As is the case annually, there’s no shortage of events at NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago this year. On Friday night there’s the Celebrity Game, and the Rising Stars Challenge by Ruffles, while Saturday night has the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, MTN Dew 3-Point Contest, and the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest. Finally, the All-Star game itself will take place on Sunday night.
The festivities kicked off Friday with the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. ESPN commentators Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon coached the two sides, but the game’s biggest names were on the court. Common, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and even Guy Fieri produced the most star-studded game of the season that didn’t feature active NBA players. All eyes turned towards the real players afterward, though, as the game’s best rookies and sophomores took the floor for an exciting Rising Stars Game led by Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and Luka Doncic.
Celtics forward Jayson Tatum will look to defend his crown in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, while Nets forward Joe Harris will try to do the same in the 3-Point Contest. We will definitely have a new dunk contest champion this year, as last year’s winner, Hamidou Diallo, isn’t participating this time around. In the All-Star game itself, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo served as captains for the second straight season. Last year, James proved to be a bit better of a general manager than his Eastern Conference counterpart as his team beat Team Giannis 178-164 thanks largely to a big fourth quarter run. Antetokounmpo is notoriously competitive, so it’s safe to say that he will be seeking his revenge this time around.
No shortage of events at All-Star weekend means no shortage of winners and you can keep up with all the winners from the weekend’s various events right here.
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game: Team Wilbon (62-47) over Team Smith
Stephen A. Smith may have made Celebrity Game history made it an entertaining few hours of basketball., but it was Team Wilbon that came out on top. Common, a Chicago native, took home MVP honors with 10 points and five rebounds. Team Wilbon led from the start, and the game was never particularly close, but Smith’s antics and the mini-games that took place between quarters
Rising Stars Game: Team USA (151-131) over Team World
For the sixth time, the NBA formatted the Rising Stars Game as the United States against the rest of the World. Team USA pulled off the victory in this one, tying the series up 3-3. R.J. Barrett led all scorers with 27 in the loss, but the star of the show was undoubtedly his college teammate, Zion Williamson. The No. 1 overall pick dunked so ferociously that he managed te bend the basket out of place. It needed to be fixed at halftime. His chemistry with former AAU teammate Ja Morant produced several gorgeous alley-oops in a game defined by dunks. In the end, Miles Bridges came away with MVP honors after 20 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and three steals.