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NBA All-Star weekend recap
March 8, 2016
Friday, Feb. 12:
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Mountain Dew:
After last year’s incredible performance, Kevin Hart won his fourth Celebrity Game MVP and announced his retirement from the game. In 2016, he came back with fire in his heart as the head coach for Team America. His enemy for the night? Drake and Team Canada. Drake’s team got off to a quick start and were never caught by Team America. Canada skated to an easy win of 74-64 led by lead singer of Arcade Fire, Win Butler (15 points and 14 rebounds), and retired NBA player, Tracy McGrady (18 points).
BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge:
The Rising Stars Challenge invites rookies and sophomores to showcase their skills as they prepare to rise into stars in the NBA. This year, sophomore for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Zach LaVine was on fire, scoring 30 points for Team USA and earning the MVP award. Team World had some great competitors too, with rookie Emmanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets scoring 30 points and assisting 10 baskets alongside 30 points from the rookie of the New York Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis.
Saturday, Feb. 13:
Taco Bell Skills Challenge:
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge hosted the biggest upset of the weekend. Rookie center of the Minnesota Timberwolves Karl Anthony-Towns beat the Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas in a skills challenge. The head-to-head competition includes dribbling, passing, agility, and shooting a three pointer at the end. No center in the league is expected to execute any of these skills. That is why it was shocking to see Anthony-Towns come out on top.
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest:
Last year it was Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. This year it was his Splash Brother Klay Thompson who was the champion of three pointers. Both Curry and Thompson made it to the championship round of the competition. The teammates then had to go through each other in order to take home the trophy. Thompson ended up beating Curry with a score of 27 vs. Curry’s 23.
Verizon Slam Dunk Competition:
The returning champion Zach LaVine was an obvious favorite for the 2016 Dunk Competition after bringing attention back to it with his electrifying 2015 run. However, Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic did not let LaVine off easy. Both competitors went back and forth throughout the whole show, sending them to overtime. Zach LaVine came out on top with an incredible dunk from out near the free throw line. Though his dunk was unbelievable, the community was split between him and Gordon on who should have won. The 2016 Dunk Competition brought back excitement and thrill to an event that has been boring in the past couple of years.
Sunday, Feb 14:
NBA All-Star Game:
An upset was not found in this year’s All-Star Game. The West has been dominating the game for a few years now and they did not disappoint in 2016. Westbrook was the repeat MVP and scored 31 in the West’s 196-173 victory. However, the game was not exciting. As the main event of All-Star weekend, it was upsetting to see three pointers being hacked up back and forth the whole game. It was a little more significant than years past, as it was Kobe Bryant’s 19th and final All-Star Game. But all in all, the main event was not as fulfilling as expected, leaving a bitter taste at the end of the 2016 All-Star weekend.