The 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston is over and players are getting ready to finish up the last portion of the season. It wasn’t the most spectacular All-Star Weekend ever, but it did have its moments. Let’s take a look:
BBVA Rising Stars Challenge
I thought the Rising Stars game was pretty entertaining for the first three quarters and absolutely awesome in the 4th quarter. Team Chuck decimated Team Shaq 163-135. Kyrie Irving clearly came to play and created one of the most memorable moments of the weekend when he crossed over Brandon Knight so badly that Knight actually fell to the ground. Kyrie finished with 32pts/6rbs/6ast , which was a great way to kick off a weekend that really featured his emergence as one of the league’s most dominant up-and-coming players. The MVP award went to another second year player playing on Team Chuck, Kenneth Faried. The “Manimal” went 18-22 from the field to finish with 40 points and 10 rebounds. Here is the final boxscore for the game.
Chris Bosh’s team, which included Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash, won the Shooting Stars contest. This competition is relatively boring, but it is kind of fun to see the teams launch half court shots. Team Bosh’s time in the final round was a paltry 1:29, which was almost a full minute longer than the average of the two Western Conference teams’ first round, led by James Harden and Russell Westbrook, respectively. However, Team Westbrook spent nearly 40 seconds missing half court shots and were eventually timed out.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge
In 2012, Tony Parker won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. In 2013, it looked like he was trying to throw it so he wouldn’t have to be invited back to defend his title again. He missed 5 free throw shots at one point during the course, which resulted in a horrendous time. The contestants were Parker, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Brandon Knight, Damian Lillard and hometown hero, Jeremy Lin. Jrue Holiday and Damian Lillard advanced to the final round, where Lillard beat out Holiday’s score by almost 6 seconds, making him the first rookie to ever win the competition.
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest
This was the most fun of all the Saturday night contests for me and I’ll tell you why: The Red Rocket. After a social media campaign and a televised plea from his brother, Matt Bonner finally made it into the three-point contest. The 5 contestants were Ryan Anderson, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Steve Novak, Paul George and Matt Bonner. First, Paul George was a terrible pick for this competition. He is a good three-point shooter, but there are so many deserving players that were passed over (J.J. Redick would have been my pick ((total bias)). Bonner and Irving advanced to the final round where Irving caught fire for 23 points (I believe the highest ever was set by Jason Kapono with 25). The Red Rocket started off a little slow, but finished strong. Unfortunately for him, not strong enough. Kyrie Irving added another notch to his belt and took home his first Three-Point Contest trophy.
Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
Waaaaay too many misses. That’s how I would sum up the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Terrance Ross had some fantastic dunks, although none of which were particularly memorable other than his behind the back dunk. Gerald Green kicked off the contest with a first-attempt nasty, off-the-side-of-the-backboard, alley-oop dunk where his head was above the rim. James “Flight” White brought the showman ship for his first dunk where a bunch of “flight attendants” created a runway for him. He missed so many dunks, that everything he did do was totally overshadowed. His best dunk, BY FAR, was the just-inside the free throw line two-handed dunk. He didn’t even get a good score for it either, because it was a dunk he settled for after missing so many previously. He blamed it on the balls afterwards, and maybe it was a valid excuse, but it kind of looked like he just couldn’t dribble. Kenneth Faried was decent, but opted for finesse over brute strength, which was a mistake. Ultimately, Terrance Ross won by default. His dunks were decent by Dunk Contest standards, but were a breath of fresh air because he actually made most of them.
2013 All-Star Game
The 62nd annual All-Star Game was awesome, like they usually tend to be. There was a lot of highlight reel plays and it was just fast-paced fun for the entire game. The final score was 143-138 in favor of the Western Conference. Chris Paul deserved the MVP nod with his 20 points and 15 assists. Beyond the numbers, he created some of the best moments with incredible dribbling skills and deft, trick passes. My favorite moment of the night was when he dribbled through Chris Bosh’s legs, which was absolutely hilarious. Kevin Durant notched 30 points, which made him the first player ever to score 30 or more points in three consecutive All-Star games. I would’ve liked to see Lebron dominate a little bit more, but he did offer up some highlight reel plays. His teammate, Chris Bosh, received the daddy-vote as a replacement starter in Rondo’s absence by coach Erik Spoelstra. Obviously, Kyrie Irving deserved it, so it was nice to see Bosh throw up a handful of airballs and get embarrassed off of the dribble a few times. The full boxscore is listed below.
All things considered, this was a really fun weekend. For those of us that are die-hard fans for a specific team that is just absolutely sucking this year (the Orlando Magic) it is always nice to have something to look forward to and the All-Star Weekend did not disappoint on the whole. The dunk contest either needs to be revamped with rules about attempts and missing, or they need to find a way to incentivize stars to come out and play. Other than that, it was an extremely entertaining weekend. My favorite moment of the entire weekend was Karl Malone telling a story about how Charles Barkley used to put Vaseline in his belly-button and how he would use it as chapstick during the game.