In case you missed it on Friday night -- and I'm really assuming most people did because I, myself, questioned my own sanity several times for setting aside time to watch it -- the NBA presented the 2014 Celebrity All-Star game. There was a basketball sighting and people moving around on a court who are arguably celebrities, so I'm assuming I was on the right channel. It was a lighthearted affair that hopefully encapsulates the last time I'll ever willingly have Kevin Hart on my television screen.
But as a Memphis Grizzlies basketball fan, there was a saving grace from this two-hour block of my life that I'll never be able to pry back from the filthy hands of time. Robert Pera took to the hardwood and made the Grizzlies and the city of Memphis very proud with a performance that lived up to the NBA junkie's reputation. He'd eventually be robbed of the MVP award because enough stupid people managed to fumble around on their phones until Kevin Hart had enough votes to win it. Hopefully Pera makes a return next year for another stab at glory, but there are still five things I learned about the Grizzlies owner after this one performance.
1. Robert Pera Can Bawl
He's athletic, can really play basketball, and appears to have a really good understanding of the angles and timing involved. He moves well, he can jump
higher than Zach Randolph, and he pulled off a pretty nifty eurostep.
Just look at that body control and explosion! And that was against former NBA player Allan Houston.
2. Analytics Are No Coincidence
If we didn't know before, we can now confirm that Robert Pera is a huge fan of analytics and efficiency, and he practices what he preaches. Not only does he employ John Hollinger, but I don't think Pera ever took a jump shot ... let alone one that was contested or outside of the paint. He finished 5/6 from the field, got to the foul line six times, and finished with a game high in plus/minus at +11. You taking notes Jeff Green?
3. Bobby Shares The Rock
He's a team player. While he only logged one assist on the night, it was far from his lone attempt at getting teammates involved. If you go back and look at the SportsVU from this game (which hopefully doesn't exist), you would probably see that Robert was near the top in total passes made, and this was almost to a fault. Thankfully he wasn't afraid to floss those skills from time to time, but there were a few give-and-go's initiated by Pera that weren't consumated -- looking at you Chris Mullin. If you give Robert a solid person with which to play the two-man game, he easily scores 20 in this one.
4. The Peradigm Of Professionalism
He didn't go nuts and take it too seriously, and he didn't just lollygag around the court. It was obvious that he was showing concerted effort, but c'mon...you can't fault him for that. If you loved and trained to play basketball, wouldn't you also try to not suck on national television? He played within the flow of the game and really only played defense when he was matched up on former athletes and men that were 6 feet+. He was basically the opposite of Michael Rapaport, who showed himself a total ass as he blocked a layup from an 11-year-old girl.
5. He Genuinely Loves The Grizzlies
Pera's game looks like it's mirrored after his favorite NBA franchise. That's right, the one he owns. It's hard to deny RP's paint presence and post game. He certainly had a size advantage on most everyone out there, and he took full advantage with his best impersonations of Marc and Zach down on the block. Not only was his love of the Grizzlies reflected in his game, but he specifically chose his jersey number to honor the Grindfather!
@aa000G9 wore #9 to honor you TA!— Robert J Pera (@RobertPera) February 14, 2015