The NBA's All-Star Saturday night party got off to a fairly inauspicious start. As Toronto settled in for the show, there was the usual pre-show noise and various people speaking expressively into microphones. Music boomed and we were implored to get loud. And then the events started.
First up was the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, which was, uh, lackadaisical at the outset, outside of Isaiah Thomas' easy jog through the field. Somehow though, the final round which featured new world conqueror Karl-Anthony Towns proved exciting. The biggest and smallest men (Towns and Thomas) in the competition found themselves bombing away threes to win the thing. And it was KAT edging out Thomas, before being swarmed by his big men brothers-in-arms. We were just getting warmed up.
After a digression into Kevin Hart land (is there something in a contract or something that means he has to always be involved?), the Footlocker Three-Point Competition got underway. Before we could even enjoy it, unfortunately, the Raptors' Kyle Lowry was knocked out. As expected, the final showdown was between the reigning champ Steph Curry and his Splash Brothers teammate, Klay Thompson. In a surprising twist, it was Thompson who fired away for the win on the last rack.
The night was becoming quite entertaining to that point. In fact, there was much chatter about whether or not the 3-Point Shooting comp should be the last event of the evening. Surely the Dunk Contest could not measure up. Surely.
Readers, it was awesome.
After some opening round thrills from Will Barton (in a Thriller jacket) and Andre Drummond (who got Steve Nash involved; smart move), the contest and the evening belonged to Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon.
And you know what, I won't spend any more words here trying to describe what happened. Just watch the footage. The Dunk Contest will always be the best.
All I can add: it was a 50 kind of night across the board.
What did you guys think of the show?