The 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend kicked off on Friday evening, with the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, Sprint Celebrity Game, first media availability of the weekend and Basketball Hall of Fame announcements.
In case you missed the action on All-Star Friday, here is a recap:
BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
This was a competitive game until the final minute, proving once again that the NBA made the right decision splitting up the rookies and sophomores into even teams.
Both teams played harder than one would expect in an All-Star exhibition and, in the end, Grant Hill’s team defeated Chris Webber’s team, 142-136.
Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond was named the game’s MVP after contributing 30 points and 25 rebounds (a Rising Stars Challenge record). He finished with more offensive rebounds than any other player had total rebounds. He was also very efficient, shooting 12-21 from the field and 6-8 from the free throw line. Team Webber didn’t have anyone who could slow Drummond down. He grabbed rebound after rebound, and was able to score at will off of putbacks and dunks.
Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters was also huge for Team Hill, finishing with 31 points on 10-14 shooting from the field. Waiters also chipped in seven assists and three steals.
New York Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. had 36 points in the loss, leading all scorers. He also had two of the funniest moments of the night. During the game, he pretended to untie Drummond’s shoes at the free throw line in a nod to teammate J.R. Smith. When Drummond was receiving his MVP trophy, it was dropped. Without missing a beat, Hardaway Jr. grabbed the microphone from Craig Sager and said, “ESPN Not Top 10.”
Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis, who were the first two picks in the Rising Stars Draft, were solid yet unspectacular. Lillard finished with 13 points, five assists and five rebounds while Davis had 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
This was the third consecutive year that the NBA mixed teams of rookies and sophomores, as opposed to pitting the first-year players against the second-year players.
Sprint Celebrity Game
In the celebrity game, the East defeated the West, 60-56, led by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Kevin Hart was voted the game’s MVP by fans for the third straight year, but Hart gave the trophy to Duncan after the 49-year-old tallied a celebrity-game-record 20 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Michael B. Jordan was the West’s best player, finishing the game with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Other participants included Nick Cannon, Bruce Bowen, Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins, Mike Golic, Mike Greenberg and Jesse Williams.
Friday Media Availability
On Friday, All-Star Weekend participants addressed the media. Here are several videos:
Hall of Fame Announcements
On Friday, it was announced that David Stern was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. He will be enshrined with the Class of 2014.
Several others were directly elected into the Hall of Fame as well including Lithuania star Sarunas Marciulionis (by the international committee), former Pacers coach Bob “Slick” Leonard (ABA committee), former Knicks player Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton (early African-American pioneers committee) and former Temple star Guy Rodgers (veterans committee).
Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Kevin Johnson and Spencer Haywood were chosen as finalists. The rest of the 2014 finalists will be announced on April 7 during the NCAA Final Four.
Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s night recap after All-Star Saturday wraps up.
Report: NBA All-Star Game Starters Announced
LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and rising second-year stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young headline the star-studded group of present and future superstars who make up the starters for the 69th All-Star Game.
James, the catalyst for the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, will captain the Western Conference team for the second straight season. Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks’ star and reigning Kia MVP, captains the Eastern Conference team for a second straight season as well.
A fresh face in the starters’ mix this season is Dallas wunderkind Luka Doncic, who joins Houston’s James Harden as the two starters in the backcourt. Clippers forward and reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Lakers forward Anthony Davis round out the All-L.A. frontcourt.
Boston’s Kemba Walker is joined by Atlanta’s Trae Young in the East backcourt. Like Doncic, Young is a first-time All-Star and starter in just his second NBA season. Antetokounmpo will be flanked by Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, another first time All-Star and starter, in the East frontcourt.
Adam Silver Believes Next Year’s ASG Draft Will be Televised
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was pleased with the new format for the league’s All-Star Game and believed that next year’s player draft would be televised.
“I thought it was incredible. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of the players,” Silver told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne following a 148-145 win for Team LeBron over Team Stephen at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
2018 NBA All-Star Sunday Recap
Michael Petrower recaps the All-Star Game from Sunday in Los Angeles.
The 2018 NBA All Star Game had some added appeal this year, with Captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry selecting playground style from the pool of All-Stars. Although it was not televised, it drew a lot of interest to say the least.
Team Lebron was headlined by Kevin Durant (the alleged first pick), Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving. Sadly, Team Lebron suffered big losses with John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Kevin Love and Kristaps Porzingis going down with injuries. Team Stephen was led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Joel Embiid and Demar DeRozan.
NBA fans were ready to indulge on the highlight real of plays to commence…That was, until the NBA inflicted a marathon-like performance that seemed a bit unnecessary, to say the least. Kevin Hart was at the center of theatrics that had NBA fans scratching their heads questioning what was on their television screen. Fergie topped off the saga with what was one of the more questionable national anthems we’ve seen in recent years. However, if you stuck around long enough, the game started at 8:40 PM EST and the flashy plays that we hoped for, began.
Joel Embiid made his first A;l-Star game appearance and kicked off the scoring festivities for Team Stephen with a ferocious and-one dunk. Team Stephen led all of the first quarter and won the quarter 42-31. Karl Anthony Towns led the first quarter scoring with 11 points. Team LeBron, however would storm back and cut the lead to two, 78-76 at half. LeBron came into his 14th straight All-Star game and lead his team at the half with 15 points. Klay Thompson also lead Team Stephen with 15 points at half.
The second half ensued and after some back and forth between the two teams, Team Stephen was leading by three going into the fourth quarter, 112-109. Team Stephen grew their lead to 11 while LeBron and KD got some rest. But after the two came back in, the 11-point deficit was erased after a LeBron three and the teams were now tied at 144 with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter.
DeRozan would make a free throw to put Team Stephen up one point, but Lebron followed with a strong two-pointer to put his team up one. DeRozan tried to answer, but threw away a pass which resulted in an easy two points for Russell Westbrook to ice the game. Team LeBron was the 2018 All Star Game winner with a score of 148-145.
LeBron James went on to win his third All Star MVP after finishing with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds, eigh assists and a steal on 12-17 shooting. DeRozan and Damian Lillard lead Team Stephen with 21 points each.
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