bill-swift - February 28, 2012
Hats off to the NBA for another entertaining all-star weekend! The latest edition of the three-day fest was just held in Orlando, Florida, and was full of what fans come to look for—the chance to see the best of the best in basketball do what makes them famous.
The NBA has done well in being up front about what the weekend is intended to be, an exhibition event for the fans and in many aspects by the fans (nothing else; not super competitive or anything crazy like that). To make sure that fans do not leave All-Star weekend unsatisfied, the NBA is kind enough to include a virtual cornucopia of events intent on entertaining fans by showcasing the various talents that make the game great.
If you were not able to watch everything, don't worry. We've got the rundown on the entire weekend in 400 words or less. Read this before you hit the break room at work and you'll sound like an NBA insider:
Celebrity Game: any game that can feature the Secretary of Education, a comedian, a dude from the Jersey Shore, and a pair of real estate experts is okay by me. Comedian/actor Kevin Hart (remember Soul Plane?) took MVP as the East won 86-54.
Rising Stars Challenge: like the All-Star game, this game is all about scoring. Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving led the way in this dunk fest of a game by hitting all eight three-point shots he attempted. His 34 points led Team Chuck over Team Shaq 146-133; Irving was named MVP.
Slam Dunk Contest: the contest has turned into something that features gimmicks and gadgets over style and substance like it used to. A last minute entry, Utah's Jeremy Evans, easily had the dunk of the night when he caught two balls thrown to him as he jumped over Gordon Hayward, and slammed them both down. He won, beating out Chase Budinger by a single percentage point. Click on the link below to watch why Evans was named the 2012 Dunk Champion.
Three-Point Contest: Kevin Love became the first true power forward to win the 3-point contest since it was created in 1986. He needed an overtime round to become one of three finalists, and took Kevin Durant to OT in the finals eventually beating him with a score of 17-14.
Skills Challenge: this is basically an obstacle course for guards. Tony Parker navigated it the best with a time of 32.8 seconds. He finished almost a second behind Deron Williams in the prelims, but Williams took 41.4 seconds to finish the course in the finals making it an easy win for Parker.
Shooting Stars Competition: teams of three featuring an NBA player, WNBA player, and an NBA legend from the same city compete in this challenge. Team New York consisting of former Knicks Alan Houston, current player Landry Fields, and Liberty star Cappie Pointdexter easily won with the best time in both rounds with 38.7 seconds and 37.3 seconds.
All-Star Game: Kobe Bryant broke Michael Jordan's record for most career points in the All-Star game bringing his total to 271 points (in 14 games). The East made it interesting down the stretch but the West won the traditionally high scoring affair 152-149. Kevin Durant won MVP after scoring 36 points. LeBron James also hit 36, but was overshadowed by teammate Dwayne Wade who recorded the third triple-double in All-Star history with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Article by Travis Pulver
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