The NBA All-Star weekend is one of the greatest events in sports entertainment. The culture and basketball come together for this special occasion to celebrate the greatest players on the planet.
This year was extraordinary because it was the diamond anniversary, which celebrated 75 years of the NBA and its best players. This huge accomplishment was celebrated nationwide and worldwide by every basketball fan in the world.
On Friday, the Celebrity and Rising Stars games took place with the same format and the other with a whole different and revamped style than usual.
The celebrity game featured rappers such as Quavo, and Jack Harlow, with the surprise of rockstar Machine Gun Kelly. The teams were also filled with different athletes, singers, actors/actress, comedians and social media celebrities.
These games will always find a way to become entertaining despite certain celebrities not being skilled at the sport.
This year’s format of the Rising Stars game changed drastically from before. It consisted of a four team, three game tournament. This allowed for more players, opening the pool up to 28 players with 12 rookies, 12 sophomores and four G League Ignite players.
Each game was played to a final target score celebrating the NBA’s 75th anniversary with a “Race to 75”. The first two games were played until a team reached 50 points and the last game played until 25 points, totaling 75 points.
What was supposed to be the most exciting events of All-Star weekend took place Saturday night. This year was a slight disappointment though but also a breath of fresh air. To start, the skills challenge got a complete revamp from the old format that contained a guard vs big contest.
Leading the change was Team Rookies, Team Antetokounmpo and Team Cavs. It was broken down into four sections: shooting, playmaking, obstacle course, and half-court shot.
After this it was the 3-point contest that featured some of the best shooters in the league and was a classic event. It was honestly the best event of the whole weekend with KAT becoming the third tallest player ever to win the contest which he did with an outstanding 29 points to take home the trophy.
Then we had a little intermission with DJ Khaled and friends as they gave a performance which was refreshing as they haven’t performed on the big stage in a while. The set featured the Migos, Lil Baby, Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, Lil Wayne and Gunna.
After that hype set, the dunk contest was up next, and it was horrendous. The Slam Dunk Contest is one of, if not the most legendary event of the night. It’s the last thing to take place to send the fans home ecstatic and very happy.
This year’s contest disappointed on so many levels. It featured Cole Anthony, Obi Toppin, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Jalen Green. The attempts on dunks were 10-37, which is 27%.
The highest score you can get is a 50 and there was not one given out the entire night. Obi Toppin did secure the win and to take home the trophy for that night but it’s safe to say that everyone was disappointed.
Luckily, the All-Star game did not disappoint. It was Team LeBron vs Team Durant in the new format that has been stipulated in since the unfortunate passing of Kobe Bryant. This format honestly rebirths the game and makes it more competitive and enjoyable for fans to watch unlike other all-star games.
The game was contested with Team LeBron winning the first quarter and Team Durant winning the second. They then went to halftime and hosted a special ceremony for the top 75 NBA players of All-Time, which was very special with a once in a lifetime moment with all of the greats to ever play the game.
They proceeded to tie the third quarter which made the game even for the final quarter. LeBron James won the game for his team on a game-winning shot to achieve the target score of 163.
Team LeBron won 163-160 with Stephen Curry having 50 points and breaking the record for threes made in the all-star game. He took home the newly named Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP and its beauty.
The All-Star weekend’s conclusion made up for the embarrassment that the dunk contest was, making it an overall entertaining weekend.