Now that the dust has settled from the NBA All Star weekend, we at The Kickz Stand would take this time to recap from the intense weekend.
The weekend kicked off with the All Star Celebrity Game which saw the Home Celebrity take the win 82-80. The star-studded show was stolen by Famous Los, the viral comedian whose basketball videos are popular within and beyond NBA circles. He scored 22 points with three assists to lead the Home team over the Visiting team 82-80 and, of course, won the loyal crowd at Bojangles’ Coliseum. Famous Los was named the MVP for the Celebrity Game.
Next up we saw the NBA Rising Stars game with Team USA taking on Team World. Team USA snapped a 2 year losing streak to beat Team World 161-144.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma took home the MVP honors with 35 points for Team USA’s squad of first- and second-year players. With All-Star Kyrie Irving pacing the sidelines as honorary coach, Team USA led for the majority of the game and outscored Team World in fastbreak points, 48-26.
Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons led the way for Team World with 28 points on 14-for-17 shooting and six assists. Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic added 13 points and nine assists in front of his teammate and All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, who served as honorary coach for Team World.
Next up we head over to the NBA “State Farm All-Star Saturday Night” which holds the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Shootout & the Slam Dunk Contest.
The Skills Challenge saw 8 of the hottest players run through a course to see who would hold the hottest skills. Round 1 saw Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) beat Nikola Vucevic (Magic), Jayson Tatum (Celtics) beat Mike Conley (Grizzlies), Trae Young (Hawks) beat De’Aaron Fox (Kings) & Luka Doncic (Mavericks) beat Kyle Kuzma (Lakers). The semi finals saw Tatum take out Jokic to setup a showdown with Trae Young who took out Doncic. Tatum ended up beating Young with an incredible half court shot to win it in style. See video below of how it all unfolded
Next up saw the 3-point shootout with 10 of the games best 3 point shooters going head to head. In this challenge we saw the reigning 3-point champion Devin Booker (Suns) take on Seth Curry (Trail Blazers), Stephen Curry (Warriors), Danny Green (Raptors), Joe Harris (Nets), Buddy Hield (Kings), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Khris Middleton (Bucks), Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks) & Kemba Walker (Hornets). The Top 3 would then fight it out in the final round. The Top 3 shooters from Round 1 were Stephen Curry (27), Buddy Hield (26) & Joe Harris (25) move onto the final.
The finals came down to the final shot by Curry to tie it with Harris but unfortunately he missed handing the 3-Point Champion to Brooklyn Nets Joe Harris. See video below of a recap
For the final part of the Saturday night event saw the Slam Dunk Contest showcase some crazy dunks featuring celebrities and past stars. This year we saw Miles Bridges (Hornets), John Collins (Hawks), Hamidou Diallo (Thunder) & Dennis Smith Jnr (Knicks) with Diallo taking home the silverware.
Diallo brought the house down with his second dunk of the first round, calling out and jumping over Hall of Fame TNT analyst and original Superman Shaquille O’Neal to net a perfect 50 from the judges. After clearing Shaq, Diallo stuck his elbow in the rim, a nod to dunk contest icon Vince Carter, and snatched open his Thunder jersey to show off the Superman shirt underneath.
Then came the main event. The All Star Game seeing Team Giannis taking on Team Lebron. Team Lebron is undefeated in the All Star competition coming from behind to beat Team Giannis 178-164.
Team Giannis took early control with a 53-37 first quarter, featuring a combined 28 points on 12-for-13 shooting from Bucks teammates Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Team Giannis led by as many as 20 points, but Team LeBron made it a game with an 18-4 run, fueled by Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal, in the third quarter.
The teams traded leads early in the fourth and it was a three-point game with 4 1/2 minutes to go, but Team LeBron put it away with a 10-2 run featuring five straight points – a step-back 3-pointer over Joel Embiid and an alley-oop dunk from former teammate Kyrie Irving – from LeBron James.
Kia All-Star MVP Kevin Durant led Team LeBron with 31 points on 10-for-15 shooting, scoring 11 (on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting) in the fourth quarter. Nine other members of Team LeBron scored in double-figures.
While there was alot of highlights to report on, its best to check out the video below with some of the best!