On Friday I gave some predictions, and what I was looking forward to, for NBA All Star weekend. Now that it is all wrapped up I want to talk about some observations I had. I was only right about 2 things, that Team US would beat Team World in the Rising Stars game, and that Team LeBron would win the All Star game. Other than that, I was wrong.
First of all, I have to eat some major crow about the three point contest. I figured Steph would win, and win easily. While he did make it to the Finals, and scorched in the first round with 27 points, the guy a lot of other journalists were high on, Joe Harris, took home the crown. I wasn't as high on him, I thought it was all smoke, but the dude can shoot. He filled it up with 25 in one round, the round that mattered. I was wrong, Steph didn't win, and Harris did. I didn't think that he could do it, I thought people were just trying to be NBA hipsters, but they were right and I was wrong.
I also blew it on the skills competition. I figured DeAaron Fox would literally run away with it, but that competition was filled with wild finishes. Fox got beat on a crazy deep three from Kyle Kuzma after racing out to a huge lead. Then, when Trae Young advanced to the finals against Saint Louis' own Jayson Tatum, he raced out to a big lead only to be beaten on a half court shot. It was wild, fun and really neat to see.
Props to Tatum for taking that shot, and even more props to him for making it. In the rising stars game, Team USA jumped to an early lead and ran away with the game. John Collins did some impressive stuff. So did Marvin Bagley. I also liked what Luka Doncic and DeAndre Ayton did for Team World. I really enjoyed this game and it was a good watch. These guys are the future, and they showed out.
The dunk contest was great. I was a bit skeptical because the names weren't household. I knew the guys because I am a dork about the NBA, but I am pretty sure the average fan had no idea who the four guys were. But, they did great. I loved Miles Bridges dunk off the side of the backboard when he wore a throw back Larry Johnson jersey. It was neat. John Collins did some good stuff. He is a powerful dunker, but he can also fly. I saw a picture of him and his forehead was above the rim. It was sweet. But Dennis Smith Jr and Hamidou Diallo put on a god damn show. The stuff DSJ did was super duper athletic. When he jumped over J. Cole and did a windmill while doing it, I wanted to jump out of my seat. He can really fly. I figured he was a shoe in to win. I wanted him to win. But I did say to watch out for Diallo. The kid could jump in college, and he proved that tenfold in the dunk contest. He too had a picture where his head was above the rim, and he looked at ease. It was like he didn't even have to really try to jump that high. It looked effortless. But that dunk he did in the second round, when he dunked over Shaq and did the honey dip, it was akin to what Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon did a few years back, or dare I say, what Vince Carter did in 2000. I was amazed at all his dunks, but the one over Shaq in particular. It was a phenomenal show of athleticism. This Diallo kid is legit, and I hope he continues to do the dunk contest every year.
All this was just an appetizer to the game. The big game that is. Team LeBron versus Team Giannis. It was a good game. It was a competitive game. There was the slightest bit of defense played. And a ton of shots went up. Seeing Team Giannis jump out to that big lead was great. The alley oop to him from Steph, where he bounce passed it and Giannis seemed to jump 10 feet in the year, was one of the best things I have witnessed in an All Star game. It was awesome. Then, to see Damien Lillard hit 3 straight threes, 2 of which from very, very deep, was incredible. That run that Team LeBron went on in the third was pretty neat. They seemingly couldn't miss. And just when you thought that Team Giannis was about to start making a run, tying it up several times in the second half, Team LeBron, mainly KD, just kept making threes. It was a decent All Star game. I still think Giannis should have won the MVP, he went for 38 on something like 17 of 23 from the field, but I suppose a player from the winning team deserved to be MVP, and KD was the best player on the winning team last night.
All in all this past weekend was a good one for the NBA. All the side games were good, and the All Star game was fun. Well done NBA.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet.
SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.