NBA All-Star 2019 – Crucial issues we noticed at All-Star Weekend

All-Star Weekend had all of it: one million Giannis dunks, a damaged duplicate airplane, all of the Currys, and lots of extra spotlight moments. Listed here are an important issues our group of specialists noticed in Charlotte, North Carolina:

Dirk and D-Wade’s final All-Star dance

Dirk Nowitzki made positive that commissioner Adam Silver’s resolution to convey him and Dwyane Wade to Charlotte as particular roster additions ended up extra celebration than simply ceremony. Nowitzki checked in for Group Giannis with lower than a minute to go within the first quarter and stroked back-to-back 3s — one from 29 toes, one from 33 toes — earlier than the horn sounded.

Wade began the second half for Group LeBron alongside LeBron James and threw a classic alley-oop off the backboard for James to complete with a slam to convey again some Miami reminiscences for the pair that gained two rings collectively. Earlier than the fourth quarter, Nowitzki and Wade have been honored at heart courtroom and offered with framed All-Star jerseys by the group captains.

“The sport is in good fingers so it is easy to stroll away proper now,” Wade stated.

— Dave McMenamin



LeBron James lobs one as much as Dwyane Wade, then Wade returns the favor off the backboard for a giant LeBron slam.

LeBron’s team-building train

9 years in the past, LeBron James selected to depart Cleveland and group up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the shores of Biscayne Bay, making a group that gained two championships and reached 4 straight NBA Finals. This summer season, James wants to seek out somebody to do what he did again then: select to come back play with him and switch his group right into a championship contender.

He wants to seek out his subsequent Dwyane Wade.

That was what made this weekend so compelling. James drafted a group affected by gamers who’ve been linked to enjoying alongside him — both becoming a member of his Lakers as free brokers this summer season or by way of commerce (within the case of Anthony Davis, as not too long ago as inside the previous two weeks).

By advantage of his choices, the title Group LeBron was shortly, and sarcastically, changed by “Group Tampering.”

— Tim Bontemps

The Greek Freak rises

One of many defining moments of the sport got here with 6:42 within the second quarter when Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo linked for a stunning alley-oop.

With Curry main a 2-on-1 quick break, the two-time MVP bounced a excessive go to Antetokounmpo’s over Kevin Durant’s head because the Milwaukee Bucks younger star threw down a dunk that left the Charlotte crowd in awe. For Curry, it was simply one other particular second in a weekend stuffed with them on a super-sized bounce go that the All-Star Recreation had by no means seen earlier than.

— Nick Friedell



Giannis Antetokounmpo throws down a number of nasty dunks, leads his group in factors with 38 in a loss to Group LeBron.

A dunk contest in want of some tweaks

There is no solution to “repair” the NBA’s dunk contest, as a result of the basic downside is actuality competing in opposition to the reminiscence of previous years the place the missed dunks and failed props have pale, leaving solely one of the best dunks as a legacy. Nonetheless, two small tweaks might produce a extra satisfying dunk contest.

1. Carry first-round scores ahead

Some of the irritating elements of the dunk contest is that one of the best dunks — together with the perfect of Saturday evening, Hamidou Diallo scaling Mt. Shaq — do not depend towards the ultimate end result as a result of first-round scores aren’t carried ahead to the ultimate spherical. That is not sensible.

Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned tampering, commerce calls for and extra in Charlotte. What does all of it imply for the way forward for the league?

The 2019 All-Star Recreation noticed Group LeBron rally previous Group Giannis at MJ’s home. This is every thing you must know after All-Star Weekend took over Charlotte.

1 Associated

Once you reward Vince Carter’s historic 2000 dunk contest, odds are you are remembering two of his first-round dunks (a 360 windmill that prompted TNT commentator Kenny Smith to yell “Let’s go residence!” and a between-the-legs dunk off a bounce go by then-teammate Tracy McGrady that Carter capped along with his well-known level to the sky) reasonably than his last dunk, a two-hander from simply contained in the free throw line that earned his lowest rating all evening (48).

So why should not Diallo’s good 50 have counted towards successful the precise competitors? At a minimal, we should always carry scores from the primary spherical over to the ultimate. Higher but, I might counsel letting all 4 dunkers have three or 4 dunks and selecting the winner amongst them reasonably than having two separate rounds.

2. Get rid of the minimal rating

Extra aggressive changes to the scoring have been steered, however within the title of simplicity I believe a simple tweak can be taking out the minimal rating of 6 per choose. That does not punish gamers harshly sufficient for lacking dunks, since they will nonetheless rating at the very least a 30 (and each Miles Bridges and Dennis Smith Jr. scored higher than that after they ran out of makes an attempt Saturday evening).

Moreover, using all 11 scores from Zero-10 would give judges extra room to correctly reward the perfect dunks. When the scores are condensed, there’s little variation. Half of the 10 accomplished dunks Saturday scored a 50. Again within the 1980s, a rating of 50 was uncommon. Of their well-known 1985 dunk contest, Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins obtained a mixed three 50s out of 18 dunks within the three-round format used on the time. Making 50s much less widespread may also make them extra significant.

— Kevin Pelton



Hamidou Diallo and Dennis Smith Jr. every took turns dunking over friends like Shaq and J. Cole, however Diallo comes out victorious.

Anthony Davis’ beautiful information convention

When All-Star media day started Saturday morning, it was unclear if Davis would even present up.

The New Orleans Pelicans star’s quote is not precisely a stellar one in one of the best of occasions — and this was removed from one of the best of occasions. Davis’ commerce request from earlier than the commerce deadline, and the following fallout from it, nonetheless hung over the franchise. Davis had left New Orleans’ last sport earlier than the All-Star break earlier than it ended to get an MRI on his shoulder. His coach, Alvin Gentry, stormed off after his postgame interview when he was requested about Davis leaving for a second time. Friday afternoon, New Orleans fired its common supervisor, Dell Demps.

All of it made what occurred after Davis did, the truth is, come to the rostrum all of the extra wonderful to witness. Not solely did he talk about every thing that had occurred over the previous few weeks, he did so overtly and truthfully. He refuted the one main roadblock to his going to the Boston Celtics — the group with probably the most property to commerce for him — by saying they have been, the truth is, on his record of most popular groups. He spoke overtly of what he appreciated in regards to the New York Knicks. He stated he would turn out to be a free agent in 2020 irrespective of the place he performed.

Briefly, he answered nearly each potential query folks have wished to ask him since this complete saga started.

— Bontemps



Anthony Davis speaks about his want to play and explains that he by no means stated the Celtics weren’t on his record of groups that he wished to be traded to.

Kyle Kuzma, the late-first spherical Rising Star

Trying on the Rising Stars rosters earlier than tipoff was an excellent reminder of how imperfect the science is of projecting the NBA draft. Watching the sport’s MVP Kyle Kuzma throw down windmills and hit step-back Three-pointers was simply probably the most vivid instance of that. Kuzma elected to redshirt his freshman 12 months in faculty and proceeded to play solely eight minutes per sport his second. In, his third 12 months at Utah, already 20 years outdated, he made simply 13 Three-pointers in 35 video games, hitting 26.5 % of his makes an attempt, whereas changing 60 % from the free throw line.

Largely a streaky spot-up shooter in faculty, not many predicted Kuzma, the No. 27 general choose in 2017, would emerge as one of many extra expert energy forwards within the NBA virtually from day one. Watching him get into his pull-up jumpers with the fluidity of a guard in Charlotte once more reminded us of the significance of retaining an open thoughts about younger gamers, even 22-year-olds popping out of school.

— Jonathan Givony



Kyle Kuzma represents the U.S. and Los Angeles Lakers proudly by dropping 35 factors and incomes the MVP award of the Rising Stars sport.

Get to know Deni Avdija

The 18-year-old Israeli ahead was named MVP of the fifth annual Basketball With out Borders International Camp, held along side All-Star Weekend. Greater than two dozen gamers from the camp, which options high worldwide prospects 18 and underneath, have gone on to play within the NBA. Anticipate Avdija to quickly be a part of them. He is at present seventh in ESPN’s mock draft for 2020 and strengthened his résumé by displaying off snug NBA Three-point vary whereas operating level guard for his group at 6-foot-9.

Inevitably, Avdija’s mixture of measurement and ability has led NBA scouts to match him to Rookie of the 12 months favourite Luka Doncic. Avdija would not have the identical form of high-level membership success, having performed sparingly for Maccabi Tel Aviv in EuroLeague motion. But when Avdija can increase his position in 2019-20 and continues to develop his sport, he’ll be an attention-grabbing choice for groups within the high half of the lottery.

— Pelton

The Curry brothers’ huge wager

Stephen and Seth Curry had a large wager on the road that carried ramifications all through the rest of their careers.

“Household’s clearly huge for us and like our assist,” Stephen stated Saturday forward of the Three-point contest. “So form of wished to weave that into the wager, so whoever loses has to choose up the tab for all of the tickets any time we play in opposition to one another for the remainder of our careers. Which, the stakes are excessive contemplating how many individuals present up for our video games.”

Pay up, Seth.

— Friedell



Steph Curry clarifies the phrases of his wager with brother Seth and says he’ll most likely make Seth pay up on their Three-point contest wager.

The place was the excitement?

There are factors throughout each All-Star Weekend when the environment inside the sector is not nice. It’s, in any case, a sequence of meaningless exhibitions performed in entrance of a crowd stuffed with many company fits. However the environment inside Charlotte’s Spectrum Heart all through this weekend was significantly missing in vitality and enthusiasm.

A few of that was aided by what occurred on the courtroom. The dunk contest — which is meant to be Saturday evening’s signature occasion — was marred by unusual grading and a number of other dunk makes an attempt that took a number of makes an attempt to tug off (or, in a few cases, did not work in any respect).

Then got here Sunday’s All-Star Recreation, which was nearly void of emotion or vitality for giant stretches. Positive, there have been a number of good moments — like when LeBron James caught an alley-oop from Dwyane Wade, or when Dirk Nowitzki hit a pair of Three-pointers to finish the primary quarter, or when hometown hero Stephen Curry pulled off a Four-point play when he was fouled whereas making a Three-pointer by Warriors teammate Klay Thompson.

For big stretches of the sport, although, you might hear a pin drop. That wasn’t helped by the truth that the celebrities ringing the courtroom weren’t precisely A-listers — together with Man Fieri being proven halfway by the primary quarter in an try to fireplace up the gang.

The one one who might’ve gotten everybody excited — Hornets proprietor Michael Jordan — was nowhere to be seen. Outdoors of a 30-second interplay on the courtroom in a mid-quarter break within the second half to have fun subsequent 12 months’s All-Star Recreation being in Chicago (together with Jordan having to shake fingers with Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf, the son of proprietor Jerry) Jordan wasn’t a part of the sport Sunday in any manner — regardless of this being one thing NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated Jordan labored very onerous to make occur.

It was an underwhelming finish to an underwhelming weekend — one the environment within the enviornment did little to assist.

— Bontemps

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