By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

Beyond the dunks (it's a brutal field, anyway) ... beyond the three-point frenzy (oh, great: Peja's literal 3-peat) ... beyond the skills comp ... way beyond whatever watered-down halftime show happens (wait: Beyonce ... yes!) ... NBA All-Star Weekend wouldn't be the same without a look at What's Hot and What's Not in the League at midseason. Check this out, and have some interesting talking points when you aren't scoping out L.A.'s finest, um, all-star talent:

WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT: NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND
Category Hot Not Hot
Halftime entertainment
Beyonce doing just about anything

Mariah Carey fallout
of MJ-uni dress
L.A. celeb sightings Justin Timberlake Janet Jackson
Dunk-contest favorite Jason Richardson Chris Andersen
3-on-3 Shooting Stars comp Jennifer Azzi John Salley
Three-point contest favorite
Peja Repeat

Kyle Korver
All-Star on-court kicks LeBron's "wheats" Anything patent leather
All-Star off-court fashion Button-ups and blazers Throwbacks
Rookie Challenge player to watch LeBron/Carmelo Mike Dunleavy Jr.
"Coach Larry" of the Year Nets rookie Lawrence Frank Pistons rookie Larry Brown
Pre-NBA seasoning One year of college (Carmelo) NBDL (No All-Stars yet)
Scouts' favorite 2003 NBA draft prospect
UConn vet Emeka Okefor

Prep teen Dwight Howard
Kings lineup No Webber With Webber
Second-wind vet Brad Miller Jimmy Jackson
Amazing acquisition Stephon Marbury Rasheed Wallace
Free-agent watch Kobe Bryant Christian Laettner
Who needs college?
LeBron James

Darko Milicic
Beating expectations Baby Nuggets Baby Bulls
Is it a contract year, Donald Sterling? Clip star Quentin Richardson Ex-Clip Michael Olowokandi
Trade bait Allen Iverson Tracy McGrady
Division Midwest Atlantic
Arena music
Chingy

50 Cent
On-court fashion trend Headbands Leg sleeves
NYC-bred PG H.S. Sr. Sebastian Telfair Non-factor Jamaal Tinsley
Duke growth stock Carlos Boozer Jay Williams
Jersey Unused LeBron All-Star ABA
Violation Cursing on live TV Fighting
Lakers tenuous grasp Chemistry Playoff spot
Role player Clutch shooter Six-foul big man
Laughingstock strategist John Paxson Joe Dumars
Nearest Kings competition
Timberwolves

Lakers
MVP candidate Kevin Garnett Kobe Bryant
NBA Finals MVP candidate Sam Cassell Anyone from the East
Needs better p.r. reps
Michael Redd

Vince Carter
Friend-wowing fantasy-draft pick-up Andrei Kirilenko Austin Croshere
Goal of midseason acquisition Cap room Win now
Soothing team presence Ron Artest Ricky Davis
Frustrated star
Allen Iverson

Nick Van Exel
Hair style Tight Braids
Fun to watch Nuggets Clippers
Air or Heirs? Heirs Who's Air?
Biggest second-half debate Rookie of the Year (Bron vs. Melo) Who will win the West
Bold second-half pics Knicks make NBA Finals Lakers fold

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday morning.




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THE HOT LIST