Who was Trending during the All-Star Weekend
This year’s All-Star Weekend was held in Houston, Texas, this past weekend.
The festivities started off Thursday, with the Celebrity Game, where comedian Kevin Hart stole the show with his funny jokes and hilarious outrageousness the whole weekend. Hart had 8 points and 6 assists in the game and won his second-consecutive Celebrity game MVP. After, he gave a hilarious acceptance speech.
The deer antlers are a satire on Baltimore Raven’s linebacker Ray Lewis (and other athletes) being identified as having used a possibly banned substance known as deer antler spray. For more information click here. There was a funny way that Hart introduces the antlers earlier in the game, but nobody uploaded it to YouTube.
Rapper Common played well, and actor Josh Hutcherson had 11 points. The West team, coached by Houston’s own James Harden beat former teammate Russell Westbrook’s East team 58-38.
Throughout the weekend, Houston Rocket greats were sprinkled into different events, including Clyde Drexler and Dikembe Mutumbo playing in the Celebrity game and Yao Ming as a judge of the dunk contest. Mutumbo did his signature finger-wag after a block in the game that he was famous for in his playing career. Here is the great video of that finger-wag and block from the Celebrity game that made him happy.
The Rising Stars game, where the rookies and sophomores get to display their skills against players their own age, Kyrie Irving stood out. Even though Kenneth Faried had more points (40), Irving kept the bright lights on him with 32 points and these amazing crossover moves! However, Faried and his team, handpicked by Chuck (Charles Barkley) won 163-135 over team Shaq in the traditionally high-scoring game.
The All-Star Friday night consists of four events that increase in popularity as the night rolls along.
At first is the Shooting Stars competition where a current NBA player, former NBA legend and a current WNBA player are timed as they shoot from different spots on the floor culminating in a half-court heave. This year, team (Chris) Bosh won this event with the help of legend Dominique Wilkins and WNBA star Swin Cash.
The second event is the Skills Challenge. Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard became the first rookie to win the event that has the participants go through an obstacle course that tests the skills needed of an elite NBA guard. The Weber State product who was picked 6th overall in the draft last year beat first-time all-star Jrue Holiday by 5.8 seconds to take the event. Lillard is the frontrunner for the Rookie of the year award as well.
Next is the Three-point Contest. This is where there are racks of balls set up all-around the three-point arc and the players have to make as many as they can in a certain time. The last ball in each rack is a “money ball” that counts for 2 points instead of one. Second-year player Kyrie Irving came out of nowhere (he was the only player, other than Paul George, to NOT be known for being a three-point shooter) to win the event. Irving beat the “Red Rocket” Matt Bonner (who is known for just shooting threes) from San Antonio in the final round. My prediction was for Warriors Stephen Curry. This is a video of Curry practicing for the contest. If he could have done this well in the real thing he would have won.
The Final event for the night was the Slam Dunk Contest. This is the premier event where players display incredible athletic feats of jumping along with creative and gimmicky additions.
While the dunk contest hasn’t had any superstars in recent years and is generally anti-climactic, it is still entertaining for most people.
There were some great dunks, but Terrence Ross from the Toronto Raptors won in the final round against the Utah Jazz’s Jeremy Evans. Click here to see some pictures of the dunks.
I called the Dunk Contest winner days before. I got close with Durant as All-Star game MVP and whiffed at Curry as three-point contest winner.
The final day of the All-Star Weekend is reserved for the big game. The first three quarters are just a glorified shootaround, which is AWESOME. It is the best players in the entire world just dunking on fastbreaks, with alley-oops and three-pointers.
It’s just a great game. Dwight Howard hit a three-pointer. Chris Paul dribbles underneath Chris Bosh’s legs, on his way to All-Star MVP, because of his 20 points and 15 assists. Durant scored 30 points to become the only player in NBA history to score at least that many in three All-Star games, and now leads the NBA in points per All-Star game. Oh, I forgot to mention, Kobe proved (for a couple minutes) that he isn’t too old and blocked Lebron James twice!
When the fourth quarter rolls around, it gets intense. The game got close at the end with the West winning by only five points, 143-138.
The All-Star Weekend is where everybody, even those who get to play in the All-Star festivities get to relax and recharge their batteries. However, its only one weekend.