NBA All-Star Weekend 2018

Ansh Suchdeve

The NBA hosted its annual All-Star Weekend which showcases the best basketball players around the league in a World vs. U.S. game, a skills competition, a three point contest, a dunk contest, and the All-Star Game which concludes the weekend of festivities. All of the following events took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The weekend started off with a celebrity game which had household names such as Quavo, Justin Bieber, Jamie Foxx, Nate Robinson, etc. Team Clippers defeated Team Lakers by a score of 75-66 with Quavo winning the Celebrity Game MVP by scoring 19 points.

Immediately afterwards, the World vs. U.S. game began. The game featured upcoming stars such as Joel Embiid and Donovan Mitchell. World (various players from different countries) defeated the U.S. by a score of 155-124. Additionally, shooting guard for the Pacers, Bogdan Bogdanovic, won the game’s MVP award scoring 26 points along with six assists and four rebounds.

The next day, All-Star Saturday night began featuring the skills competition, the three point contest, and the dunk contest. The competitors of the skills competition went as follows: Spencer Dinwiddie, Lauri Markkanen, Joel Embiid, Al Horford, Andre Drummond, Lou Williams, Jamal Murray, and Kristaps Porzingis who was originally scheduled to play, but due to an injury, he did not participate (later replaced by Andre Drummond). The winner of the skills competition was Brooklyn Nets point guard, Spencer Dinwiddie.

Afterwards, the three point contest began with players such as Devin Booker, Wayne Ellington, Bradley Beal, Klay Thompson, Paul George, Kyle Lowry, Eric Gordon, and Tobias Harris. Devin Booker took the contest by storm finishing with 28 points to win the competition – a new record. Klay Thompson was the runner-up with 25 points.

Then, the annual dunk contest began. The dunk contest featured four competitors including, Victor Oladipo, Dennis Smith Jr., Larry Nance Jr., and Donovan Mitchell. The viewers of the competition saw Oladipo putting on a Black Panther mask and attempting an eventual fail of a 360 dunk. Another dunk that was featured was Mitchell leaping over comedian, Kevin Hart, and his children. During the final round, Donovan Mitchell and Larry Nance Jr. remained in the contest. Nance hit a spectacular dunk by bouncing the ball twice off of the backboard and slammed it with brute force. Next, Mitchell changed into the same uniform that Vince Carter wore during the 2000 dunk contest, and Mitchell proceeded to make the same exact dunk that Carter performed to win the competition. After the win, Mitchell said on NBA on TNT, “I wanted this so badly, man. This is one of my favorite events of All-Star Weekend; growing up as a kid watching it. And not only to be in it, but to win it, it’s crazy. ”

Next, the biggest event of the weekend began, the 89th NBA All-Star Game. The format was changed from an East vs. West to whomever was in the top two for receiving the most votes. The top two were LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Moreover, this year’s All-Star game was very entertaining. It featured Joel Embiid blocking a potential layup, 360 dunks, long three pointers, etc. It came down to the wire with the score being 148-145 with less than ten seconds to play. Team LeBron trapped Demar DeRozan in a corner who forced a dreadful three pointer that completely missed the hoop which resulted into Team LeBron claiming the victory. LeBron was voted by the fans as the All-Star Game MVP. James scored 29 points along with the game winning layup with 34.5 seconds left. After the monumental win, James said, “I think myself and Stephen took it upon ourselves when we took on this format that we had to change the way this game was played.” In my opinion, it was an excellent idea to change the format of the All-Star game, and it was an overall fun weekend of festivities.