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Plenty to enjoy at NBA All-Star Weekend

Gabby Hajduk, Sports Team

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Over the past weekend, Feb. 17-19, the 66th NBA All-Star game took place. Along with the game came a whole weekend dedicated to the stars of the NBA. The weekend was hosted in New Orleans and was three days long, each day having different events.

The festivities included the Celebrity All-Star game and the Rising Stars Challenge.

The Rising Stars challenge is a friendly but competitive game featuring the NBA’s youngest star players versus young and upcoming players from around the world.

Some of this year’s rising stars from the United States were Frank Kaminsky, Devin Booker, and D’Angelo Russell. The game was close the entire time; however, the World Team came out with a 150-141 win.

Friday’s second event was the Celebrity All-Star game. There are two teams, the East and West. This year, the coaches were two ESPN Sportscenter hosts; Jemele Hill coached the East while Michael Smith coached the West.

The East had stars like Brandon Armstrong, social media star; Nick Cannon, TV host and actor; and Ansel Elgort, actor. Their assistant coaches consisted of rappers, DJ Khaled and Fat Joe, as well as Toronto Raptors player, Kyle Lowry.

Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner; Andy Grammer, musician; and Candace Parker, WNBA star, were just a few of the celebrities who played for the West. Rocsi Diaz, TV Personality and Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors player, were their assistant coaches.

The Celebrity All-Star game was not at the top of the most exciting events list due to the final score, 88-59, Team East taking the win.

Their 88 points broke the record for the most points scored during a Celebrity All-Star game. Brandon Armstrong became the game’s MVP with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

Saturday came the more popular events with the skills challenge, 3-point contest, and the dunk contest. The skills challenge was the first competition, where the big men face off against the perimeter players to showcase the shooting, dribbling, and passing talents of the league’s most versatile players.

This year, another “big,” Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks, took home the trophy after defeating Gordon Hayward, forward for the Utah Jazz.

Next came the 3-point contest, featuring Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Eric Gordon, and more. Traditionally, the competition is two rounds, but after ending in a tie, Irving and Gordon were forced into a third round shootout. In the final round, Irving scored 8 points but Gordon passed him up with 21, earning the title.

The final competition of the night was the dunk contest. Aaron Gordon made another appearance this year in hopes to turn his second place finish from last year into a first place finish against some stars like DeAndre Jordan and Derrick Jones Jr., and Glenn Robinson III.

However, Gordon did not even make it to the final round. Robinson and Jones ended up facing off in the final round, but Robinson, under pressure, earned a perfect score for his last dunk, launching him to first place. Robinson’s final dunk featured him jumping over three people,  including Paul George, and executing a perfect reverse dunk.

After the exciting events of Saturday, came the main event on Sunday, the All-Star Game. The game was kept close but the Western Conference ended up with a 192-182 victory over the Eastern Conference. New Orleans Pelicans center, Anthony Davis was crowned the game’s MVP after scoring 52 points for the West, breaking the record for most points in an All-Star Game.

Most of the league’s best players were featured in the game like Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and many more. Spectators were concerned about the tension between former teammates, Durant and Westbrook but there seemed to be no problems.

Overall, the weekend was filled with excitement, surprises, and broken records. Several younger got the chance to prove themselves while older players brought their undeniable talents to the fans, once again. Next year, the NBA All-Star weekend will be held on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles.

 

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Plenty to enjoy at NBA All-Star Weekend