The Good, Bad & the Ugly: NBA All-Star Weekend

With All-Star weekend now over, there were definitely some highs and lows. Let’s go over some of them

The Good

  • The All-Star game: For the third year in a row, the All-Star game was a huge success. Let’s start with Steph Curry. Hitting an ASG record 16 three-pointers to go along with 50 points, his performance was an all-time great. Even with the usual guys like Harden, AD, and Kyrie out, the replacements did not disappoint. Having seven new all-stars was probably my favorite part of the game. Getting a new mix of talent in is refreshing, especially when these guys perform well. With the winning team of each quarter donating $100K to a local charity, this is a huge success on the part of the NBA. Also with the final score being close at the end, you get competitive basketball with the best the game has to offer. How can it get better than that?

  • Three-Point Contest: Even without your usual big-name shooters like Steph Curry, the NBA three-point contest did not disappoint. Karl-Anthony Towns won with a final score of 29, beating out Luke Kennard and Trae Young in the final round. KAT became the 3rd big man in NBA history (Dirk Nowitzki 2005, Kevin Love 2012) to win the three-point contest.

  • Skills Challenge: To open Saturday’s festivities, the NBA introduced a new format for the skills challenge. In years past, the skills challenge was every man for themselves. This year, there were three teams of three. Team Cleveland (Mobley, Garland, and Allen) defeated the Rookies (Barnes, Giddey, Cunningham) and the Antetekumpo’s.

  • Rising Stars Game: Any time you can watch the newest draft class come together for an exhibition game, now with a tournament format, you’re going to be successful. With number one overall pick Cade Cunningham coming away with MVP, the future of the NBA is very bright.

The Bad

  • Slam Dunk Contest: This year’s dunk contest was one of, if not the worst dunk contest of all time. There were more misses than makes which took the energy out of the crowd. Once the energy is taken out of the crowd during a slam dunk contest, it’s hard to get it back. From Cole Anthony pulling out the Timb boots to Jalen Green pulling out an NFT chain, the dunk contest was an overall L.
  • Halftime: Look, I get what the league was trying to do. It was nice, but it was entirely too long. They had every player that was able to attend person for the 75th-anniversary team come to the stage they had one by one. It’s difficult to get a lot of guys onto the stage, especially when a good majority of them are older. I personally would’ve gotten them set up on stage, called out their names, given them their few seconds of applause, then move on.

The Ugly

  • The other Antetokounmpoย brothers: Watching the skills challenge was fun. As I was watching it, I remembered how “unskilled” Giannis truly is. He relies on power and pure dominance while on the floor. But when you have him mixed with his two other brothers (Thanasis and Alex) who are nowhere as good as him in a skills challenge, it can get ugly. Once again, they are nowhere near bad players, they just did not fit in with the skills challenge.

Overall All-Star weekend was a success. Celebrating the best players of all time in a city like Cleveland is amazing. Anytime a small market can get recognition is astonishing. One thing I really need the NBA to do is to incentivize the best dunkers in the game to actually compete in the contest. Ever since 2016 with Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon, it has been downhill. You see guys like Ja Morant having his high-flying dunks in the ASG, joking that a ten-foot rim is “too short” for him. Morant, Zion Williamson, Anthony Edwards are among the players the NBA needs to see in the dunk contest.

Deonta Saleem
Redskins & Wizards writer for and DC sports writer for

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