Brandon Landrum |Staff Writer|
The best players in the NBA showcased their talents during the 2014 NBA All Star weekend.
This year, the games were held in New Orleans, LA. for the second time since 2008.
The 63rd annual NBA All Star Game was the main attraction featured NBA superstars LeBron James of the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant and the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George.
The first event that kicked off the festivities in New Orleans was the BBVA Compass Bank Rising Stars Challenge.
This game featured some of the best young athletic talents in the NBA, including the 2013 Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks’ guard Tim Hardaway Jr., and the Detroit Pistons’ center Andre Drummond.
The teams were drafted by NBA legends Chris Webber and Grant Hill. Both teams gave a stellar performance, but at the end East beat West, 142-136. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game was Drummond, scoring 30 points and grabbing a record 25 rebounds in the game.
On Saturday night, State Farm sponsored the annual All Star Saturday Night inside of the Smoothie King Arena.
This year’s State Farm All Star Saturday Night was different from the previous year’s with the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, going against one another in each event.
The first event to kick off the night was the Sears Shooting Star featuring current and former NBA players, as well as players from the WNBA.
The defending champions, Team Bosh, which included Hall of Fame player Dominique Wilkins, the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh, and WNBA player Swin Cash won the Sear Shooting Stars event. After the Sear Shooting Stars event, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge featured some of the NBA’s most fundamentally sound players testing them on their dribbling, shooting, and passing skills.
The champions of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge was Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz and Lillard. The Foot Locker Three-Point Contest took place after the Skills Challenge featuring some of the NBA’s best three-point shooters in the game having only one minute to complete five racks and record the highest score.
This year’s champions were Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs, beating out Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards in the tiebreaker, making nine three-pointers.
The last event that took place was the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest featuring the leagues best dunkers. The slam dunk contest was different from last year’s since it featured a freestyle dunk round with all of the contestants.
The East won both of the events with George, Terrance Ross from the Toronto Raptors and John Wall from the Washington Wizards throwing down the best dunks of the night. Wall won the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest with the best dunk of the night, jumping over the Washington Wizards mascot, and making a two-handed reverse dunk.
Sunday afternoon’s NBA All Star Game was the highest scoring All Star Game in NBA history.
Blake Griffin and Durant led the Western Conference, scoring 38 points each. However, it wasn’t enough to beat the Eastern Conference. Eastern Conference All Star Kyrie Irving stole the show with 31 points and 14 assists.
“I was going out there trying to compete. It’s a great honor,” said Irving to USA today.
His performance earned him All Star MVP honors and capped off the weekend.