the trains to capacity we’re going to move them out to the Meadowlands,” he said.
For motorists, the state Department of Transportation will have an army of machinery and resources at its disposal including plows and salt-spreaders in case of snow, and trucks patrolling roads near MetLife Stadium to clear away accidents or help stranded motorists. Drivers will be directed by numerous electronic signs that can be changed depending on traffic conditions by DOT personnel at a command center central New Jersey.
“It will be very clear how to get to the stadium, what exits to take,” DOT spokesman Joseph Dee said. “And there will be a lot of eyes on a lot of camera images, and communications with folks in the field.”
Pitbull's FIFA World Cup Song a Collab With Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte
FIFA and Sony Music today named "We Are One" by Pitbull featuring Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte the official song for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, which kicks off June 12 in Sao Paulo. The song will be released by Sony in the coming months and performed at the World Cup opening ceremony. A video for "We Are One (Ole Ola)" is also in the works.
"I truly believe that this great game and the power of music will help unify us," Pitbull said during an official announcement today (Jan. 23) at the Macarena Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. "Because we are best when we are one."
FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke emphasized the participation of Claudia Leitte, a well-known Brazilian pop singer and judge on The Voice Brasil. "FIFA and Sony Music are extremely excited to share the impressive talent of Claudia Leitte with the world alongside such internationally celebrated artists as Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez," Valcke said. "In my many visits to this country I’ve seen and heard a lot about the great Brazilian music tradition and it gives me great pleasure to see a Brazilian artist at the heart of this song. I’m sure, like me, millions of football and music fans all over the world will be eagerly awaiting the song’s release."
Pitbull & Ke$ha's 'Timber' Lands First U.K. No. 1 for 2014
Leitte said she was looking forward to dancing samba with Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez.
Pitbull’s single "Timber" featuring Ke$ha is currently in its third consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where the Miami rapper holds a career total of nine top 10s and two No. 1s.
He and Lopez have recorded three previous collaborations, most recently "Live it Up," a single from JLo’s upcoming album. 2011’s "On The Floor" spent three weeks in the top ten.
Pitbull has sold 2,827,000 albums to date in the U.S., according to SoundScan. Like JLo, he is reportedly preparing a new album for release this year.
Although further details on the song are yet to be revealed, it can be expected to include English, Spanish and Portuguese lyrics, and, particularly given Pitbull’s track record of global hits, will likely be a goal for the artists, FIFA and FIFA partner Sony.
The last FIFA World Cup song, 2010’s "Waka Waka" by Shakira with South African group Freshly Ground, has sold 1,7400,000 digital downloads to date. This week it is No. 2 on the Latin Digital Songs chart, where it spent 42 weeks at No. 1. The video has been viewed almost 600 million times on YouTube.
That song did not instantly catch on. Its lyrics were criticized when the song was released in April 2010, and the title was mocked. Controversy stemmed from an earlier Cameroonian song recorded by a band that was not credited (reportedly Sony later paid them for the rights). Dominican singer and songwriter Wifredo Vargas. sued Shakira, accusing her of stealing from his merengue song "El Negro no Puede," performed by Las Chicas del Can.
"We Are One" could be the third World Cup hit by Latin stars. In addition to Shakira’s smash, Ricky Martin’s "The Cup of Life" (La Copa de la Vida) for the 1998 World cup in France took the bilingual singer to international stardom when the song went to No. 1 in seven countries. Martin’s performance of the song on the Grammy Awards kick-started the so-called Latin pop explosion, essentially paving the way into the mainstream for bilingual Latin artists.
Martin will also record a song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup album, chosen via a Sony-sponsored Supersong contest. The contest allowed aspiring songwriters in countries around the world to upload a recording of their own World Cup song. Submissions are now closed, and finalists are to be announced soon on the Supersong site.
Coca-Cola kicked off World Cup fever last September with its official 2014 song, "The World is Ours," sung in English by former X-Factor contestant David Correy. Several other versions in Spanish and Portuguese have since been released, featuring Gaby Amarantos, Carlos Vives and Wisin of the reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel, with more expected in the coming months. Coca-Cola, which has been an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 1978, scored big in 2010 with their campaign theme "Wavin’ Flag," which made the Somalia-born MC and singer/songwriter K’NAAN’s name known around the world. "Wavin’ Flag" went to No. 1 in 18 countries and sold 918,000 downloads in the U.S., according to SoundScan.
FIFA sponsor Adidas and Brazilian national team outfitter Nike are among other brands that have so far unveiled World Cup campaigns.
How US will rescue Olympians if terrorists strike the Sochi Games
By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News
A catastrophic terrorist strike at the Sochi Winter Olympics would present the United States with a logistically mind-boggling and diplomatically delicate challenge: How to get more than 200 American athletes safely out of Russia.
U.S. military officials have described plans to use two warships in the Black Sea and planes already on standby in Europe to evacuate Americans if the worst fears of security experts come true.
But these are the Olympics of President Vladimir Putin, who is spending a reported $50 billion on the games, including a purportedly impenetrable “ring of steel” around the Olympic city, and who sees the games through a prism of national pride.
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Any American rescue operation would depend heavily on his approval, security experts say. And that’s unlikely if not impossible.
NBC News' Richard Engel reports from inside the difficult-to-reach Coastal Cluster in Sochi.
“As far as being able to do things without Russian cooperation, it’s basically a nonstarter,” said Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a former Russia expert in the Clinton White House and an NBC News analyst.
“This is their territory, their country,” he said. “They get to decide what kind of outside help they need.”
Fears of Olympic terror have grown in the countdown to the games, which formally open Feb. 7. In the past week, a militant video has promised a “surprise” in Sochi, and Russia has hunted for at least five suspected terrorists who may have designs on an attack.
On Tuesday, police said they had killed a senior Islamist militant in Russia's North Caucasus as they hunted three Muslim women dubbed “black widows” and other terror suspects ahead of the Winter Olympics.
So while Putin’s ring of steel may help thwart larger coordinated attacks, experts are warning that lone attackers also pose a significant threat to the Games.
According to Gordon Woo, terrorism expert at risk management modeling firm RMS, analysis shows that terror plots involving up to 10 operatives have a 5 percent chance of succeeding.
"Smart terrorists" rein in their ambition and aim for simpler plots with fewer operatives, he said.
The U.S. Olympic Committee declined to discuss the details of security for the American athletes or what would happen in the event of an evacuation.
“The safety and security of Team USA is our top priority,” Patrick Sandusky, a USOC spokesman, said in a statement.
“As is always the case, we are working with the U.S. Department of State, the local organizers and the relevant law enforcement agencies in an effort to ensure that our delegation and other Americans traveling to Sochi are safe,” he said.
But at least part of the American contingent for Sochi, the skiing and snowboard teams, is paying a private company, Global Rescue, for additional security.
The company promises communications help, “rally points” for athletes to shelter in place and ways to get them around, or out of, Sochi. Dan Richards, the CEO, said in an interview that Global Rescue has six aircraft that it could “utilize for rapid response.”
Exactly how that would work — a private security company landing its planes in or around Sochi in the immediate aftermath of an attack — is not clear, and Richards declined to provide details of the company’s plans.
Global Rescue also offers its services to individuals and companies, and in recent years has helped customers during the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan.
Counterterrorism analyst Michael Leiter says transportation in Russia is vulnerable in the high-threat areas surrounding Sochi. The terrorists who previously launched an attack, he said, have every incentive to do so again.
“In every major crisis we’ve been involved with, we’ve never had host governments deny us overflight or landing permission,” he said. “The likelihood is that we’ll all work together, the Russians, our government, other friendly government and other private companies.”
Richards would not say what the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is paying for the additional protection. The skiers and snowboarders are among the richer American teams.
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The American luge team — 10 athletes and four coaches, plus medical and support staff — will rely on the U.S. Olympic Committee, said Gordy Sheer, the team’s director of marketing and sponsorship.
“They’re working pretty hard, and we’ve been given a lot of assurances,” he said in a phone interview. “I feel that the USOC is really making it a priority, and obviously the Russians are as well.”
There are signs of concern among American athletes. Some, including at least two members of the high-profile hockey team, have told their families not to travel to Sochi to cheer them on.
“I’m actually really concerned about it,” Zach Parise, one of the hockey players, told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul. “I know they say they have evacuation stuff for us and all, but you just never know. I guess you have to wonder at what point does someone say it isn’t a good idea for us to go.”
The biathlon team has bought satellite phones for its coaches and is recommending that traveling families of its 10 athletes purchase medical and evacuation insurance — the same already provided to Olympic athletes by the USOC — should anything go wrong, said Max Cobb, president and CEO of U.S. Biathlon.
Other American athletes say their minds are on getting ready for competition.
“I’m not worried about any safety issues in Russia at this point,” said Kelly Clark, a snowboarder competing in her fourth Winter Games. “We’re so focused on our competition and on our sport.”
U.S. officials say the terror threat is higher than at any previous Olympics. The State Department will have diplomatic security officers in Sochi, though it has declined to say how many, and the FBI will have a presence as well.
“The Russian government has the lead here for security,” Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, told reporters. “Obviously we’ve said we’re happy to assist in any way we can, certainly for American citizens.”
President Barack Obama spoke with Putin this week about Olympic security, and Russia has raised the possibility of the Americans’ sharing bomb-detecting technology for the games. That would mean having American military personnel on the ground to help.
But senior defense officials told NBC News on Wednesday that there was little or no chance that the technology could be in place in time. It would take months to train the Russians, and there has been no discussion of using the system in Sochi under total American control, they said.
And the Olympics take place at a time of frayed U.S.-Russian relations — tested by the Edward Snowden affair and the Boston Marathon bombings — not to mention the long shadow of the Cold War.
A large-scale attack would trigger almost unimaginable complications, said Weiss, the Russia expert.
For example: At least 85 countries and 2,500 athletes are taking part in the games. Sochi has a fairly small airport, so who gets to fly out first? And why should the Americans be given priority?
“Something that looks like the U.S. cavalry riding to rescue Russia or Vladimir Putin from an attack seems — well, it’s just hard to imagine that happening,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s all on Russia.”
Curry starts in first All-Star Game; LeBron top vote-getter
Posted Jan 23, 2014 7:35 PM
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors will start in his first NBA All-Star Game, having secured the top spot among Western Conference backcourt players after the final returns of NBA All-Star Balloting 2014 presented by Sprint. Curry (1,047,281) is joined in the West backcourt by the L.A. Lakers' Kobe Bryant (988,884), who was selected to play in his 16th All-Star Game, second all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19). LeBron James of the Miami Heat was the leading overall vote-getter with 1,416,419 votes, followed closely by Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who finished with 1,396,294 votes.
The 63rd NBA All-Star Game will be exclusively televised on TNT from New Orleans Arena on Sunday, Feb. 16. The All-Star Game, also broadcast live on ESPN Radio, will collectively reach fans in 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
James, an All-Star for the 10th time in 11 seasons, is joined in East's frontcourt by the Indiana Pacers' Paul George (1,211,318) and the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (935,702). The Heat's Dwyane Wade (929,542) and the Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (860,221) comprise the Eastern Conference's starting backcourt. Wade is also making his 10th trip to the All-Star Game in 11 seasons.
Durant, who earned his fifth All-Star nod, is joined in the frontcourt in the West by the L.A. Clippers' Blake Griffin (688,466) and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love (661,246), who overtook the Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard for the final starting frontcourt spot in the West. It's the fourth straight All-Star nod for Griffin, while Love is set to play in his third All-Star Game.
NBA All-Star Balloting 2014 presented by Sprint, which concluded on Jan. 20, gave fans around the world the opportunity to vote daily for their favorite players as starters for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. For the second year in a row, NBA fans voted via social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, and Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblog in China. This year, the NBA expanded social media voting to include Instagram.
In selecting reserves for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, the 30 NBA head coaches must vote for seven players within their conference, including two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. After the coaches select the reserves, if a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game, the NBA Commissioner will select the replacement. Reserves will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 30, on TNT.
The East and West All-Star coaches and coaching staffs are determined by the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 2. Indiana's Frank Vogel was already named coach in the East on Jan.14, by virtue of the team's record. The Heat's Erik Spoelstra and the Spurs' Gregg Popovich are not eligible, having coached in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game.
NBA All-Star 2014 in New Orleans will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league's history for a global celebration of the game. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 12th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 30th year of All-Star coverage. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk. Other events at NBA All-Star 2014 will include the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session. The 2014 game will mark the second NBA All-Star celebration in New Orleans. The city also hosted the event in 2008.
The final returns of NBA All-Star Balloting 2014 presented by Sprint:
Carmelo Anthony, New York
Paul George, Indiana
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
LeBron James, Miami
Dwyane Wade, Miami
Head coach: Frank Vogel, Indiana
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
Stephen Curry, Golden State
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
Kevin Love, Minnesota
Head coach TBA
NBA All-Star 2014 Balloting presented by Sprint
1. LeBron James (Mia) 1,416,419
2. Paul George (Ind) 1,211,318
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 935,702
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 524,809
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 406,867
6. Kevin Garnett (Bkn) 209,398
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 181,145
8. Andre Drummond (Det) 163,798
9. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 137,512
10. Luol Deng (Cle) 121,754
11. Jeff Green (Bos) 121,040
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 103,502
13. David West (Ind) 95,363
14. Paul Pierce (Bkn) 95,034
15. Josh Smith (Det) 75,433
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 929,542
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 860,221
3. John Wall (Was) 393,129
4. Derrick Rose (Chi) 359,546
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 250,909
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 174,654
7. Lance Stephenson (Ind) 148,382
8. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 131,228
9. George Hill (Ind) 129,533
10. Deron Williams (Bkn) 126,423
1. Kevin Durant (OKC) 1,396,294
2. Blake Griffin (LAC) 688,466
3. Kevin Love (Min) 661,246
4. Dwight Howard (Hou) 653,318
5. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 609,172
6. Tim Duncan (SA) 492,657
7. Anthony Davis (NO) 286,247
8. Andre Iguodala (GS) 266,611
9. DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 255,005
10. Pau Gasol (LAL) 247,323
11. David Lee (GS) 232,210
12. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 201,873
13. Chandler Parsons (Hou) 174,512
14. Omer Asik (Hou) 130,344
15. Andrew Bogut (GS) 127,947
1. Stephen Curry (GS) 1,047,281
2. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 988,884
3. Chris Paul (LAC) 804,309
4. Jeremy Lin (Hou) 628,818
5. James Harden (Hou) 470,381
6. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 317,338
7. Damian Lillard (Por) 280,966
8. Tony Parker (SA) 258,751
9. Klay Thompson (GS) 162,984
10. Ricky Rubio (Min) 124,230
Source 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
btw this is for blacktinbox
* edit sorry mods , I fixed it *
OMG AT ALL OF MY BABIES PARTICIPATING IN THE ALL STAR GAME <3 <3 YASSSS