NBA All-Star Weekend a Success in New York City
The NBA’s All-Star weekend came and went this past weekend in New York City, as the league alternated hosting events at the Barclay’s Center (Home of the Brooklyn Nets), and Madison Square Garden (Home of the New York Knicks). From celebrities, to the biggest names in the NBA, All-Star weekend had everything fans wanted to see. Here’s a recap of the 2015 NBA All-Star weekend.
As usual, the biggest stars put on a show for the fans, with the Western Conference defeating the East 163-158. Just like every other year, little defense was played until the fourth quarter, leading to an All-Star record of 321 combined points scored. Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder led the way with 41 points, one shy of the single game record of 42 set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962. From soaring dunks to over 130 three-point field goals attempted, the game did not disappoint for fans in attendance, and watching worldwide.
LeBron James scored 30 points to lead the East squad, while Kyle Korver splashed seven 3-pointers en route to a 21 point performance in his first All-Star game. Carmelo Anthony disappointed in what could be his last game of the season, scoring only 14 points on 6-20 shooting.
For the West, James Harden tallied 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists on 11-16 shooting from the field. LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 18 points, and Chris Paul added 12 points, 15 assists and six rebounds. The Western Conference has now won four of the last five All-Star games.
(Nine all-star game records were set in Sunday’s game.)
Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
Rookie guard Zach LaVine took over the dunk contest by winning with a total score of 194 points (200 possible), beating runner up Victor Oladipo, Mason Plumlee and Giannis Antetokounmpo
LaVine opened with a throwback tribute to the Space Jam movie, donning a Michael Jordan “Toon Squad” jersey, and going between his legs and under the basket for the slam. His next three dunks kept the crowd on their feet, and impressed the judges. LaVine became the second youngest winner of the event, behind Kobe Bryant.
Foot Locker Three Point Contest
In one of the most highly anticipated three point shootouts in recent memory, eight of the best shooters in the league took their turns firing from five different racks around the perimeter. This years’ contestants were Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver, Wesley Matthews, J.J. Redick, Kyrie Irving, Marco Belinelli and James Harden.
Curry, Irving and Thompson advanced to the championship round, where Curry put up a three-point shootout record 27 points to defeat the other two sharpshooters.
BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
In the new format where players that were born in the United States faced off against Internationally born players, the World won 122-112, with Andrew Wiggins capturing the MVP. The number one overall pick in the 2014 draft scored 22 points, while Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tallied 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the win.
Celebrity All-Star Game
Comedy star Kevin Hart gave the fans a lot of laughs, and in return, received his fourth Celebrity All-Star game MVP in a 57-51 win by the opposing West team. Hart was also on the receiving end of one of the best plays of the night, when little league sensation Mo’Ne Davis drove into the lane and spun around Hart for layup.
Taco Bell Skills Competition
In the Skills competition, the new format showcased head-to-head battles between eight guards, instead of the solo time trials of previous years.. The participants were Jeff Teague, Dennis Schroeder, Patrick Beverley, Isaiah Thomas, Brandon Knight, Elfrid Payton and Kyle Lowry. In the championship round, Beverley, the last second replacement for John Wall, defeated Knight to claim the title.
Many fans and NBA experts were very pleased with the events of the 2015 NBA All-Star weekend, as it provided quality entertainment for all fans of basketball. The 2016 NBA all-star weekend will be held north of the border, in Toronto, Canada.