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1. Carmelo Anthony spoke out about the NBA All-Star Game selection process that snubbed him and his teammates. Quoth the super-rook:

A. "A bunch of old guys picked another bunch of old guys."

B. "I was surprised they didn't take anybody from us, but I guess it's Denver."

C. "We're like Al Sharpton: We're always going to be underdogs."

D. "We got bleeped over, man. That bleeps. What, that mike is on? Oh, man."

2. Melo shouldn't feel too bad. Name the stiff who was picked right before him in last year's draft, and what the number-two buster will likely be doing in two years?

A. Ivar Kaftar; running a string of burnoose rentals in Tashkent.

B. Colin McQuinn; teaching gym at Cos Cob High School.

C. Darko Milicic; hosting a Voice of America talk show in Serbia-Montenegro.

D. Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn; directing movies in Bollywood.

3. When asked whether he or Carmelo was the rookie of the year, LeBron James answered, "Carmelo." His Meloness replied:

A. "Me, fo' shizzle."

B. "I'll leave it up to you [the media]."

C. "Who cares? We're both teenage millionaires already."

D. "Check the standings, Jackson."

4. Melo's rising stature was confirmed with the announcement that he would film a Radio Shack commercial with Shaq. One adman said the Nuggets hero was a natural for the pitch because:

A. "Carmelo is a closet HAM radio operator, beaming signals throughout the world."

B. "Melo loves remote-controlled cars."

C. "He goes through about twenty batteries a week playing his portable CD."

D. "His apartment is filled with a computer, PDAs, flat-screens and video games, so it's a good fit.

5. Cultural bonus: Fourteen-year NBA vet Darryl Dawkins, once known as Chocolate Thunder, dubbed Nuggets slam-dunk participant Chris Anderson:

A. Big Bird.

B. Opie.

C. White Kite.

D. Beyoncé's Bouncer.

Answers:

1. B. "I was surprised," he said, but shrugged it off as anti-Mile High bias -- which could disappear next year, when the game comes here.

2. C. Darko Milicic, who's in the dark about pro ball.

3. B. "I'll leave it up to you...." But he's also implied that he's the reason the doormat Nugs are roaring, something James's Cleveland team isn't.

4. D. "His apartment is filled," says the promoter. Guess he'll be looking for a two-bedroom soon.

5. C. The colorful Dawkins says Birdman should be called the White Kite because of his leaping ability.

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