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NBA All-Star Weekend

Over this past weekend, we were able to experience NBA All-Star Weekend, an event that is supposed to be joyful for everyone as they watch the best players in the league duke it out and showcase all their talents. But, in recent years, this year especially, the All-Star game has been disappointing. The first event of the night is the Rising Stars game, a game played between first and second-year players, as they are rising stars in the league. This year, however, the Rising Stars was different. It was played in two semifinal games with a target score of 40, and the winners played each other in the final with a target score of 25. I liked this idea because it allowed the G-League players to get a chance to showcase their talents to fans. The games were competitive since the target scores were very low and it seemed like people were trying in the game. Pacers Guard Benedict Mathurin eventually won MVP, and Team Jalen beat Team Detlef in the final. I liked this event because there was competitiveness, trash talk, and an actual good game. I rate this event a B. 


All-Star Saturday night is probably the best including the Three-Point Contest, Dunk Contest, and Skills Challenge, which are all pretty cool to watch. The first event was the Skills Challenge, which consists of three rounds of competition; a relay with passes, dribbling, and shots; in the second round, a passing drill, where you get points for passing through moving targets in 30 seconds; and finally, a shooting drill where players shoot from all sorts of places with the more difficult shot resulting in more points. The winner is whoever achieves the most combined points in each three competitions. This year’s winner was Team Pacers. 


Honestly, I couldn’t care less about this event. It’s cool seeing each team try their hardest to get the most points, but it just wasn’t exciting for me at all. I rate this event a C-. 


The next event of the night was the Three-Point Contest. The Three Point Contest is a pretty self-explanatory event. You get five racks of five balls, with the final ball on each rack being a moneyball worth two points. One of the racks is a moneyball rack with all shots being two points. There is also the Starry shot which is a deep three counting as three points. The best-combined score in 70 seconds wins the challenge. 


This competition is my favorite and in my opinion the best of the night. Everyone tries in this contest and puts in a good effort. There is also competition and entertaining rivalry between the players. Ultimately, it came down to the very last shot when Damian Lillard won the competition, going back-to-back in the Competition. I rate this event an A. 


Photo courtesy of TMZ.

The next event was the Sabrina vs Curry Three-Point Contest. This is the same as the three-point contest but Sabrina just recently broke the three-point contest record in the WNBA All-Star Weekend, so it was a debate between who would be the best shooter. I think that it is a lose-lose situation in my opinion for the NBA. If Steph Curry won, people are just gonna say “Oh, not too impressive he beat a girl.” and if Steph loses, he will get criticized for losing to a girl. Nonetheless, the event was very exciting and probably the most competitive of the night. I would rate this event a B+. 


Photo courtesy of CNN.

The final event of the night was the Slam-Dunk Contest. Again, the Slam Dunk Contest is very self-explanatory where you dunk and try to get the highest score (50). Mac McClung is the reigning champion and eventually won the competition back-to-back years. He beat Jaylen Brown in the final round to show he is the Dunk King of the League. This event is kind of getting old. Everyone misses their first attempt leaving points behind and a lot of the dunks are being reused from previous years. Not many people have creativity which makes this Contest boring in my opinion. Mac McClung has brought a sense of hope to this event but I think this event is no better than a C-grade. 


The final event, the All-Star Game, is a game played between the best players in the Eastern and Western Conference. This year was the first year they returned to the old East vs West as in previous years it was Captain vs Captain and players were chosen in a draft. East won 211-186, with the MVP going to Damian Lillard, in one of the worst All-Star games I have ever watched. There was absolutely no effort and no defense which made this contest so boring. There was no sense of excitement between the players as they just didn’t care and barely tried. I would have liked to see more defense and players acting like they want to be there, but they aren’t, which is why I grade the All-Star game a D+.

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