NBA stars put on a show for charity at Cow Palace 

click to enlarge Bay Area native and Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden speaks to the crowd at the Cow Palace on Sunday. The game raised $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. - PHILIP HA/SPECIAL TO THE EXAMINER
  • Philip Ha/Special to The Examiner
  • Bay Area native and Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden speaks to the crowd at the Cow Palace on Sunday. The game raised $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

It might not have been the most technically sound basketball ever, but ladies and gentleman, we had NBA players competing against one another in the Bay Area over the weekend.

Don’t get too excited, though. The NBA lockout is still in full swing.

The players here came together for a charity game organized by Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden, a Bay Area native who at halftime presented a $10,000 check to the event’s beneficiary, the greater Bay Area chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

As things usually go in exhibition games, there was very little defense played, but a whole lot of offense going on. As such, the small crowd hovering around the court at the Cow Palace on Sunday night was treated to a collection of soaring dunks and some deep 3-pointers.

Some of the most recognizable faces playing in the game included the Warriors’ Dorell Wright, James Harden of the Thunder, Joakim Noah of the Bulls, the Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio, Shawn Marion of the Mavericks and high-flying Raptors’ star Demar DeRozan (who provided a number of dunk-contest-worthy slams throughout the game).

Off the court, rappers Mistah F.A.B., LoveRance and Big Rich were all courtside, while DJ Rick Lee of KMEL was spinning music for the crowd — as he did during Matt Barnes’ “We Believe” charity game at San Jose State in
October.

The score of the game didn’t really matter, as the White team led by Wright beat the Red team led by Gooden 117-92. The most exciting moment of the game might not have came during regulation at all, but during halftime.

After Gooden had signed and presented the check to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a young cancer survivor by the name of Shelby had sung Journey’s “Lights,” everybody settled into their seats.

Gooden took a ball and walked toward one of the court’s hoops, but had his sights set on the hoop at the far end more than 90 feet away. Without hesitating or putting much effort into it, Gooden heaved a full-court shot, making a wish as he let go. It went in.

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