NBA All Star Weekend set to get underway
By Peter Santo
NBA All Star Weekend is always an exciting and competitive time, from the Rising Stars Challenge Friday night to the All Star Game on Sunday. This year’s festivities will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NYC is a great venue for an event that brings thousands of people from all across the globe so props to Adam Silver on that choice of venue.
The most popular events will as usual be the Rising Stars Challenge, Three Point Contest, Dunk Contest, and All Star Game.
Rising Stars Challenge: The Rising Stars Challenge will feature a very talented U.S. Team as well as an impressive World Team. The U.S. Team will be led by reigning rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams (MCW) and fellow sophomore standout Victor Oladipo. The World Team will be led by probable rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins and Giannis Antetokounmpo AKA the Greek Freak. With the exciting talent on both sides this should be a high scoring game and a lot of fun.
Three Point Contest: With a record eight contestants this year the three point contest should be as exciting as ever. There are former winners, the Splash Bros, and MVP candidates. The contestants are last year’s winner Marco Belinelli, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, James Harden, Kyle Korver, J.J. Redick, Wesley Matthews, and Kyrie Irving. Having all these great shooters on the floor at the same time should be very exciting for fans.
The Dunk Contest: Oh how the dunk contest has changed. Once a fan favorite and competition of glory and awe, the last few years the dunk contest has grown into a relative joke with mostly bench players competing. Gone are the days of Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan, Vince Carter and Jason Richardson even Nate Robinson and Dwight Howard. Last year there was even fan voting and no judges! Luckily this year the judges are back and the dunk contest has some respectable names, at least for devoted basketball fans. The participants are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Victor Oladipo, Zach Lavine, and Mason Plumlee. All are young up and comers making their first appearance in the event. And all are extremely athletic. These young guns should put on a good show.
The All Star Game: Ah, the main event, the All Star Game. The stage for the best basketball players in the world. As always the All Star Game will be high scoring and played with no defense. The West seems stronger on paper with three potential MVP candidate in the starting lineup in Steph Curry, James Harden, and Anthony Davis, as well as last year’s MVP Kevin Durant on the team. That being said any team with LeBron James on it has a good chance to win.
Jackson Posnik also contributed to this report
Photo Courtesy of NBA.com