John Wall came, saw, conquered along with the Eastern Conference. Here’s who else left New Orleans with a net gain.
Winner – Music lovers everywhere
One of the most impressive things about All-Star Weekend is the abundance of music in tandem with the events. With the exception of a very tone-deaf Aloe Blacc, music fans got a great dose of good music from Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monae, Pharrell and friends, Gary Clark, Jr., Earth, Wind & Fire, Dr. John, and Trombone Shorty.
Loser – The BBVA Rising Stars MVP trophy
So I’m not sure how the Rising Stars MVP trophy fell apart, but before Andre Drummond could even touch it, the crystal completely detached from the base.
I love the “Not Top 10” shout out at the end.
Winner – Arne Duncan
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been phenomenal in years past in the celebrity game, but even Kevin Hart had to give him props and hand over the MVP trophy after the best old man game performance of all time. I can’t imagine how epic the games are between him and President Obama.
At one point, Duncan had this incredible behind-the-neck pass that I just started practicing. You know, just in case.
Loser – Wale
Why can’t dudes with locs hoop? I feel like we need a Sports Science on this (and don’t mention Jordan Hill. Just. Don’t.) And I know part of the hoopla on Twitter has to do with the fact that Wale is an easy target these days, but look at this:
1. Look at his intro dance. Destined for failure.
2. The bounce pass to no one.
3. Jokes aside, I dribbled just like Wale . . . in the fifth grade. The announcer actually calls out his lack of handles.
Winner – Chris Bosh
Team Bosh killed the half-court shots during the Shooting Stars competition, with Chris Bosh landing the winning basket. Going into the competition, my money was on one of the father/son teams–either the Hardaways or Currys, but with the way Bosh is throwing up shots at midcourt, it’s no wonder his team won the contest for the second straight year.
Loser – Air balls
The three-point contest added in the rack full of money balls, and Mario Belinelli needed them to overcome multiple air balls at the beginning of the first round. He’d go on to win in a final tiebreaker with Bradley Beal, but I think there needs to be a new rule that you lose a point for every air ball you jack up.
Winner – John Wall’s dunk
This dunk single-handedly saved the Slam Dunk Contest from being a complete waste of my time Saturday night.
Loser – The rest of the dunk contest
As for the rest of the field, all these new rules and regulations made the dunk contest even more trash than the previous ones. The freestyle round is pointless–you’ll either use up a good dunk early or rush a lot of potentially great dunks due to the 90-second time constraint. Also, battling as a conference as opposed to an individual does nothing for the competition. Go back and look at the old dunk contest reactions and then look at the crowd last weekend. Half of the players were on their phones and no one had to be held back off of the court. I hate to say it (even though I have for a while now), but it might be time to consider retiring the event. There are still plenty of good dunks out there, but the lack of creativity is killing what used to be the most exciting event of All-Star Weekend.
Winner – Sir Foster
I hadn’t heard of Sir Foster before last night, but the Atlanta Hawks’ organist went OFF last night, playing all of your favorite urban hits and taking requests on Twitter.
I complain A LOT about the in-game experience at NBA games. The DJ plays terrible music, I’m always told when to make noise and clap my hands, and there are way too many things going on during a perfectly good NBA game. But Sir Foster may have changed my mind. I was wondering last night why I hadn’t heard of him before, and then I remembered he plays the organ for the Hawks. So there really aren’t that many people that have had the opportunity to hear him, period. We’ve gotta rally together and get him to a better franchise ASAP.
You can watch the highlights of his All-Star performance here.
Loser – Carmelo Anthony
Somehow, a really cool idea to put the NBA All-Stars in letterman jackets became a huge joke about Carmelo Anthony. The jackets, like the high school and college variations, featured patches with various accolades and accomplishments for the players and legends wearing them. And of course, Melo’s jacket looked a lot plainer than most, and given the decked out jackets of so many of the younger stars, a fashion statement became a career statement.
All-Star Weekend Winner – Damian Lillard
Lillard competed in five events over the weekend, winning the Rising Stars Challenge with Team Hill, and the Skills Competition for the West with Trey Burke. He also found time to host a rap battle with Mannie Fresh in New Orleans, which pretty much eliminates the concept of any kind of “break” in the middle of the season.
All-Star Weekend Loser – Drake
I almost went Nick Cannon on this one, but Drake looked like the biggest groupie of all time last weekend. He didn’t perform at any of the major televised events, he wore mom jeans to assist Terrence Ross during the Dunk Contest, and he was almost brought to tears during the Canadian National Anthem. So much talent, so little swagger.