All-Star weekend has come and gone, and now it’s time to look ahead to the second half of the 2014-15 season that has fans on the edge of their seats. But first, we can look back to the weekend festivities put on by the city that never sleeps. Certainly, this town was more alive than it had been the entire season, in light of the atrocity that has transpired over the course of the year, courtesy of their basketball teams.
It began on Friday night with renowned comedian and movie star, Kevin Hart defending his crown and going for a record-setting four MVP’s. The game featured ESPN’s dynamic Mike and Mike duo going head-to-head, this time as coaches. Team Golic defeated Team Greeny by a final score of 59-51 in an entertaining affair throughout. Hart, who played on the losing team, scored 15 points and still managed to take home yet another MVP trophy, despite getting schooled by The Associated Press Female Athlete-of-the-Year, Mo’ne Davis on a beautiful spin-move and score, and coming up short of a victory.
The rookie and sophomore game took on a different title this time around. Changes were implemented and saw the scoreboard display “Team World vs. Team USA.” This league is always looking to improve. Andrew Wiggins with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists led Team World to a 121-112 victory. This was a chance for the Cleveland Cavaliers front office to see how valuable the piece they traded away is becoming.
Saturday night was highly anticipated and it most definitely didn’t disappoint. Patrick Beverley in come-from-behind fashion, defeated Brandon Knight in the skills competition and then all the fun began.
Stephen Curry hit 13 consecutive shots in the final round of the three-point shootout to all but seal his first victory in that contest. What made it so intriguing? IT eventually came down to a battle between him and his fellow backcourt mate, Klay Thompson, as you heard TNT’s Kenny Smith yelling, “Who’s the best shooter in Golden State?” a plethora of times.
Zach LaVine may have single-handedly brought back the excitement surrounding the dunk contest with his exciting and ferocious slamming Saturday night. Fans have been livid because they are desperately waiting for the star players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant to participate in this contest. LaVine’s performance was sensational and now we can speculate on whether this will entice those superstars to get involved.
The Western All-Stars, sparked by Russell Westbrook’s 41-point outburst, capped off the weekend with a 163-158 victory. This earned him MVP honors, as he fell just one point shy of tying Wilt Chamberlain for the most points ever scored in an All-Star game.
As a NY native, it was exhilarating to see the city put together such a remarkable product. The All-Star game delivered an average of 7.2 million viewers and a 4.3 U.S. H.H rating. Saturday drew numbers of 6.1 million total viewers and 3.4 U.S H.H rating. So as you can see, people were definitely tuned in.
Thus, it was a success. The only thing I would consider changing would be adding a Legends Game into the mix. As a lifelong Yankees fan, I have always looked forward to the Old Timers Day Special they produced every year. Getting a chance to see Hall-of-Famers and players come back and play is desirable.
Imagine getting the chance to see Michael Jordan go up against Isaiah Thomas and Charles Barkley again? How about Shaq and Kenny coming down from the TNT set to school their partner Barkley on how to win championships?
The NBA has done an excellent job trying to make this weekend more interesting, and I think bringing back the game of H.O.R.S.E and allowing legends to go at it on the court would be another step in the right direction.