If Michael Wilbon can get away with calling the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, “Black Thanksgiving”, when am I allowed to call Jason Whitlock the Gentile Phil Mushnick? AOLSports’ sluggish social pundit complains that “revelers have transformed the league’s midseason exhibition into the new millennium Freaknik, an out-of-control street party that features gunplay, violence, non-stop weed smoke and general mayhem.”

There were so many fights and so many gangbangers and one parking-lot shootout at the MGM Grand that people literally fled the hotel in fear for their safety. I talked with a woman who moved from the MGM to the Luxor because “I couldn’t take it. I’ll never come back to another All-Star Game.”

There are reports of a brawl between rappers and police at the Wynn Hotel.

Walking The Strip this weekend must be what it feels like to walk the yard at a maximum security prison. You couldn’t relax. You avoided eye contact. The heavy police presence only reminded you of the danger.

Without a full-scale military occupation, New Orleans will not survive All-Star Weekend 2008.

David Stern seriously needs to consider moving the event out of the country for the next couple of years in hopes that young, hip-hop hoodlums would find another event to terrorize. Taking the game to Canada won’t do it. The game needs to be moved overseas, someplace where the Bloods and Crips and hookers and hoes can’t get to it without a passport and plane ticket.

If Stern wants to continue to strengthen the international appeal of his game, he has the perfect excuse to move the All-Star Game to Germany, China, England or anywhere Suge Knight’s posse can’t find it.

Anybody else find it unusual that Whitlock finds hip-hop to be a more sinister influence than say, legalized gambling? Can anyone confirm or refute there’s been violence, gunplay, etc. in Las Vegas prior to the advent of rap music?

I’m not so sure David Stern would be out of line in calling Roger Goodell and asking his follow commissionership to please, please exercise greater care and do whatever he could to keep negative influences away from the NBA’s showcase events. Otherwise, the Association might have to send Stephen Jackson to the Super Bowl.

Newsday’s Alan Hahn claims he witnessed a TV reporter mistake Eddy Curry for David Lee. If you’re having similar difficulty telling them apart, be advised the latter is the one that leaves his feet to contest shots.

The nicest thing I can say about the Knicks’ passive performance thus far in Philly tonight (the Sixers lead, 58-40 with 9:35 remaining) is that this could be the big career break Kyle Korver’s been waiting for. Mike Breen has described New York’s showing tonight as “inexcusable”, but he’s not taken into account the sort of anxiety Jerome James’ teammates must feel about their good buddy being showcased so extensively.

Jason Kidd and Vince Carter are both in the lineup for Jersey tonight against the Hornets (the Nets trail, 42-38, midway thru the 2nd quarter), and I do hope the papers acknowledge tomorrow morning that it was very unsporting of Byron Scott to be waiving Kidd’s cell phone around.