NBA All Star Weekend was a Phoenix rising from the ashes this weekend in Toronto. The first All Star weekend to be held outside of the United States was definitely one for the books.
Beginning with the Rising Stars Challenge, the weekend was off to a great start. The format that began last year, pits the rookie and sophomore NBA players in a game divided by US players versus International players, contrasting the former format of Rookies vs Sophomores. Zach Lavine took home the Rising Stars challenge game MVP, with other notable performances including Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota) and Hezonja(Orlando).
Following the Rising Stars Challenge, came the skills challenge, 3 point contest as well as dunk contest.
This years First Overall Draft pick by the Timberwolves Karl Anthony Towns took home the trophy at the Skills challenge, displaying his great handles with the ball.
The 3 point contest came down to last years NBA champion backcourt teammates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The duo, who are respectively the number 1 and number 2 leaders in the league currently in 3 pointers made on the season, once again out performed their competitors with a fiery display of 3 pointers in the contest. Klay Thompson this year would be the victor.
Following the 3 point contest, was the EPIC and I mean EPIC Dunk Contest. Participants included Will Barton, Andre Drummond, Aaron Gordon and Zach Lavine. But really, it was the Air Gordon and Lavine show, including flashy dunks involving hover boards, between the legs, foul line, under the legs and other ridiculous combinations. People are quick to call it the best dunk off of all time. Lavine prevailed and came out with the trophy for the second year in a row.
Finally, the All Star Game where Kobe Bryant enjoyed his last All Star game ever, playing with Steph Curry and the rest of the West All Stars versus a Lebron James led East team. The scores were higher than ever recorded, so much so that they found out the scoreboard maxed out at 199(for 1 team). The usual suspects with a few new additions played the exhibition game for a sold out Toronto croud display enormous scoring feats with the trademark Zero-Defense that All Star games are now becoming. Even with the lack of defensive play, the game still proved to be highly entertaining. Notable performers: Paul George 41 pts, Westbrook 31. Westbrook took home All Star Game MVP.