Another NBA All-Star Weekend is in the books. The Association packs a lot into the three day span - we have you covered if you missed any of the action.
NBA All-Star Weekend is one of the most exciting and unique events in basketball. The events are varied and entertaining, making for arguably the best All-Star event of any of the major American sports. It’s a lot to take in, so we break down the high points in case you missed anything.
We can skip over the Celebrity All-Star game. That’s not our jam. However, Friday night did end on a high note in the form of the Rising Star Challenge. First and second year players formed Team USA vs. Team World for the third consecutive season. Team USA finally pulled off a win, led by big performances from Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, and Kyle Kuzma.
Kyle Kuzma of the LA Lakers took home MVP honors, scoring a game-high 35 points. Team World was led by NBA All-Star, Ben Simmons who had a 28/5/6 line.
All-Star Saturday Night
Often the most entertaining part of NBA All-Star Weekend is Saturday night, which is filled with speed, shooting, and high-flying. The Skill Competition is often underrated and was entertaining once again this year.
Before Spencer Dinwiddie won last year, the event had been surprisingly dominated by big men the last few times for an event that includes many of the finer skills of the game. This year fell somewhere in-between with the 6 foot 8 forward Jayson Tatum beating Trae Young with a halfcourt heave.
The Three Point Contest was up next with a stacked field. Unlike the Dunk Contest, this one was actually filled with most of the season’s top guys. Seth Curry went down quickly, losing the battle of the brothers. Steph Curry however didn’t quite have the juice to overcome the Brooklyn Nets red hot sniper, Joe Harris. Beating Curry (and Buddy Hield) in the final round should make for an incredible memory for Harris.
Since it used to be the most exciting, the Dunk Contest was the final event of the night. There were a lot of misses and some gimmicks that did not go over well. We still came away with some nice jams, though one by winner, Hamidou Diallo took the cake.
Diallo was the furthest contestant from being a household name, but leapfrogging Shaquille O’Neil for an elbow-in-the-rim slam was easily the most memorable dunk of the night.
The 2019 NBA All-Star Game
Team Giannis vs. Team LeBron made for an incredibly fun exhibition. Coming in, Team LeBron looked to have more talent, but Team Giannis may have had the hungrier players. The first half was all Team Giannis, led by the captain himself. They out-hustled Team LeBron and we even saw glimpses of defense throughout the night despite the high score.
Eventually, Team LeBron pulled away by simply making more shots. A three point barrage in the third led by Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, and Klay Thompson mixed with consistant greatness by Kevin Durant proved too much for the largely less-accomplished Team Giannis squad.
Durant was named MVP on a night that had many highlights. It was also great to see Dirk splashing threes and Dwyane Wade / LeBron James alley-oops flying around one last time. (Make sure to watch the above video to catch the insane Curry-to-Antetokounmpo ally-oop)
Thanks for checking in so we could catch you up! Keep an eye out here for more NBA updates as the season continues in addition to NCAA, high school, and local coverage. ‘Til next time!