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Recap: NBA All-Star Saturday Night

Recap: NBA All-Star Saturday Night

NBA All-Star game is the biggest event of All-Star Weekend, but as we all know, some of the best competitions and sneaker surprises happen on NBA All-Star Saturday Night.
On the docket was the Haier Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Footlocker 3-Point Shooting Contest, and the crowd favorite Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
The night seemed to evaporate rather quickly, as is the weekend, and it will be back to business much too soon for most of us here in Orlando for the festivities.
Here are the results from the four events:

1. Haier Shooting Stars Winner: Team New York
With a time of 37.3 seconds in the final round Team New York Knicks defeated Team Houston’s (Chandler Parsons, Kenny Smith & Sophia Young) time of 47.6 seconds. The competition is far from the best of the evening but it does provide some interest watching players hoist up half court shots to closeout their attempt. It also incorporates a female from the WNBA on each team which brings that league a tad bit more attention. Team New York had the two fastest times of the night and Houston said the trio had practiced “a little bit”.

2. Taco Bell Skills Challenge Winner: Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Parker won the skills challenge with a time of 32.8 seconds in the final round defeating Rajon Rondo (34.6 seconds) and defending champion, Deron Williams (41.4 seconds). Rondo probably could have gotten the W if his bounce passes didn’t continue to rattle in and out. It took him 4 attempts to complete that challenge and was inevitably his downfall. Parker has competed in the competition twice previously and was at ease coming in he said the following afterwards.

3. Foot Locker 3-Point Contest Winner: Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Love squeaked into the finals and then pulled an upset win over Kevin Durant and defending champion James Jones. Love survived 2 overtimes or shootouts to take home the title with 17 points in the final shootout.
Love certainly wasn’t the favorite as “Bigs” don’t usually do well in the competition. James Jones had the competition high 22 in the first round and certainly looked like he was primed to repeat. He just got cold and was unable to keep up with Love and Durant.

4. Sprite Slam Dunk Contest Winner: Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz
Evans might be the happiest player at All-Star weekend capturing 29% of the (reported) 3 million votes for the contest. (I would really like to see that tally) Just being given the opportunity to attend the event would have been enough for the humble forward but winning it might just make a difference in his play the rest of the season. He is that appreciative.

Remember he was a last minute replacement for Iman Shumpert.

Unfortunately his win is mired in the dubious distinction that the event field was more boring than vanilla.

Paul George had two of the better dunks of the evening but lamented that the competition does indeed lack star power. The dunk contest needs the league’s “faces” he said, mentioning (Miami Heat) LeBron, (Chicago Bulls) Rose, even Westbrook by name.

Evans did have the most original dunk of the night and it probably carried him to the win. He jumped over a seated Gordon Hayward then caught and dunked two balls thrown in the air by Hayward.

Unfortunately, the humility of Evans was not enough to save the lackluster evening. The NBA will have to look at ways of keeping the format fresh and potentially getting bigger names to commit to the event in the future.

2012 NBA All Star Game

The NBA All-Star Game is a game held annually between the top players in the Western and Eastern Conferences of the National Basketball Association. The game is part of All-Star

Weekend, held every February, which includes other exhibition activities such as the Rookie Challenge, Slam Dunk Contest, and Three-Point Shootout. The first NBA All-Star Game was held in 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts. The game gives fans the chance to see the best players in the NBA play together in a more relaxed atmosphere. The game is a celebration of basketball and sportsmanship and a real treat for any NBA fan.

Players for the NBA All-Star Game are selected in two different ways. NBA fans choose the starters, and the reserves are chosen by coaches, though the coaches cannot vote for their own players. The All-Star teams are coached by the coaches from each conference with the best record through the second week in February. Coaches, however, cannot coach two years in a row anymore. This is known as the “Riley Rule” – because of Pat Riley’s success with the Lakers in the 1980’s, he coached the Western Conference All-Star team nearly every year. The coach with the next best record is selected in this case to coach the team.

In May 4 2010, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced in a press conference that Orlando has been selected as the site of the NBA All-Star Weekend 2012, the 61st edition of this popular event.

The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 26 in the Amway Center, the new Orlando Magic Stadium to be opened in the fall of 2010. In the previous 2 days, the Amway Center also host the Rookie Challenge and the regular contests of the Saturday Night. The NBA All Star Jam Session will be held in the Orange County Convention Center.
This is the second time the All-Star visits Orlando, 20 years after the unforgettable 1992 edition, when Magic Johnson came back to the courts after starting his battle against the AIDS to win the MVP trophy and send a huge message to the whole world.

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson or Clyde Drexler were some of the greatest stars in 1992. Craig Hodges won his third three-point contest and Cedric Ceballos made a name for himself with a “no-look” dunk. In 2011 Blake Griffin stunned the arena by jumping over a car in the slam dunk contest.

The NBA All Star Weekend is second only to the Super Bowl when it comes to the biggest party weekend on the planet. Celebrities, pro athletes, and many more come to party with the NBA elite. Last year in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard had his own private party with performances by Rick Ross and Rihanna. Now the All Star Weekend in 2012 has shifted to Orlando, Florida. Dwight Howard’s hometown. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, this could be Dwight Howard’s last year in an Orlando Magic uniform.

The Eastern and Western Conference all-star teams will be led by the coaches with the best records in their respective conferences as of February 12 – two weeks before the game. Last year’s coaches – Boston’s Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovic – are ineligible; league rules prohibit a coach from running the all-star team in consecutive seasons.

EASTERN CONFERENCE is made by teams Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and part of WESTERN CONFERENCE are excellent Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings etc.

NBA All Star Game Tickets are onsale now. You can also purchase NBA All Star Rookie Challenge  NBA All Star Slam Dunk Contest.