Feb 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Team Shaq guard Dion Waiters (3) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles behind his back against Team Chuck guard Brandon Knight (7) of the Detroit Pistons during the second half of the rising stars challenge during the 2013 NBA All-Star weekend at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Bright Lights of NBA All Star Weekend

New Orleans, LA

NBA All-Star weekend, the mecca of all sports all star weekends. The bright lights, celebrities, the events, the charity and the festivities always seem to take the world by storm when NBA All Star weekend is going on. And even with all the fun and festive events going on people still find room for competitive talk and arguments during these times. Who knows what NBA all star weekend will have in store for us this year.

Early friday night kicks off all star weekend and it begins with the Celebrity All Star Game, where some of the medias biggest names from actors to comedians, singers , WNBA players, NBA legends and politicians, a variety of notable people  gather and play a game of hardcore, serious, NBA style basketball; okay not really but there has been some instances of competition and trash talk which makes for great entertainment considering the fact that 70% of the celebrities competing don’t have the slightest clue of what to do with a basketball, its actually quite hilarious that some take it seriously. This year 5’2 comedian Kevin Hart goes for his 3rd straight MVP in this game, that shows you how competitive this game is, all in all this game makes for great entertainment for media junkies and fans.

Later on Friday night is when the actual NBA All Star games begin,  with the BBVA Rising Stars challenge ( FormerlyFeb 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Team Shaq guard Dion Waiters (3) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles behind his back against Team Chuck guard Brandon Knight (7) of the Detroit Pistons during the second half of the rising stars challenge during the 2013 NBA All-Star weekend at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports known as the  Rookie Sophomore Challenge). This is a game comprised of the  NBA’s best rookies and second year players competing in two  twenty minuet halves as the rookies did in college. Just recently t  he NBA changed the format from rookies vs sophomores to a  draft format in which two teams are drafted both including  rookies and sophomores, competing against each other. Last year  Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie irving put on a show as he  went 8 for 8 from three and delivered a signature ankle breaker on  Brandon Knight, that went viral in seconds. There is always that young player that wows the crowd in this game who will it be this year? Ive got my eyes on Anthony Davis, the big fella in New Orleans with tremendous athleticism length and skill. He’s my lock for MVP of the rising stars challenge. But we will certainly see what this game has in store for us this year.

All star saturday night is where it gets real. Its where stars are born and names are made. We start off with the Shooting stars event in which there are four cities represented and an NBA player active, a Retired NBA player and a WNBA, player from each team compete to make a series of difficult shots in a certain period of time, whoever gets the fastest time wins. This event is particularly interesting to see because of the retired NBA players who have acquired pot bellies and flabby arms since retiring. Watching them try to hit jumpshots and half court shots is always a a joy to watch.

Next on the list of events is the Skills Competition, in other words; a basketball obstacle course. In this event 4 of the NBAs most skilled, agile and quick point guards compete in an obstacle course of events that challenges each players passing dribbling and shooting ability, whoever completes the course in the fastest time will be named winner. This event is somewhat looked down upon because players have been accused of trying to be “Too Cool” and not attacking the course with full effort, some players jog through the course other dont throw crisp enough passes, and some miss jumpshot after jumpshot after jumpshot. So many people want the players to take this course a bit more seriously than they have.

The next event however, has no problems with players slacking, the Three Point Shootout. A self explanatory competition really, it is a event where some of the leagues best 3 point shooters are literally in a shootout.  there are 5 racks of  5 basketballs each ball worth a point except the last on each rack which is worth two, the total number of points you can get is 30.Each player has a minuet to complete all five racks. Needless to say the player that has the most points at the end of each round wins and those with the least are eliminated. Stars from Larry Bird to Reggie Miller to Ray Allen and now Stephen Curry have competed in this contest, but would you believe that none of themhold the record, as ammusing at it sounds the 3 point shootout record is held by none other than the great Jason Kapono, probably best known for his tenure at UCLA, and Former bulls shooting guard Craig Hodges tied that record both at 25 points. Last year Kyrie Irving shocked Kevin Durant and Kevin Love and took home the title. Many people look for him to repeat, but im putting my money on 1/2 of the splash brothers, that is Stephen Curry.

Finally the Grandaddy of All-Star Saturday night, a battle of gladiators soaring through the air defying the laws of gravity and giving fans an eye opening performance in the famous Sprite Slam Dunk Competition. Probably the most anticipated event of All Star Weekend. The event that people Come to see. Some of the greatest players and dunkers to ever play the game of basketball have competed in this competition. I’m talking Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter. These guys and many more put on absolute classic performances that linger in All Star history forever. Recently the dunk contest has been a severe
disappointment to fans. For the last 3 years or so, there hasn’t been that pizzazz and excitement that comes with the dunk contest. Last year especially because of the youtube sensation James White and Gerald Green who may have the most jumping ability this league has ever seen were set to go head to head, however they did not impress.

The biggest surprise was Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors who, in his dunk attempt, wore a vintage Vince Carter jersey and Wowed the fans as he emerged as the winner. This  year expect that excitement to return back to the Slam Dunk Competition. Contestants  include, Damian Lillard who’s shown some serious ups for a little guy, Paul George who  proved his dunk worthiness with a Vince Carter esque reverse three sixty windmill in a  game, defending champion Terrence Ross who’s delivered some major posters this season,  John Wall who is perhaps the most athletic point guard in the NBA, Harrison Barnes , who  has shown flashes of major leaping ability, and Ben McLemore who is kind of the odd man out but his college resume has alot to say about his dunking ability, many people see him as the sleeper for this competition.

So there you have it, NBA All-Star Weekend 2014 in a nutshell Locked loaded and ready to go. I cant wait to see what All-Star Weekend 2014 has in store for us this year.


Tags: Anthony Davis Ben Mclemore Craig Hodges Damian Lillard Gerald Green Harrison Barnes Jason Kapono John Wall Kevin Durant Kevin Love Kobe Bryant Kyrie Irving Larry Bird Michael Jordan Paul George Ray Allen Reggie Miller Stephen Curry Terrence Ross Vince Carte

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