All-Star Weekend: My Reactions

A great All-Star weekend is in the past and the NBA will be entering their final portion of the season soon. In my last article, I touched on how I hated the format of the new All-Star Game. It was an opinion so I wasn’t wrong about anything, but I never thought about the possibility of it making the All-Star Game much more fun for everyone. The format is still a little weird to me, and it’s more unusual than a regular game with a running score. However, this format and the aspect of donating to charity made the game a lot more fun. The NLJ group chat was surely loving, buzzing with excitement. Will the number be 24 every year for Kobe? Will we still make adjustments? The format didn’t really have flaws after seeing it happen, so it might not be necessary.   

The dunk contest was the biggest controversy of the weekend. My take on it is simple. Derrick Jones Jr. did well enough to win the dunk contest, so people shouldn’t be saying he didn’t deserve it. Even with that, Aaron Gordon performed better than Jones, and he should have beat him. The judges were very nice with their 50’s, and gave out 10 perfect scores to dunks on Saturday, which I feel like isn’t the best if everything is a 50.

One thing that I really enjoyed was Common’s opening to the game. I thought he did a really great job telling stories of Chicago, Dwyane Wade and Kobe. Also, making up rhymes to introduce the players was very impressive to me, and it was more fun than boring introductions. I could tell that it took him a lot of preparation and hard work. But he looked confident and it all flowed amazingly. Common and the other performances throughout the weekend enhanced the events to make them go down as one of the best All-Star Weekends we have seen in a while.

  • Kevin Barnett

Instagram @nolimit_kb

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KB’s All-Star Weekend Predictions

All-Star Weekend is coming up soon in Chicago. These couple days are an exciting time for the best players in the world to get together and showcase their skill. In this article, I give my blind predictions about the winners without getting into betting matters opposed to some others on the site. I’ve never gotten into that stuff, but I still like to give my opinions on winners, and it’s free to just say it and not put any money on it.

Rising Stars Challenge (Friday 2/14, 9pm) 

World 158 – USA 143

It’s fun to watch the future of the NBA showcase their exciting talent. They haven’t altered the rules of this game which makes me happy, and I am also a fan of the US versus World aspect. I think that the World team has the upper hand this year, and I have a feeling Luka Doncic will take over the game and win MVP.

All Star Saturday Night: (Saturday 2/15, 9pm) 

Taco Bell Skills Challenge: 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Oklahoma City Thunder

There’s not much to this event, so why not pull for one of my favorite players. I’ve been a big fan of Shai since college, and I hope that he can make the first pass clean and hit his first shot, which are the main keys to success and efficiency in this event. There’s also a lot of up and down the court involved, so hopefully Shai’s speed can give him an advantage in that regard.

Mountain Dew 3-Point Contest: 

Trae Young – Atlanta Hawks

I’m excited to see players get hot and hit threes on top of threes this season. This has always been an event that excited me, even since I was really little. I have always been impressed by the consistency and range of the participants. I think Trae Young has the biggest chance to catch fire and get on a streak. Ice Trae is my winner because he loves these moments, he’s come through often in his young career, and I think he can take down some of the vets in this competition.

AT&T Slam Dunk: 

Derrick Jones Jr. – Miami Heat

I mean, have you seen the man dunk. Derrick Jones finished second in the Dunk Contest in 2017, but I can’t see someone with his athleticism not winning. Jones throws down some of the craziest and most ferocious dunks you’ll ever see. I think he can beat out the rest of the field and take the dunk contest crown home. 

NBA All-Star Game (Sunday 2/16, 8pm) 

I have no clue how to predict this game. I’ll start by saying that I am not a fan of the new rules. I’m all for playing for charity, but resetting scores and having a target score in the 4th quarter is stupid to me. It might make the game more competitive, but I can’t be the only one who loves the deep threes and crazy dunks. With that being said, I think Lebron drafted the better team and Team Lebron will beat Team Giannis to the target score in the fourth quarter. Hopefully the format change doesn’t ruin one of my favorite events to watch, we’ll see what happens.

  • Kevin Barnett

Instagram @nolimt_kb