NBA goes all out for All-Stars


As the NBA continues to scatter veteran All-Star players all over the map, the league seeks a respite of stability and coherence when it brings its current collection of top talent to New Orleans for All-Star Weekend. Give or take whatever happens to Jason Kidd between now and Sunday.

Searching for new ways to promote the traditional game, which will be televised by TNT on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., the league is offering a variety of live streaming feeds on its broadband channel, TNT OverTime All-Star Access, on

Along with live coverage of the game, the channel will offer:

* Cable Cam, which the website describes as a feed that "showcases a unique perspective as the camera zips up and down the court during the night's events."

* Robo Cam, which has nothing to do with Kwame Brown. Robo Cam is a camera attached to the backboard for the purpose of tracking the actions of competitors in the Slam Dunk Contest.

* Scoreboard Cam, which is precisely that, a camera underneath the scoreboard.

* "Fans Choice Poll," which will allow viewers to vote for two players each quarter to be followed by isolation cameras.

These options are all interesting to a point, but if the league really wants to drum up fascination in the game, it will instruct the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks to hold off on the Kidd trade until halftime of Sunday's game -- and bring two uniforms for Kidd.

Kidd starts for the East, there is a confetti-strewn news conference and ceremony during the break, Kidd trots off to a different locker room and comes back onto the floor with his new West teammates.

Or maybe have fans vote online to decide which team winds up with Kidd the rest of the season.

(Note to Kobe Bryant: Fans would be allowed to vote only once.)

Also available for viewing this weekend:

NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500 (Sunday, 11 a.m., Channel 11): Not to be technologically outdone, Fox is marking the 50th running of the Daytona 500 by digging holes in the track at Daytona International Speedway and installing a "Gopher Cam" at each of the four turns.

(Dodgers fans who presumed "Gopher Cam" was licensed specifically for starts by Brett Tomko and then retired as soon as Tomko was released in August, please be advised.)

Also, will offer viewers the chance to ask the network's NASCAR analysts Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds questions during the race, with selected queries receiving video answers.

Sneak preview: During a conference call this week, Waltrip was asked about NASCAR encouraging drivers to be more themselves.

"It makes me a little bit nervous," Waltrip said. "I know how these guys are. They do have to have some restraints on them. They do have to know what their limits are and they do have to know where the lines are. I'm not a real big fan of saying, 'Hey, we're going to lighten up and let boys be boys.'

"I think they still have to maintain the control they always have. NASCAR still has to police the way they always have. NASCAR has to maintain the same control they've always had and maybe just be a little bit kinder and gentler about it."

In other words: Gentlemen, cool down those engines.

UCLA at USC (Sunday, 7 p.m., Prime): Improbable Stat No. 1: In their most recent meeting, USC defeated UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 19, 72-63. Improbable Stat No. 2: USC has won seven of the last 13 Trojans-Bruins meetings in men's basketball. Improbable Stat No. 3: With a victory at the Galen Center on Sunday night, the Trojans would complete a football-basketball sweep of the Bruins this school year.

UCLA fans shake their heads at that last one and mutter, "Never happen." But then they were saying the same thing about the prospect of losing to Washington last weekend.

Northern Trust Open (today, noon and 6 p.m., Golf Channel; Saturday and Sunday, noon, Channel 2): Different sponsor, but this is the same event Riviera Country Club has hosted since the late 1920s. Among the many traditions built at the fabled course: Tiger Woods has never won this event, a streak that will run until at least 2009. Woods isn't entered this year. But 17 of the world's top 20 players are.

Dallas Stars at Ducks (tonight, 7, Prime): Dallas sports fans, hoping for Kidd's arrival, are asked to settle down and settle for a hockey game against the defending Stanley Cup champions.


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