by Russ Bengtson

A brief clarification before we get started. I am NOT in New Orleans for the All-Star festivities this weekend. Nope, I'm just another person watching on TV and getting sick to death of the incessant T-Mobile commercials.

Last night was the Rookie/Sophomore game, which I wrote up for SLAMonline. But I figure I'd add some extra things here. After all, one of the coolest things about All-Star Weekend is all the new and exclusive shoes that appear. And the rookies and sophomores are always part of the party.

Even Craig Sager, TNT's brilliantly hued sideline reporter, appeared to be dazzled by rookie Kevin Durant's bright-yellow Nikes. Sages seemed to imply they were Durant's new signature shoe, but going through photos from the game later, I realized Blazer forward LaMarcus Aldridge was wearing the same model, only in red. So I'm not sure what the real story is.

Other than that, you mostly had guys matching bright shoes with bright socks, glad to be able to skip the L's usual uniform codes (although some guys kept it pretty low-key). Some questions remain, however. Like what was Luis Scola (in red) wearing? And what was Rajon Rondo thinking?

Can't wait for Sunday.