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The NBA’s top players entertained fans worldwide in the illustrious Madison Square Garden this weekend, putting another NBA All-Star Weekend in the books.
From singer Rihanna to actor/ comedian Jerry Seinfeld to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, it was once again a star-studded event that featured people from all across the entertainment industry.
The weekend hosted a variety of different events – some that were familiar to the fans, some that had never been seen before, and some with newly added rules.
In case you missed it:
Sprint Celebrity Game– The competition has been around since 2003 and displays the talents (and lack thereof) of various celebrities. Headlining the rosters this year were actor/ comedian Kevin Hart, little league pitcher Mo’ne Davis, actor/ rapper Common, NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, and many more.
Hart was awarded his fourth MVP award, which prompted his retirement announcement after the game. “It’s my fourth MVP,” Hart said. “I can’t do no more.”
BBVA Compass Rising Stars– The competition had a new setup this year, featuring rookies and second-year players making up both a U.S. team and a world team. Rookie and first overall pick in the 2014 draft was named MVP with 22 points as he led the world team to victory over the U.S., 121-112.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge– Also displaying a new format, the skills challenge was done in tournament form for the first time in its 13-year history. Players competed head-to-head against each other to complete the “obstacle course.” The losing player was eliminated, as the winning player moved on.
Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverly won the competition in the final round with a come-from-behind victory against Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Knight. Beverly was the replacement for Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (withdrew).
Foot Locker Three-Point- The three-point competition had the most competitive lineup in recent history, with Golden State Warriors “Splash Brothers” Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, Atlanta Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving making headlines.
Curry, Thompson and Irving advanced to the final round, but Curry took the title with a record-breaking score of 27 (out of a potential 34). Curry got hot in the final round, knocking down 13 shots in a row while only missing five of the 25 shot attempts.
Sprite Slam Dunk- Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine, Orlando Magic star Victor Oladipo, Milwaukee Bucks phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo (try saying that five times fast) and Brooklyn Nets big man Mason Plumlee made up the lineup for the competition.
However, LaVine and Oladipo were the only two worth noting.
Well, really only LaVine, who received a perfect 50 on each of his first two dunks. LaVine came out wearing a classic Michael Jordan “Space Jam” jersey as he smoothly soared through the air, completing an alley-oop between the legs reverse dunk on his first try…with ease.
LaVine continued to impress in the championship round against Oladipo. Although Oladipo attempted some high-difficulty, high-reward dunks, he was unable to complete them.
LaVine finished the final round with an overall score of 94, trouncing the 72 that Oladipo put up.
LaVine became the second-youngest player (19-years-old) in the history of a competition that has been around since 1984 and has featured some of the biggest names in the game. LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was 18 when he won the competition in 1997.
NBA All-Star Game- The main event went just as expected: tons of scoring, nonexistent defense, acrobatic passes and dunks, and a barrage of three-point attempts. The western conference all-stars took the win in a 163-158 shootout. The 163 points tied the previous record for points (2014) and 321 total points set a new record.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard won MVP of the game with 41 points. His 27 first half points was an all-star record.
With the all-star weekend over, teams are enjoying their time off before getting ready to tackle the most important part of the season. Games kick off again on Feb. 19.