By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

Beyond the dunks (it's a weak field, anyway) ... beyond the 3-point frenzy (oh, great: Antoine Walker) ... beyond the three-on-three exhibition (forget celebrity participant Ashton Kutcher -- where's his honey, Brittany Murphy?) ... beyond the Mariah Carey halftime spectacular ... 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 out this list, and have some interesting talking points when you aren't judging the slam-dunk contest (or Mariah's performance):

"What's Hot, What's Not List" in the NBA
Category Hot Not
Halftime entertainment
Revitalized Mariah Carey (MJ tribute)

Overexposed Ja Rule (Jam Session performer)
Dunk-contest favorite
Richard Jefferson

Jason Richardson
3-on-3 celeb game Brittany Murphy sightings Frankie Muniz sightings
Three-point contest favorite Peja Repeat Antoine Walker
All-Star on-court fashion Throwback jerseys Special shoes
All-Star off-court fashion Throwback jerseys II Designer suits
Rookie Challenge player to watch
Manu Ginobili

Tyson Chandler
Pre-NBA seasoning Eastern Europe Southeastern U.S.
Scouts' favorite 2003 NBA No. 1 overall draft pick Euro teen Darko Milicic LeBron "High Maintenance" James
Kings lineup Sans Webber With Webber
Second-wind vet Jimmy Jackson Popeye Jones
What were you thinking? acquisition Keith Van Horn NBDL guys
Contract joke Gary Payton Clippers free agents
Draft camp, schmaft camp Amare Stoudemire Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Prep worth props Kwame Brown Baby Bulls
Is it a contract year, Donald Sterling?
Elton Brand

Michael Olowokandi
Trade bait Jalen Rose Latrell Sprewell
Arena music Clipse Snoop
Skill for wannabe 10-day contracts Passing (see Rafer Alston) Know where the Hawks are playing
NYC-bred rookie PG H.S. Jr. Sebastian Telfair Non-impact Speedy Claxton
Duke growth stock
Carlos Boozer

Jay Williams
Jersey ABA retro '03 editions
Violation Picking fights Criticizing refs
Lakers tenuous grasp Playoff spot Chemistry
Role player Shot blocking big man Three-point shooter
Laughingstock strategist Jim Paxson Joe Dumars
Nearest Kings competition Indianapolis L.A.
NBA Finals MVP candidate
Bobby Jackson

Kobe Bryant
Needs more pub Steve Francis Ron Artest
Friend-wowing fantasy-draft pick-up Jimmy Jackson Austin Croshere
Goal of midseason acquisition Score Play D
Soothing team presence Larry Hughes Ron Artest
"Pau"-man's Gasol
Andre Kirilenko

Drew Gooden
Frustrated star Gary Payton Nick Van Exel
Hair style Tight Grown out
Requisite scoring punch Can create own jump shot Can hit mid-range jumper
Fun to watch Pacers Clippers
Air or Heirs Still Air Still Heirs
The writer told you so Yao is the truth Tskitishvili is the truth
Bold second-half picks Wizards get to Finals Lakers return to Finals

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday morning and his "What's Hot, What's Not" trend-spotting list appears Thursdays.




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