All Star Classic brings back memories

Although there was a game to be played at the Lute Olson All-Star Classic, the results were hardly important. Leaving the arena 8,000 happy fans had mostly forgotten the score (Blue 132, White 124), but could remember their favorite plays and were reminiscing about the past Wildcats great.

It is not important that the White team led by as many as eight early on. It really didn't matter that the blue team stormed to lead by as many as 17.

Folks may remember Gilbert Arenas' three-point barrage late in the fourth quarter. After Reggie Geary hit a three to trim the lead to eight, Arenas added three straight threes of his own and when the smoke cleared the Blue led by just three, 122-119.

Although Arenas never cooled off, the Blue team heated up. Jason Terry hit a three pointer, Miles Simon added a pair of fouls shots the Blue scored 10 of the last 15 to seal the win.

These were not the important details. What fans will remember is seeing the stars of old, and how they look today. Most of the players' personalities came through.

There was Terry egging the crowd on. Signing autographs during the game. He wound up on the scorer's table several times, arms raised to the crowd.

There was Terry grabbing a "gun" that shoots t-shirts into the crowd. At one point he came out of a timeout with a camera and photographed Richard Jefferson blowing by him for an easy bucket.

Terry held his newborn daughter in his arms as the 1997 championship team was introduced, causing Olson to quip "you'd better not commit a turnover right now."

The end of the game saw the Blue team's 1997 alums trying to drag their coach Josh Pastner onto the floor. The reluctant Pastner finally took the floor and got off a one handed push shot before the final buzzer.

As time expired Richard Jefferson grabbed the microphone and announced that Pastner had lost a bet about the number of shots that Gilbert Arenas would shoot. Pastner was then forced to do 20 push-ups at center court.

Of course the always flamboyant Arenas had to have his moments. He got hot in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 in the final frame. At one point he launched a three from the "O" in Arizona.

Not too be outdone Salim Stoudamire took a shot from the Alltel logo.

Steve Kerr nailed his first three point attempt. Too bad the fans and public address system were not as hot. After he sank the three, the PA system played the "cat growl" sound effect, drowning out the crowd repeating "Steeeeeeeve Kerrrrrrrrr".

Kerr used his influence as the Phoenix Suns' general manager to make the day even better. No he didn't offer free agent deals to any former Wildcats, but he did bring the Suns' dance team, Gorilla and the trampoline dunk team.

It was a day that saw a referee assist a bucket. A loose ball was heading out of bounds, when one of the officials caught it and whipped a pass to Arenas who drove for the easy lay-in.

We were reminded just how sweet Sean Elliot's jump shot is. We were reminded just how tenacious Gene Edgerson was as he posted a double-double. Kevin Flanagan reminded us why he was better known as a Gumby with his 1-8 shooting performance.

It was good to see Anthony Cook back in McKale, although I am not sure if I would recognize him on the street.

It was good to see Damon and Salim Stoudamire share the same backcourt. We were reminded just how fast Damon was.

Although Joe Turner did not sport his trademark goggles, he did go 4-4 from the field.

Bennett Davison's three three pointers were more than he made in two years at Arizona. Joseph Blair and Reggie Geary still had chemistry. Even with athletes like Hassan Adams and Richard Jefferson on the floor, it was "JB" who had the day's best dunks.

In the end it was the 1997 team's day. They had five members on the victorious Blue team. They were honored at halftime. They accounted for 84 points, 35 rebounds and 21 assists.

Although just five players played, all but three of the players who saw the floor that year were in attendance. Michael Dickerson and Jason Lee could not make it. Dickerson is believed to be overseas, while Lee had work commitments. Mike Bibby was not at the game, but was on hand Saturday to attend the Olson Camp and the dinner at La Paloma.

The rest of the team, from Final Four MVP to walk-ons were on hand.

One of the most interesting scenes from the day was when former assistant coach Jim Rosborough was introduced as part of the 1997 team's ceremony. The crowd gave "Roz" a standing ovation, saluting the man who will not be on the coaching staff this season.

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