All-Star Weekend!

A few weeks ago I wrote about the state of the NBA here. This week I want to write specifically about the All-Star game. It has always been one of my favorite events. I can remember as a child recording the games and re-watching them a few times. I may be wrong, but I do not think the game is as competitive as it used to be. There is very little defense that is played. Even though that has changed it is still very entertaining to watch the best players in the World show off their talent. Even though the game is fun to watch, it is the rest of the weekend’s events that make All-Star weekend great. On Friday, the Celebrity game and Rising Stars game are played. On Saturday we will get to see a skills challenge, 3 pt contest, and the ever popular dunk contest. The game will follow on Sunday. The format is different because the teams were drafted and are no longer East vs. West.

The first event of the weekend is the Celebrity game. You can watch last year’s game here. Quavo was the MVP of the game last year and will be looking to repeat the accomplishment again this year. Some of the contestants will be the retired football player Steve Smith, performing artist JB Smoove, along with retired professionals Jay Williams and Ray Allen. The Rising Stars game will follow the celeb game. The format is Team USA vs. Team World. Both rosters are stacked with tons of young talent from across the globe. In looking at the rosters, I would like to think that Team USA has the edge, but nothing is a given in competition.

The first event on Saturday will be the Skills Challenge. It will feature plenty of talent with a couple of All-Stars and a few rookie of the month winners. Almost all of the players are young, except the veteran Mike Conley. Let’s hope the old guy can hold off the youngsters, it would be a win for all of us that are aging. The 3pt contest is the next event. This should be great to watch because we have the defending champion Devin Booker, retiring all time great player Dirk, and the Curry brothers. Here is a great video showing some of the all time great performances in the shootout. Hopefully this year’s event can produce a moment like this from Larry Legend! The final event of the evening is the slam dunk contest. The contest seemed to be losing steam over the years, but the contest in 2016 featuring Gordon and Lavine really brought it back to life. I really hope that the momentum carries forward. I would love to see the contest be as popular as it was when I was younger. The best contest was quite possibly this one, but there are plenty to choose from.

The all star game will take place on Sunday and the format is just a little different than years past. The game will feature Team LeBron vs Team Giannis. They were allowed to draft their teams based on getting the most votes. Obviously, the teams are loaded with talent. Picking a winner is almost impossible. I would imagine that no defense will be played until the 4th quarter and only if the game is tightly contested. Do not be surprised if the home town player, Kemba Walker, wins the MVP award.

Even though the players do not play as hard during the game and the format has changed, the game is still very entertaining. In my opinion, the game is only a small part of the all-star weekend. I believe that all of the other contests help make up a great weekend of entertainment. I hope you will have a chance to sit down with your family and friends and enjoy a little of the action.

—Victor Mandalawi