The ‘NBA All-Star Weekend’ is a rousing success


The National Basketball Association/Compex Magazine

This year’s All-Star festivities took place in the host city of Toronto, Canada.

Seiya Mirande, Staff Writer

Every February, the National Association of Basketball has an “NBA All-Star Weekend.”

The “NBA All-Star Weekend” is a festival that consists of a variety of basketball-related events, exhibitions, and performances. These events lead up to the NBA All-Star Game, which was held on the night of Feb. 14.

The host city of this year’s All-Star Weekend was Toronto, Canada. This was the first time that the games were held outside of the United States.

The weekend started off with the celebrity All-Star game. This exhibition match featured an array of different actors, singers, and other celebrities. The teams were divided between players of both Canadian and American nationalities. Rapper and producer Drake coached team Canada and comedian Kevin Hart coached team U.S.A. Notable participants of the game included actor Jason Sudeikis, television personality Nick Cannon, and actor and comedian Anthony Anderson. Team Canada won 74-64. The band Arcade Fire’s Win Butler took home Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors.

The event following the celebrity game was the NBA Rising Stars game. This match featured the game’s most promising young players. The teams were separated between U.S.-born and international players. The U.S. team prevailed over the World team with a final score of 157-154. This game concluded the first day of basketball festivities.

The next day, three events took place: the “Taco Bell Skills Challenge,” the “Foot Locker Three-Point Contest,” and the “Verizon Slam Dunk Contest.”

The “Taco Bell Skills Challenge” consisted of a series of obstacles that the participant had to pass. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ rookie, Karl Anthony-Towns, won this event.

Up next was the “Three-Point Contest.” This event consisted of players trying to make as many three-pointers possible in an allotted time. The Golden State Warriors’ very own Klay Thompson beat out other Warriors player Stephen Curry to win this event.

Among these three contests, the “Slam Dunk Contest” is arguably the fan favorite. It consists of the NBA’s best dunkers, competing for who can execute the flashiest dunk. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Zach Lavine took home the crown this year with a between-the-legs dunk from the free throw line. That dunk beat out a seemingly impossible under-the-legs dunk by the Orlando Magic’s Bay Area native Aaron Gordon. This year’s dunk contest was thought to be the best ever by many fans and players.

To conclude this weekend was the All-Star game itself. This game was especially significant because this was the last All-Star game that NBA great Kobe Bryant would participate in, as he is retiring after this season. A special tribute for Bryant was presented prior to the beginning of the game.

The game ended with the Western Conference team beating the Eastern Conference team 196-173. Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook took home the MVP nod.

The NBA’s All-Star Weekend turned into much more than just a regular All-Star game. With all of these new additions added prior to the game itself, it has become a celebration for both basketball players and fans everywhere.