NBA All-Star Weekend

By Nilesh Kumar, Staff Writer

The NBA All-Star weekend took place on Sunday, March 7, in Atlanta, Georgia. The event consists of the best players from the league representing their team, where a select few players compete in various showcase events such as the dunk contest, skills challenge, three-point contests, and the All-Star game. This year’s team captains were Lebron James and Kevin Durant, Lebron being an All-Star captain for four years in a row now.


The first event to take place was the 19th Taco Bell Skills Challenge, an obstacle-course competition testing players’ dribbling, passing, agility, and 3-point shooting skills. Five players competed in this competition: Julius Randle, Luka Doncic, Nikola Vucevic, and Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis started with a perfect first two rounds to eliminate Julius Randle and Luka Doncic, as he made both passes and three-pointers on his first attempt. Sabonis, who was the runner-up in the 2020 skills challenge, bested Vucevic by draining his fourth three. The Indiana Pacers and All-Star joined Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, and Bam Adebayo to continue the trend of big-men skills champs.


The Skills Challenge was followed by the Mountain Dew three-point contest, in which Stephen Curry, acclaimed to be the greatest shooter in NBA history, reclaimed his crown after winning it in 2015. By scoring the final two balls of his last rack, Stephen Curry bested Utah guard Mike Conley by one point, with a score of 28-27. Curry had the best score of the competition with an opening round of 31 points, as he made three out of four “Dew Zone” shots.


However, the real three-point contest took place during the All-star game, which was nothing short of eventful. Starters from the Team Lebron include Lebron James (captain), Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, and Nikola Jokic. Team Durant’s starters included Kevin Durant (injured), Bradley Beal, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, and Zion Williamson. During the game, guards from Team Lebron, Stephen Curry, and Damian Lillard, engaged in a three-point contest of their own, as they repeatedly made three-point shots from near half-court. The game-winning shot was a half-court shot by Lillard. Giannis Antentokounmpo went 16-16 for shooting, an all-star game record earning him the Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award. Team Lebron won the game, dominating Team Durant with a score of 170-150.


The Dunk Contest took place at halftime of the main game and was lackluster compared to previous years. Anfernee Simons, a Portland Trail Blazer, won the contest, besting Cassius Stanely and Obin Toppin. This was the first time a Trail Blazer has won the contest, and this contest was the quickest in NBA history.