NBA All-Star Weekend Recap
The NBA, a year-round soap opera of sorts with the trades and LeBron Quotes and LeBron orchestrated trades enjoyed it's 2018 All-Star weekend in the bright lights of Hollywood, courtesy of the hosting teams, The Los Angeles Lakers & Clippers, both needing a bit of light relief for what's been a so far so so affair for the big bucks bois. With its media-friendly format and penchant for the celebrity spotlight and low lights (somehow we were subject to both Marilyn Mon-Fergie for the USA anthem, and the Barenaked Ladies for the Canadian anthem, God bless us all), there's been a lot to talk about so let's get into it!
All-Star Celebrity Game
There aren't many moments in the NBA that make you think 'Yes, I could totally do that', but hold my beer for a moment as we dive in to the 'Celebrity' All-Star game, a competition won by unfunny small man Kevin Hart on numerous occasions prior to this year (Thankfully Hart's invitation was lost in the post this year). This year's Celebrity game was dominated by non-other than Migos' Quavo (of Migos fame), with his MVP like performance against stars such as Justin Bieber, Jamie Foxx, Nick Cannon (of Mariah Carey Fame), Common and that sassy kid from Stranger Things Caleb McLaughlin, who got out sassed by that sassier kid from Ellen's show and Americas Got Talent Miles Brown. Quavo also has the distinction of being the first MVP of a sporting event on national TV that also has an arrest warrant in his name. Nice one Quavo.
Rising Stars Challenge
On to some remarkably more competitive and interesting events, we were given the classic Rookie-Sophmore / Rising Stars challenge, that in its latter years has turned in to Everyone vs the USA (Life imitates art). We were shown some high flying exploits (shouts to Donovan Mitchell, more on him later) some great fundamentals from the world team, and brash bravado of the USA team who were genuinely missing any kind of Centre to compete with all-star Joel Embiid. Sacremento Kings Duo Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic combined for a surprising 55 points in a World Team victory, also proving that the Sacremento Kings jersey has the ability to strip players of any talent like the Space Jam Monstars.
Spencer Dinwiddie of the awful at performing, great at trading Brooklyn Nets won and that's all you need to know about this sham of an event. Lots of cheating, lots of pointless skills, hasn't been good since LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant competed against one another, let's watch that instead.
A classic event, heralded for its marksmanship, showcasing the best gunslingers in the NBA and their ability to chuck it from long distance. The thinking man's alternative to the dunk contest if you will, saw Pheonix Suns shining ray of light, Devin Booker, take home the praise and accolades with his record-breaking 28 point round setting off a chain of events that lead him to the win, which isn't something he's used to on his current team so congrats Devin. 'Chillest Dude' Klay Thompson came in second whilst genuine All-Star Paul George came last with a single digit display, but his PG2s looked good though so nice one NIKE. Also, slight asterisk on Devin's record-breaking performance as rather than just singular 2 point balls at the end of each rack we're now treat to the players choice of placement on a full rack of 2 point balls, but non the less congrats Devin, you don't really get much to shout about so have this one, ey.
Slam Dunk Contest
Here we go, the moment the Saturday night crowd were waiting for, it's the now irrelevant NBA Dunk Contest. A contest ruined when Blake Griffin jumped over a boring old KIA with a full choir in tow, thankfully karma caught up and he's stuck in Detroit now, serves you right, you amazing man. Contestants included current All Star and late bloomer Victor Oladipo, who's just trying to make up for the time he was invited to a dunk contest and murdered the song New York, New York wearing a trilby and fake tuxedo in front Rihanna (spoiler alert, he didn't), Dennis Smith Jr. who's really good at just dunking the ball without gimmicks, which in this day and age just gets you a bad score from a panel including former dunking pros like DR.J and DJ Khaled, Larry Nance Jr. who's really living vicariously through his father's success (we get it, Larry Nance Sr. won the first dunk contest, you're still inconsistent on the court, that's why the awful Lakers traded you, buddy), and Donovan Mitchell, who they should have just given the trophy to in the first place. Mitchell, repping ironically the NBA's best 'Sun'coloured jersey in the Utah alt colours, peppered the competition with highlight dunk after dunk, eventually bringing out unfunny small man Kevin Hart and his son to dunk on, which should have just ended the contest then and there. See for yourself!
And the moment you've all been waiting for...
NBA ALL-STAR GAME (Pre Show)
That's right, unsatisfied that the previous two days were the preshow to the big ole game, the NBA decided to test our wits in the form of a 15-minute skit from unfunny small man Kevin Hart, who at this point must just have a lot of spare time and an inventive imagination post-divorce. Rob Riggle, Queen Latifah, Adam Devine and Ludacris jumped in for a turn on this wacky ride, to disastrous consequences. Whoever came up with this idea has to get fired.
You thought that was it? Oh. We haven't even gotten to the best bit.
Fergie managed to go Happy Birthday, Mr. President with the National Anthem. This is genuinely, no word of a lie, the worst thing that has ever happened to sports.
Please, just make it stop.
NBA ALL-STAR GAME!!!
We're here, we've made it finally. This is what you've all been waiting for, the East VS the West, Team Lebron VS Team Curry, a battle of the best of the best of the best, and it was actually pretty damn entertaining. With the new format implemented, we were given two teams (Curry vs LeBron) and their respected draftees, rather than the standard East VS West split. 1st-time all-stars like Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, Goran Dragic and Karl-Anthony Towns showed their worth against the regular cast of the NBA's superstars, in particular, Joel Embiid sticking it out to the end with big moves on the Defensive and Offensive side. In a game that in years prior has been lambasted for it's lacklustre approach to the game, it was fantastic to see the two teams duking it out in a highly competitive affair, with the lead changing back and forth till the very end. Finally, an event worthy of the All-Star title.