All-Star Weekend has officially come to an end. (Well, there’s an encore presentation playing on TNT right now…but that’s a replay)
So, let’s break it down.
BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. MVP Kyrie Irving (who is MY AGE…mind blown) and Team Chuck got the win. Not much defense–but that’s a commonality every year when All-Star Weekend comes around. Still, an entertaining game that gave fans the opportunity to witness the great youngsters in the L. Check out the awesome mini-movie by NBA covering the players’ good times:
- Haier Shooting Stars Competition: Team New York consisting of Allan Houston, Landry Fields, and Cappie Pondexter brought the trophy to the Big Apple.
- Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Tony Parker, who commentators called the most underrated point guard in the NBA, proved his veteran worth against all the fresh, young talent.
- Foot-Locker Three-Point Contest: Big man Kevin Love brought home the trophy.
- All these All-Star Saturday events build up to the most anticipated event of the night, the Sprite Slam Dunk Competition.
Sprite Slam Dunk Competition
This year, the rules for the Dunk Contest were a little different. In the past, a panel of judges would score the four contestants on their first two dunks–the two players with the highest scores would move onto the next and final round. The finalists would perform two more dunks, and then fans would start texting and clicking in their votes for the winner. However, for 2012 in Orlando, each contestant performed three dunks, judges were completely eliminated, and fans voted throughout the competition for the final winner. Fans have a bad reputation for screwing up results when it comes to voting.
- Chase Budinger of the Houston Rockets: dressed up like Billy from White Men Can’t Jump, Budinger rehearsed a dunk with P. Diddy. He also slammed a reverse dunk completely blindfolded.
- Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz: Last-minute replacement for New York Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert who had to pass on the competition to tend to an injury. Evans wasn’t a favorite of mine, but I give him mad props for completing the dunk with two balls passed to him by teammate Gordon Haywood. He ended up winning with 29 percent of the votes.
- Paul George of the Indiana Pacers: seemed to be the favorite. I thought he was the most creative– jumping over two men, one a 7-ft, 2 in. teammate & performing a dunk with all the lights off in a glow-in-the-dark uniform. George Legacy; The Human Glow-Stick.
- Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves came onto the court riding a motorcycle and continued to dunk over it. On his second, he took the pass from teammate Ricky Rubio off the side of the backboard, slightly reminiscent of Andre Iguodala’s dunk from 2006.
The NBA uploaded another praiseworthy video summing up Saturday’s moments to remember:
The mid-season break means All-Stars put on a show sharing the same court. The 61st annual NBA All-Star Game was a high-scoring one per usual, but Team East, who had been trailing the entire game cut it close in the fourth quarter. They were unable to overcome Team West however who was led by MVP Kevin Durant, who scored 36 points.
Kobe Bryant, although suffering a bloody nose from a foul committed by D-Wade, moved ahead of Michael Jordan to claim the title of all-time leading scorer in All-Star Game history.
LeBron James led the East, also with 36 points, and Melo along with 19 points and 9 boards showed off some of his defensive skill:
It’s been a great weekend, Alhamdulillah. Time for the Knicks and the rest of the NBA teams to head back home and prepare for the second half of the season.