With the conclusion of last weekend’s NBA All-Star Game, we can now bring closure to Fake Sports Month. If late October is the Hope Diamond on the sports calendar, this four-week chunk is its cubic zirconia. We’ve had a 12-11 NHL All-Star exhibition and the modified-football Pro Bowl. NASCAR is back for the next 38 weeks and there’s the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. And, oh yeah, the PBA Tour is in its home stretch. So, Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game was a welcome sight, much like the final curtain on a bad theatrical production.

Basketbawful has all the awful in this 146-119 dunk contest, including KG’s thoughts on Craig Sager’s sense of fashion. From low point to high, Red’s Army has KG in the weekend’s spotlight as the Big 3 honored Bill Russell. TrueHoop offers up some ideas to reform All-Star Weekend, while Boston Celtics Examiner has ideas on reforming All-Star Saturday. Small White Ball states a case for Boston hosting a future All-Star Game.

Moving forward, Full Court Press distributes some high grades with its mid-season C’s report card. Loy’s Place has reactions from both coasts on the Sam Cassell trade. Green Scene speculates on what the C’s will do with Cassell’s freed-up roster position, while Lex Nihil Novi is amused by news coverage of the trade. Celtics Stuff Live goes all high finance on us as the bill for accumulating the Big 3 is coming due at the NBA trading deadline. Celtics 24/7 is beginning a comprehensive study of Celtic hands.

Red Sox

They’re all in town: pitchers, catchers, positional players, bloggers. Extra Bases offers a daily recap from Florida, including ownership’s take on salary caps and the State of the Nation, as Fenway’s consecutive sellout streak is on the line in April. Tom Caron has Larry Lucchino hoping money can’t buy pennants once again this year. OuttaThePahk is there as Dustin Pedroia is prayed over and should be good to go. Heidi Watney has settled into her new home and has a lot of ‘If’s as the team assembles. One If would be David Ortiz, but Full Count has Big Papi back in the swing of things. All Mazz needs is glove as he analyzes team defense from under the Florida sun. One If By Land takes Mazz’s analysis further.

Where’s Trags? has Jonathan Papelbon poised to set the Sox career saves record this year and loving the idea of a long-term deal. The Bottom Line agrees with Sean McAdam’s take that short belongs to Julio Lugo. Touching All The Bases has J.D. Drew chasing the immortal Mickey Klutts’ legacy. Surviving Grady implores Kevin Youkilis to keep the beard.

NESN’s Hot Stove Talk has former Brad Penny coach Larry Bowa saying Boston has landed itself a real dud. Boston Sports Blog says Penny can’t stand Larry Bowa either, and for good reason.

He may be a liar, but A-Rod apparently does have a cousin. Thanks to The Crowe’s Nest for providing the trail to Miami. And, yes, he may be a cheat and a gloss-toting metrosexual, but A-Rod is super nice and no murderer, and teammate Johnny Damon couldn’t be prouder. In a busy week, Damon also earned high honors on Thanks For Playing‘s list of biggest villains in sports. Guess who’s Number One?

Year of the Sox waves the white flag on preserving the integrity of baseball records. Fat White Guy advises athletes to super-size while they can; after all, he did.

B’s & NHL

Onto the ice, where things weren’t going well of late until Boston visited Carolina. The Bear Cave reports on the end of a four-game skid as the B’s beat the Hurricanes, 5-1, marking the first time either team has been able to sweep the other in 30 years. Rink Rap reminisces about all things Glenn Wesley – and pardons him for missing the net in 1990 – as the former B’s/Whalers defenseman had his numbered retired in NC Tuesday night. Cornelius Hardenbergh and the Hockey Blogging Adventure finds the irony in the B’s scoring on an empty net on Glenn Wesley Night. Kathryn Tappen is breathing a sigh of relief now that she won’t have to handle so many panic questions.

Pucks With Haggs explores some Black & Gold trading deadline possibilities, but Naoko Funayama is weary of adverse affects a trade could have in this Year of the Bruin. Bruins Blog says the recession has hit the B’s in the fists.

Pats & NFL

Reiss’s Pieces spent Wednesday afternoon with Tom Brady and his left knee. WEEI starts up the new It Is What It Is with a rundown on the two newest Patriots. PatriotsBlog muses about the chances of Julius Peppers ending up in Foxborough.

Adam Schefter says it’s a different Jets H.C. but same Jets M.O. as they look at Kelley Washington less than 24 hours after he was cut by the Pats. And finally, Shutdown Corner doesn’t want too much messing around with the NFL’s overtime rules.

You may have noticed the addition of a few new friends today. As the weeks go by, more quality blogs come to my attention, but I can always use another set of eyes. If you’ve got a blog with interesting takes – or enjoy one that does – let me know about it at bob02878@yahoo.com. The party’s just beginning.