• The Best and Worst of All Star Weekend

    Considering the dearth of news over All Star Weekend (until late on Sunday night, of course) we’re going to rock a different format for this week’s edition. There’s always a ton of stuff happening on All Star Weekend and it’d be a shame to boil three days worth of events down into one big issue.

    Instead, we’ll run through what we did and didn’t like about All Star Weekend.

    Best: Jarrius Robertson’s Bucket

    Jarrius Robertson is probably best known as a New Orleans Saints superfan who deals with a liver disease called biliary atresia. He was one of the early stars of the weekend, and his bucket in Friday night’s celebrity game was the feel-good moment of the break.

    Jarrius also gets a best for his hilarious banter with several players. His burn on DeAndre Jordan was particularly great.

    Best: Nikola Jokic carving out a spot in my heart

    I’m not going to say that I’m a lazy defender who will cut deals for half-effort out of his matchup on the defensive end of the floor.

    I’m not going to not say it, though.

    Worst: The Skills Challenge

    I get what the league is going for with the head-to-head aspects, but the course is so short it doesn’t feel like much of an event at all.

    The fuller versions seen in 2013 and 2014 are probably a better barometer of actual skills than what we see now. I’d prefer the single person run as opposed to the pair system, but either would be a step up from this. The more passing, the better.

    Best: Good Things for New York, and Big Men Rock

    That being said, it’s awesome that another big won the Skills Challenge. The fact that it was Kristaps Porzingis, who maybe probably should be in the real game instead of teammate Carmelo Anthony, is extra nice.

    Nikola Jokic was the clubhouse favorite on that half of the bracket but KP was certainly deserving of the win with a perfect run in the finals.

    It’s sort of heartwarming to see a Knick with something to be proud of. Sure, it’s essentially meaningless, but you’ve gotta take what you can get. Rock on, KP.

    Worst: Commentary

    The commentary for Saturday night’s festivities was absolutely brutal. Kenny Smith was particularly grating with his constant chatter over every single shot during the three point shootout. I understand that you can’t just watch someone go through five racks in dead silence, but it’s such a slog to listen to Kenny and Reggie make predictions and adjust them on the fly as they’re proven wrong.

    The dunk contest was also a struggle to get through, with the guys in the booth seemingly searching for ways to suck the fun out of the event. Some of that might fall on the event itself (which we’ll get to in a second), but the entire night is supposed to be an entertaining showcase. Even if it’s not living up to expectations you shouldn’t be actively making it worse.

    Best: GRII

    I know he did more or less the same dunk all three times, I still thought they were pretty cool. Plus people seemed to be all about Derrick Jones Jr. as the sleeper pick, so good on him for fooling us all.

    I’m a bit disappointed that Aaron Gordon didn’t get to show his full tech-aided arsenal, but c’est la vie. Robinson brought the goods.

    Worst: The Dunk Contest

    That being said, it was a fairly boring dunk contest. Living up to the standard that Gordon and Zach LaVine set last year was always going to be a tough task and this year’s group didn’t come close.

    Involving DJ Khaled really doesn’t do it for me.

    Even Worse: Being a Jerk About the Dunk Contest

    It’s a little unfair to see such a strong negative reaction to this year’s contest. All four tried to put on a show and came up short. To call it a waste of time is unnecessarily harsh. The blown attempts suck a lot of life out of the building (as Dikembe knows) but it’s not like everyone just phoned it in.

    I wouldn’t object to seeing any of these guys in future contests.

    For all the “ban props” people- I’m not really sure what more you want out of just a guy and a ball. The longer this event goes the fewer possibilities we’ll have to see something innovative. Simple math dictates that we’re running out of feasible dunks.

    This event is supposed to highlight showmanship and creativity. If guys want to use props, go for it.

    Best: The Roots

    Some might have found it a bit campy but I was a big fan of The Roots’ intro to Sunday’s All Star Game. Tying together a bunch of league legends with notes reflective of their respective eras was a great touch, as was the overall theme that greatness is a constantly evolving abstraction.

    A nod to history is always going to be a win at events like these, and the league executed it wonderfully.

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