Rookie Challenge. Excluding Westbrook, the Sophomores played like they didn't even want to be there. They had a huge advantage on the inside, which they rarely exploited. Beasley was their best big man, however. Mayo put up a solid 10 dimes for the Sophomores. Meanwhile, Jennings, Blair, Harden and Evans put on a show for the rookies. Blair was a beast on the glass with 23 rebounds. And he out-hustled the much superior front court of the Sophomores squad. I like the nickname Heavy D for him. It was a classy move by Evans to share the MVP award with Blair. It's surprising that their team won.
H-O-R-S-E Competition. Who knew that Rondo was such a good 3 point shooter? He had a nice stroke and was matching Durant shot for shot. Casspi was a dud though. He could not hit a shot and had 0 charisma. Why didn't they invite Rasheed Wallace or Monta Ellis, who are known for their trick shots? They need to invite players with a little more swagger, too. Trash talking should be the best part about the H-O-R-S-E competition. Also they need to come up with a different format for the contest so that it doesn't just turn into an old-fashioned shoot-out.
Shooting Stars Competition. Yawn. There's not much to report here. But it was impressive to see Kenny Smith shoot half court shots like they were straight 15-foot jumpers. He was the only one not using the walk-and-heave shot form. Team Texas had the best group of shooters. Pau Gasol was awful at shooting 3 pointers.
Skills Challenge. Steve Nash was awesome. He turned what is usually a boring event to a slightly less boring event. His posing and mugging of the camera was great. And it was hilarious when he tried to block Deron William's shot in the final round, after the winner had already been decided. Steve Nash was the winner, by the way.
Three-Point Shootout. Who predicted Paul Pierce to win this thing? I bet nobody. That just comes to show that the best shooter doesn't always win this competition. I was impressed that a score of 17 was needed to make it to the final round. No one really bombed this competition, which is a rarity. I wanted Curry to take it all, though.
Slam Dunk Contest Ouch. You know it's bad when the NBADL Dunk Contest is better than the NBA Dunk Contest. See the below video evidence. Shannon Brown, an early favorite, absolutely choked in this contest. And Gerald Wallace threw up some ordinary dunks like he didn't even want to be there. DeMar DeRozan and Nate Robinson had an equal number of good and bad dunks. But there was no drama or excitement in this contest. Nate probably won this contest based on name recognition. And the league claims he took only 51% of the vote.
The All Star Game. I don't have much to comment on the main event of all-star weekend, except that the audience was massive. A world record 108,713 people filled Cowboy Stadium to watch the game. Also I was surprised how close the game was, considering that the West was missing Kobe, Paul and Roy. They tried to make Dirk and Bosh the highlights of the event (Bosh being a former native of Dallas), but Wade ended up stealing the crown. I have him on my fantasy team, so I'm hoping that this momentum carries over to the 2nd half of the season.