2017 NBA All Star Weekend Recap

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Toby Wynn, Staff Writer

Over this past weekend, the NBA All Star Weekend took place. Every year the NBA chooses a city to host all sorts of fun basketball related events in which the NBA’s best participate in. This year, the choice city was in New Orleans, Louisiana. The weekend had all sorts of crazy aspects to it.

The first event was not for the NBA players, but rather for celebrities. The Celebrity Game included all sorts of players from ex-athletes and WNBA players to musicians and actors. The MVP of the Celebrity Game was Brandon Armstrong, a YouTube star who impersonates NBA players. Following the Celebrity Game was the Rising Stars Challenge. The Rising Stars Challenge includes the best rookies and sophomores in the NBA.  The Rising Stars Challenge also divides the players up into two teams based on nationality: the United States vs. the World.  Then we watch to see which team produces the best talent. This year, Jamal Murray, a point guard for the Denver Nuggets, representing his home country of Canada on the World team, took home the MVP for the Rising Stars Challenge.

The next night, Saturday, the NBA All Star Saturday Night took place. The NBA All Star Saturday Night included: the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the JBL Three Point Contest and the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge requires the players to show off their skills by passing, shooting and dribbling. This year, the competition took place in tournament format in which the Bigs (forwards and centers) competed against the Smalls (guards). In the final round, Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks defeated Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz. After the Skills Challenge, there was the Three Point Contest. The Three Point Contest is exactly what it sounds like; the players simply shoot three point shots from different spots on the three point line (both corners, both wings, and the top of the key). The winner of the Three Point Contest was Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets. Succeeding the Three Point Contest, was the Dunk Contest. The Dunk Contest goes as follows: the dunker performs a dunk, five judges give him a score from 6 to 10, and whoever scores the highest wins. Competing in the final round were Glenn Robinson III of the Indiana Pacers vs Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns. The winner this year was Glenn Robinson III.

Finally, on Sunday, was the biggest and most climactic event of the weekend: the All Star Game. The All Star Game is the best of the Eastern Conference vs. the best of the Western Conference. This year, the Western All Stars defeated the Eastern All Stars with a score of 192-182. The MVP of the All Star Game was Anthony Davis who scored 52 points which is an NBA All Star Record. Another player who had a phenomenal performance in the game was Russell Westbrook. He scored an incredible 41 points, however, he was surrounded by drama the whole weekend. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook used to be best friends on the same team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, until Durant left Westbrook to join a different team. Now, they both claim to dislike each other and they are both extremely motivated to be better than the other. Both players were selected to play for the Western Conference All Stars [Team] and thus played as teammates for the first time since Durant’s departure. That drama lasted for most of the weekend until during the All Star game on Sunday when Durant threw an alley-oop to Russell and everyone cheered. Although no one knows how the two really feel about each other, I think I can say on behalf of all NBA fans that it was nice to see the two play together just like they always have.