All-Star Weekend surprised many fans as teams played defense in the All-Star Game, which actually had competition in the fourth quarter. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving rekindled their friendship while Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant did the same. A new MVP was crowned in the celebrity game, and sub-par shooting led to the emergence of a new 3-point Contest winner.
Celebrity All-Star Game
The Celebrity All-Star game was a fourth-quarter battle as Team Clippers held onto its lead and won the contest 75-66 against Team Lakers. Bubba Watson participated in the game, though he was in the middle of a golf tournament. Watson’s team won the game, and he then went on to win the Genesis Open. It was a close decision for MVP, as Quavo and Andre DeGrasse were deserving. Quavo, who led Team Clippers with 19 points, ended up with the MVP Trophy.
Snoop’s first annual Hip Hop All-Star Game
This game wasn’t televised, but Ballislife filmed it and put up highlights of this game on its Youtube channel. While watching the highlights, I soon realized this game wasn’t all I’d hoped for. The best part about this game was Mike Rapaport’s hilarious in-game commentary. Snoop Dogg’s team beat 2 Chainz’s team 93-60, and Dogg walked out as MVP with 15 points, 25 rebounds and five blocks.
Rising Stars Game
Team USA didn’t get the memo that teams were playing defense during this All-Star Break and gave up 155 points to Team World, while Team USA scored only 124 points. Team World shot 41 percent from 3-point range, and Team USA shot 27 percent. Bogdan Bogdanovic was MVP, as he showed his range numerous times, hitting seven of his 13 attempts from beyond the arc. Toward the end, when the game was decided, both teams had a miniature dunk contest. Jayson Tatum threw down a windmill dunk, and Jaylen Brown had two between-the-legs dunks. It was a great game that showed how exciting the NBA will be for years to come.
All-Star Saturday Night
A change in power took place to start off the night as the Bigs lost their first Skills Challenge to the Guards. The Bigs had won the contest the last two years, but this time the Guards’ Spencer Dinwiddie defeated the Bigs’ Lauri Markkanen. In the 3-point Contest, former winner Eric Gordon didn’t make it past the first round. Suns guard Devin Booker recorded 28 points in the championship round to take down Klay Thompson and Tobias Harris. The Slam Dunk Contest wasn’t all that interesting. The winning dunk was a dunk that Vince Carter had done when he won the Dunk Contest. The most entertaining part was when Larry Nance Jr. threw a lob off the backboard, threw it off the backboard again and slammed it home. While it wasn’t the flashiest, it was the most creative. Donovan Mitchell wore a Vince Carter jersey on his final dunk and beat out Larry Nance Jr. in the championship round to win the Slam Dunk Contest.
NBA All-Star Game
A great game all the way around, this game had highlight plays along with better defense, and it came down to the wire. The new system in which captains draft players is making this game much better. Team LeBron came out victorious 148-145 against Team Curry. LeBron James led the way with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. This stat line was enough for James to win the MVP title. Many different storylines made this game fun to watch. Embiid and Westbrook brought back a little fire to their rivalry as Embiid blocked Westbrook’s shot and tried to post him up later in the game. Westbrook emphatically swatted the ball before Embiid could get to it. Surprisingly, the game was close throughout and even had somewhat good defense. This game was great to watch, and we can only hope next year the All-Star draft is broadcast on television.