Competition Heats Up at NBA All-Star Weekend


Mac Ireland, Staff Writter

The 2018 All-Star weekend concluded Sunday night in thrilling fashion. This year’s All-Star game was the most exciting game played in the last three or so years; large in part to the new format that definitely played a major role in spicing things up.

In recapping this weekends festivities, on Friday night, team World took down team USA 155 to 124 in the Rising Stars Challange. Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Sacramento Kings took home MVP honors with a 26 point, 4 rebound, and 6 assist performance.

All-Star Saturday Night

On night two the skills challenge, three-point contest, and dunk contest all took place. Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets took home skills challenge trophy and help the guards win the event for the first time since the format change. In the three-point contest 21-year-old Devin Booker beat out Klay Thompson as champion with 28 points. The Pheonix Suns guard also set the record for highest score obtained in three-point contest history. In the final and main event, Donovan Mitchell was crowned slam dunk champion. The 21-year-old of the Utah Jazz was a fill in for the injured Aaron Gordon. Mitchell has been creating highlight reels all season long and did not disappoint on the big stage in Los Angeles Mitchell finished off the competition with a Vince Carter tribute wearing Carters Toronto Raptors jersey and performing the same iconic dunk Carter did 18 years ago.

Team LeBron takes down Team Stephen

The All-Star Game itself might have been the most exciting part of the weekend. This may be a surprise considering the game has lacked competitiveness and defense over the last few years.

The NBA decided to do away with the old format in favor of a new one which saw the top two vote-getters from each conference draft their teams. This allowed players from different conferences to play with each other. Team LeBron went up against Team Stephen and it was easily the most exciting all-star game in recent memory. With about five minutes left to play the competition started to heat up and the starting players all stayed on the floor. Team LeBron started to put the pressure on team Stephen and even caused Embiid to almost turn the ball over at a crucial time. The refs went to the replay and Team Stephen retained possession. DeMar DeRozan was put on the line with 40 seconds left in the game with the chance to put his team up two but missed one of his two free throws. The next play team LeBron came down and LeBron James hit a big go-ahead layup with 34 seconds remaining. The next play team Stephen went for a three, but James Harden came up short. DeRozan managed to grab the rebound but immediately turned it over resulting in Russell Westbrook getting an easy fast-break layup. Down 3 with 10 seconds left team Stephen had one more chance to tie the game. This time the ball went to Steph Curry, but he was immediately doubled by James and Kevin Durant. Curry was forced to pass it DeRozan in the corner who didn’t have enough time to get a shot off. Team LeBron won 148-145. James also took home his third All-Star game MVP with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Many players, commentators, and fans praised this years format change and hope to see it return and be built upon in future All-Star events.