I just landed in Toronto. It’s cold. Not as bad as last All-Star weekend, but chilly. And when all is lost, we will have only the fire emojis to keep us warm.
Speaking of which, it’s time for a special mid-week edition of Power Rankings, but with a fun twist. The NBA released custom emojis for All-Star weekend on Thursday, some of which are very creative, some of which are not, and some that I really don’t understand (maybe that’s my fault).
Take a gander at the emojis, which you can use on Twitter by hashtagging #firstnamelastname as a way to vote for the All-Star MVP during Sunday’s game. TNT’s studio analysts are also in on this, but I’m going to rule them ineligible to make my life easier, and because Craig Sager already won.
Without further adieu, in reverse order, the rankings.
24. Pau Gasol(number 16 in a blocky Bulls-ish font) He was a late add, but they could have just picked an opera mask and called it a day.
23. LaMarcus Aldridge (a train) Why is he a train?
22. Kevin Durant (his number, 35, in the Thunder font) $$$$$ would have made more sense.
21. Isaiah Thomas (No. 4 on a Celtics shamrock) This was slightly more creative.
20. Paul Millsap (a lunchbox) Is he a tough, lunchpail player? I guess ...
19. Andre Drummond (a drum) Cool.
18. LeBron James (a crown) Just trying to win one for the Land.
16 (tie). Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh (numbers with Heat motif) Mostly just wanted them one spot ahead of LeBron.
15. Anthony Davis (a unibrow) The artist’s rendition of the gentle arc of the brow is pretty nice, but no creativity points.
14. James Harden (all of his hair, no face) See above.
13. Kawhi Leonard (some hands) I like this idea, but it looks like someone is fouling someone and Kawhi would obviously have gotten all ball.
12. Draymond Green (flexing arm with number) Not sure how that pose became his thing but I don’t hate it.
11. John Wall (flexing arm with number) Honestly, he hasn’t done this dance in like five years. Three cheers for disembodied limbs.
10. Kyle Lowry (No. 7 in Raptor-ish font) This at least looks kinda good.
9. DeMar DeRozan (No. 10 over maple leaf) Hometown cool points all around.
8. Carmelo Anthony (his face) When does Melo make this expression? Really thought this was going to be further up, but I forgot about it.
7. Klay Thompson (No. 11 in a raindrop) This is clean.
6. Paul George (PG-13 ticket) I just kinda like how it looks.
5. Russell Westbrook (his face) Is this his “I hate the media” face?
4. Chris Paul (CP3, Clipper style) I can’t believe this works.
3. Stephen Curry (his face) Where’s the mouthguard?
2. Kobe Bryant (black mamba) If the snake was meaner, I’d like it even more.
1. DeMarcus Cousins (ghost in a headband) At first I thought this was the ghost of every fired Kings coach but then I got it. BOO-gie Cousins!!!