It’s that time of the year again. The ultimate feast for all the basketball fans is here.
The 2015 NBA All-Star weekend came to its conclusion Sunday. Various events were held on separate nights in Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden in New York, where the courts are filled with the richness of basketball history. Regardless of how the fans reacted to the roster selection this year, the All-Star weekend showcased all of these incredible basketball players doing what they were born to do. The purpose of the All-Star weekend is to gather all the popular players to put on a show. It’s meant to entertain the fans, but apparently the players, and even the celebrities, took it seriously this time.
Friday — Celebrity Game: The Kevin Hart Show
Final Score: West 59, East 51
Both teams started off fresh and blazing. By the end of the first quarter, the score was tight, and West was leading by only one point. Team West enhanced its defense in the second quarter, shutting down Team East by only allowing seven points. Throughout the rest of the game, Team West was able to stay consistent on their plays and accuracy, keeping their lead until the end of the game. Team West came up on top, beating Team East with an eight-point lead.
Team West can celebrate its victory in any way it wants, but Kevin Hart stole the show with 15 points and his fourth All-Star MVP. Hart played with a substantial amount of energy the entire game. From tip-off to fighting for rebounds, from defensive zoning to getting to the basket, Hart demonstrated his skills and agile moves throughout the game. His highlight happened halfway in the third quarter, when he wrestled with Win Butler, the lead singer of Arcade Fire, for a rebound and almost flipped the much bigger Butler over. Hart was honored with the MVP after the game. During the post-game interview, Hart compared himself with great players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. He also announced his retirement.
Saturday — Skill Challenges, 3-Point Shooting and Dunk Contest
The Taco Bell Skill Challenge is where a player demonstrates his comprehensive basketball ability and how he well understands his skills. It consists of two kinds of shots, lay ups, dribble and 3-pointers. TNT exclusively televised this year’s skill challenge, which features a tournament format for the first time. Eight guards from both the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference battled against each other to claim the best. Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley won the challenge.
The Foot Locker 3-Point Shooting Contest tests a player’s ability to shoot 3-pointers with undeviating accuracy in a very short time. Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors, along with teammate Klay Thompson and six other players, competed against each other in the contest. Curry finished his final round with 27 points. He connected 13 consecutive shots until he missed the final “Money Ball,” bringing all the fans in the stadium on their feet. Curry won the contest with a consistent and great performance.
Most of the people who bought the Saturday night ticket came to see the Sprite Dunk Contest. Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves surely made the show worth its price.
After Vince Carter’s performance in the 2000 Dunk Contest, the excitement for this event seemed to fade away. This time, LaVine brought back all the hype and the enthusiasm. LaVine is a rookie for the Timberwolves. Honestly, there wasn’t a lot of attention around this player until after his performance Saturday night. His first attempt was a tribute to Space Jam. He put on a Jordan’s jersey and finished his round like Jordan did in the movie. He made the act of dunking the ball seem so effortless that the audience took it for granted. His second dunk started with a behind-the-back move after a bounce, and he slammed the ball into the basket. The fans dropped their jaws as LaVine finished his third and fourth round. LaVine only missed two dunks in all four rounds. LaVine’s nearly perfect performance brought him a well-deserved win in the 2015 Dunk Contest.
Sunday — All-Star Game, big time
Final Score: West 163, East 158
This year’s All-Star game set multiple new records. The combined score, 321 points, surpassed last year’s 318, and 48 3-pointers exceeded last year’s 30. Russell Westbrook, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, scored 41 points in the game, one point below the All-Star record 42 points, which was created by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.
Ariana Grande was invited as the special guest to perform in the halftime show. She started off with some of her hit songs such as “Problem” and “Love Me Harder.” During the song “Bang Bang,” Nicki Minaj showed up by surprise and joined the performance.
Players from both conferences played competitively during the game. They surely know how to entertain the fans, trying to score as much as they can. It was a fast-paced game overall, and Team West took the victory.