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NBA All Star Weekend

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Photo: The Mercury News

Photo: The Mercury News

Photo: The Mercury News

Ian Connors

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Starting on Friday, February 16th, the All Star Weekend for the NBA got underway. This year the All Star Game was in Los Angeles at Staples Center.

Friday night was the United States vs. The World rising stars challenge. The game was full of up and coming talent in the league. The World team featuring players like Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jamal Murray and many more were able to pull out a 31-point win over the U.S. Bogdan Bogdanovic from the World team put up 26 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists on his way to MVP of the rising stars game.

On Saturday night there were three events. The first event was the Taco Bell Skills challenge. This event featured a Bracket setup with Guards on one side and Bigs on the other. The players must dribble through obstacles and then make a pass into a target. After this they will dribble to the other end of the floor for a layup, and then back to the other side for a three point shot. The first person to complete the course moves on. Spencer Dinwiddie of the Nets Faced off against Lauri Markkanen of the Bulls,in the finals. Spencer Dinwiddie was able to beat the Big Lauri Markkanen and win the competition. Next was the JBL Three Point contest. Devin Booker of the Suns and former winner of the competition Klay Thompson of the Warriors, went at it in the final round. Devin Booker put up an insane 28 points in the final round to take home the trophy. This score of 28 was a record in the three point contest.

Also on Saturday night was the highly anticipated Verizon Slam Dunk contest. The contest featured four athletes including very talented rookie Donovan Mitchell and electric dunker Dennis Smith Jr. In the first round each dunker gets 2 dunks and the scores are combined. The two dunkers with the highest combined score move on to the final. At the end of the first round Donovan Mitchell and Larry Nance Jr were moving on to the finals. In the final round Mitchell had a tribute to Vince Carter that was an electric dunk. Nance Jr also had a crazy dunk where he threw it off the backboard twice and threw it down. At the end Mitchell was able to win the 2018 Dunk contest.

Photo: The Associated Press

Sunday night was the main event, the All Star Game. This year, producers changed the format of the All Star game. Instead of having the East all stars face off against the West all stars, there were two captains that picked teams. LeBron James and Stephen Curry were the captains for the new format. The teams were playing for charity in this game which was meant to add a little bit more incentive to compete. This goal seemed successful, as team LeBron was able to take a 148-145 win over team Stephen.

When asked what  his favorite event of All Star Weekend was, Summit High School student Marcus Popoff said “The All Star game, because I watched all of it and it was competitive. They actually played some defense.” There was some controversy this year about the draft for players not being televised. Summit High School Freshman when questioned about what the NBA could have done better he said, “I think they should televise the draft.”

NBA All Star Weekend was a success this year and a lot of substantial changes were made to improve things. We will see what else the NBA changes next year or keep things the same.

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