All-Star Saturday night had a lot of highs and a lot of lows. But…more on the lows later because they were very low.
This event was totally different from past years. This year, it was three teams of three players in a three-round competition of varying events. There was Team Antetokounmpo with Giannis, Thanasis, and Alex Antetokounmpo. Team Cavs, which had Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. And also, Team Rooks, which had Cade Cunningham, Josh Giddey, and Scottie Barnes. Team Cavs, the hometown squad, came out on top in the final challenge to win the entire event thanks to an Evan Mobley half-court shot. This makes Mobley 2-0 in all-star events so far, as he won the Rising Stars Challenge as well.
This contest was made up of 3-point marksmen Luke Kennard, Trae Young, Karl-Anthony Towns, Fred VanVleet, Patty Mills, Zach LaVine, and CJ McCollum. KAT, Kennard, and Trae were the top shooters in the first round, leading to a big finish from KAT where he scored 29 points to win the whole competition. Otherwise, nothing too exciting happened here.
What a flop. Cole Anthony, Jalen Green, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Obi Toppin competed in this year’s disturbingly boring dunk contest. Cole Anthony took an incredibly long time to put on his Timberlands and then took three tries to pull off a windmill next to his dad, Greg Anthony. Then we had Jalen Green who tried what felt like a quintillion between-the-legs off the glass dunks. It didn’t really work out and he was easily eliminated. Toscano-Anderson moved on to the finals, where Toppin delivered possibly the best dunk of the night with a between-the-legs dunk off the backboard and in. Toppin took the crown as the only dunker in this contest with a decent score.
Overall, Saturday night’s festivities were a bit of a flop, despite decent skills and 3-point contests. Most people watch the events solely for the dunk contest but were assuredly disappointed to say the least. Here’s to hope that future dunk contests have a bit more star power in them.