Live from the Queen City of Charlotte, NC was the 68th NBA All-Star weekend. This weekend injected a high source of entertainment for millions of fans worldwide. This weekend was very sentimental because of the last dance for NBA vets Dirk Nowitzki and Dwayne Wade. Several celebrities, athletes, and figures were all under one roof to celebrate the leagues’ profound weekend. Here is recap of the 2019 NBA All-Star weekend in Charlotte.
NBA Celebrity Game
The Celebrity game included some of the industries former athletes, celebrities, and icons. Famous Los surprised many with his stellar play, which lead the Home team to a victory. The Home team ended up pulling away late in the 4th quarter with the W. The final score was 82-80; Famous Los was awarded the game’s MVP trophy scoring 22 points on 10-16 shooting. Los had to redeem himself from last year’s game when Quavo won and hoisted the MVP award. Despite the loss, Quavo finished with a game high 27 points. Former NBA star Ray Allen also showcased his talents, adding 24 points, 9 rebs, and 5 assists.
NBA Rising Stars Challenge
The Rising Stars Challenge featured a clash between the NBA’s elite. Team World led by 76er’s Forward Ben Simmons fell short to Team USA 161-144. Kyle Kuzma led USA to victory with a game-high 35 points. Boston’s Jayson Tatum was also a sole contributor, pouring in 30 points and 9 rebounds. Ultimately, Kyle Kuzma was the difference maker in this game, scoring 14 of his 35 in the opening quarter. Kuzma definitely showcased why he’s one of the league’s emerging talent to be recon with. His stellar performance landed him MVP honours becoming the 2nd Laker player to receive that award (Eddie Jones, 1996). Despite the loss, Ben Simmons had himself a solid performance adding 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Simmons gave us a taste for what’s to come in his first all-star appearance on Sunday. Simmons will compete against fellow teammate Joel Embiid at the 68th All-Star game.
All-Star Saturday Night Live
After NBA stars and celebrities graced us with their presence on opening day, we shift our focus to All-Star Saturday Night Live. A unique display of talent will compete in the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest and the Dunk-off. In the first round of the Skills Challenge 1st-time All-stars Nikola Jokic and Nikola Vucevic clashed in a tight match-up. Jokic ended up advancing to the second round alongside Jayson Tatum, Trae Young, and Luka Doncic. In the semi-final round Trae Young battled against Luka Doncic and knocked him out. Jayson Tatum then defeated Trae Young in the final round, hitting his final shot from half-court. Tatum stole a page out of Young’s book to secure that Championship trophy.
Now we turn our attention to the 3-point contest, this showdown included the leagues elite sharp shooters. Seth Curry joined his brother Stephen Curry in this year’s contest. In the first round Brooklyn’s Joe Harris came out scorching hot sinking in a score of 26. Stephen Curry and Buddy Hield both earned themselves a spot in the final round. Unfortunately, Buddy Hield and Stephen Curry fell short to Joe Harris in the final round. Joe Harris became the first Nets player to win a 3-point contest. Not to shabby for Brooklyn’s sharpshooter.
The Dunk-off showdown featured a battle between Dennis Smith Jr. , Hamidou Diallo, John Collins, and Miles Bridges. All contestants performed ferocious, high-flying dunks. In the final Round Dennis Smith Jr. battled up against Hamidou Diallo. Diallo’s dunk of the night left the crowd in a tailspin as he cleared NBA Hall of Fame Center Shaquille O’Neal to compete an elbow in the rim dunk. The Queens native injected a source of entertainment for the crowd at the Spectrum Center and joins NBA legends such as Michael Jordan, Vince carter, and Kobe Bryant on the list of slam-dunk champions. Quite a great accomplishment for the rookie guard, as he became the first Thunder player to win a Dunk-off.
The Main event of All-Star weekend was a clash between Team Giannis & Team LeBron in the 68th All-star game. Team Giannis came out on fire led by the Greek Freak himself, putting up a total of 53 points up in the opening quarter. Team Giannis continued their high-octane play which led them to a 13-point lead at half. The Greek Freak led the way with 20 points, 5 rebs, and 4 assists. Gianinis would then finish with a game-high of 38 points. In the third quarter Team LeBron closed the gap, a large part of that was attributed to their defensive intensity. The scoring surge of Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson brought Team LeBron back within reach, cutting the lead back into single digits.
But it was LeBron James that provided Team LeBron with his late game heroics. In this match-up it was the tale of 2 halves, as LeBron rallied his troops to pull out a decisive win over Team Giannis. Team LeBron outscored Team Giannis 96-69 in the second half, it that wasn’t the stat of the night, then i don’t know what was. Team LeBron’s victory landed Warriors’ Kevin Durant with MVP honours; adding the second of his career. At first it seemed like Giannis was too much for Team LeBron to stop but in the end it was LeBron James who galvanized his troops to victory.
Thanks: NBA, Bleacher Report, ESPN
NBA All-Star Weekend 2019
Spectrum Center (Charlotte, NC)