The NBA All-Star Weekend kicks off tonight with the celebrity game starting at 6 p.m. followed by the Rising Stars Challenge at 8 p.m.
Now, if you actually watch the events on All-Star Weekend and if anything like me, you don’t really pay attention to the celebrity game. It’s nothing more than Kevin Hart and his little-man syndrome and Justin Bieber with his horrendous left-handed jump shot that somehow goes in. But the Rising Stars Challenge should be entertaining this year with guys like Karl-Anthony Towns, Brandon Ingram and Devin Booker lighting up the court.
Saturday night is when the real (albeit recently disappointing) action starts. The festivities begin at 7 with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, featuring four big men who move like guards. Towns will not be competing to defend his title, but don’t be surprised if another one of those big guys steps in to take the crown. I’m picking the point guard from Washington, John Wall, to win this event. He’s one of the fastest players in the league and is arguably the best ball handler as well.
Following the skills challenge is the JBL 3-Point Contest. A lot of people think this particular competition is boring. But if you respect the 3-point shot, it can be an entertaining event, especially with this year’s lineup. Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson looks to defend his title from a year ago. Some other guys to look out for are Nick Young of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kyle Lowery of the Toronto Raptors. I am going to play it safe, though, and pick Thompson to become a back-to-back champion.
The last event of the night is the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest. While we won’t be able to see Jordan fly from the free-throw line or watch Vince Carter do the impossible, I think this dunk contest could be an entertaining one. Before last year, people were starting to get bored with this event. Guys were doing the same dunks, and the premier athletes that everybody wanted to see in the dunk contest (I’m looking at you LeBron James) never did. But last year, Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic and Zach Levine of the Minnesota Timberwolves put on a show that no NBA fan will forget. Gordon looks to avenge his second place finish from last year, and he won’t have to go through Levine to do it. However, he will have to face off against one of the best in-game dunkers in the league in DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers. But I think Gordon will take the title this year.
And finally on Sunday night, the West will defend their All-Star title from last year after their 196-173 victory. This year, Kevin Durant will win the MVP trophy, and the West will win for the second year in a row.