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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Final Score: Pacquiao is NBA All-Stars’ Choice

02/15/2010 | 07:57 PM

DALLAS, Texas - The stars came out for the Lone Star State for the 59th NBA All Star Game last Sunday (Monday morning in Manila). Celtics legend Bill Russell, hip-hop mogul P. Diddy, comedian Chris Tucker, rapper Drake, Knicks die-hard Spike Lee and actress Gabrielle Union dotted the glitzy landscape. During the game, another star quietly entered Cowboys Stadium. He strolled with his entourage and looked for his VIP seat.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. made a nondescript entry into the scene. Cowboys Stadium was set aside for Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather said, “No thanks." Then, those who wanted to watch Floyd and Pacman in the ring, including many of the 2010 NBA All-Stars, retorted, “No way."

“Oh, I was very, very disappointed that the fight didn’t push through," West All-Star Chauncey Billups, a fan of Pacquiao, admitted. “I love Manny Pacquiao. He’s one of the greats. I love his heart. I love his passion out there and he fights to the end."

Many of the 2010 NBA All-Stars believe Pacquiao knocks out opponents the way LeBron James slams the ball. Successful athletes, after all, recognize skill and resolve the way Simon Cowell identifies talent. They also recognize a missed opportunity for Mayweather to test his greatness against Pacquiao.

“Pacquiao’s just tenacious," West All-Star Brandon Roy said. “I mean he goes in there and not only gives a great show but a great fight, that’s why you really want to see him in boxing. He’s just a great athlete, a great competitor and he fights at a high level every night."

“I’m very impressed with Manny Pacquiao," 1st time All-Star Deron Williams added. "He’s arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter and the way he has been beating people has been ridiculous."

Billups, Roy and Williams refused to predict a winner in a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout. They all agreed, though, that a showdown would feature two great fighters.

“I don’t know who’ll win that fight," 5-time All-Star Chris Bosh said. “That’s why it’s going to be a great fight. No one knows what’s going to happen."

Mayweather still has loyal fans. 1st time All-Star Derrick Rose is one of them. Still, if Mayweather slid into Sunday’s game with little fanfare, Pacquiao blasted the boxing scene like a Dwight Howard two-handed slam. Pacquiao, who’ll face Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, didn’t quietly enter the consciousness of the NBA’s boxing fans, he rocked their world.

“I’m just a big fan of boxing so I would love to see both those guys get in the ring together but just because it didn’t push through now doesn’t mean it won’t push through," an optimistic Roy said. “I still have high hopes that it will push through eventually."

“I love Manny Pacquiao," West All-Star starter Amare Stoudamire asserted. “He’s a great boxer. He was totally ready to fight Mayweather. I was waiting to see that fight but it didn’t happen."

When asked who would win the bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao, Stoudamire had one, clear choice.

“Pacquiao." - GMANews.TV


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