Checking in from Houston, TX, 3 Shades of Blue continues its coverage of the NBA’s 2013 All-Star Weekend. In case you missed it, check out our recap of day one!
Shade 1: Zach Randolph
– Here’s a bit more of what Zach Randolph had to say:
– He touched upon Kevin Garnett, synergy with Marc Gasol, and the toughest thing for him to give up for Lent.
Shade 2: Outside Insight
– First time All-Star and 3 Point Shootout performer Paul George had some thoughts of his own on what it’s like to play the Grizzlies, as a similarly structured “grinder” team. He too offered some thoughts on former Grizzly, Rudy Gay. As a Grizzlies blogger at a league-wide event, it’s been pretty difficult to avoid discussion of the polarizing small forward.
– David Stern addressed the media today in a press conference. Here’s the unprovoked portion of what he had to say.
– Next up we’ll have some of his provoked commentary on the potential Sacramento Kings location, the expansion of international efforts, and some talk of rumored future locations for All-Star weekend.
Shade 3: The Events!
All Star Saturday Night, baby! Arguably the most fun and anticipated night of the weekend, Saturday night plays host to a bevy of events showcasing the freakish athletic prowess of some of the top natural talents in the NBA. In a new twist this year, all of the events were tied together by a theme of “East vs. West.” The format included competition within the conference to determine a representative for the final round of each contest, which would compete against the winner of the counterpart conference. Points were awarded to the conference with the best compiled score in round one, and the conference of the winner.
First up, the Sears Shooting Stars:
– The team of Chris Bosh, Swin Cash, and Dominique Wilkins earned the points for the East, as they snagged the victory over team Russell Westbrook, with a half-court shot from ‘nique, who said after the contest, that his elbow’s going to be a bit sore after that one.
Next, in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge:
– Jrue Holiday took the cake from the East, besting Jeff Teague, who couldn’t buy a basket, even missing a layup, and Brandon Knight.
– Damian Lillard knocked out reigning champion Tony Parker, who got hung up on the top of the key jumpshot, and Jeremy Lin, who was up in front of his home crowd.
– In the final round, Damian Lillard reigned supreme, finishing with a sub-30 second time in both rounds. When quoted after the competition, Lillard said of his approach, “ I think the biggest thing for me was to try not to be too cool and speed through it.”
Following that was the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest:
– Stephen Curry overcame a cold start with a strong finish from the weak side, but his revival wasn’t enough to place him above Ryan Anderson or the winner of the West, Matt Bonner, who poured in 19.
– Kyrie Irving kicked things off for the East with a respectable 18, which held up as enough to advance him to the next round, as Paul George struggled to break double digits, and Knicks sharpshooter, Steve Novak fell short by one basket.
– In the finals, Kyrie Irving beasted as he breezed through the first two racks, draining 11 of 12 possible points, and finished the round with an astounding 23 points. Enough to get Lebron James hyped and out of his seat. Matt Bonner posted 20 of his own, but it wasn’t enough. 10 points for Gryffindor… I mean, the East. In response to his victory, Irving had to say, “I felt like I was the dark horse in this…Thinking about the guys in this competition it was scary.”
Finally, following a performance by the re-united Fall Out Boy, it was time for the main event:
The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest!
East Dunk 1
– Cupcake dunking virtuoso, Gerald Green got the party started with a perfect 50 points on an off the glass, head-above-the-rim slam along the baseline.
– The runway was cleared for James “Flight” White next, as he earned himself 45 points with a near free throw line dunk.
– Terrence Ross went a bit ambitious with a behind the back jam as he missed his first few attempts, but the crowd wasn’t any less impressed when he finally threw it down for 50.
West Dunk 1:
– Rising Stars Challenge MVP Kenneth Faried dropped an off the glass 360 for his first dunk, but only took home 39 points for the attempt.
– Eric Bledsoe matched that 39 score with a spin tapped off the glass after some between the legs attempts wouldn’t go through.
– 2012 Slam Dunk champion, Jeremy Evans slammed home a pretty two-handed reverse off of a handoff from a seated Mark Eaton for 47 points.
East Dunk 2:
– Flight White stumbled on his second dunk as he showed off some unbelievable ability, but couldn’t quite seal the deal and connect. 32 points.
– Gerald Green went all NCAA style, rising up on a ladder and cutting down the net. He was visibly frustrated as he couldn’t get his double-dip dunk attempt to fall. You definitely can’t knock the dude’s inventiveness, though. Like White, he got a 32 for effort.
– Terrence Ross may have played it safe with this one, but he still brought in 49 points for his off the bounce 180, which sent him to the finals with one point short of a perfect score in the preliminary.
West Dunk 2:
– The Manimal harnessed his inner Jason Richardson as he earned a 50 for his off-the-glass, between-the-legs slam.
– Eric Bledsoe rode the elevator for 50 with his own off-the-glass reverse jam.
– Jeremy Evans brought out two oranges for this one as he spun around and sank them both. The dunk earned him a score of 43, which was exactly what he needed to move on in continuing pursuit of defense of his Slam Dunk crown.
– Grand Finale: Jeremy Evans vs. Terrence Ross
– Jeremy Evans raided the prop closet for this one, as he took to the air over a cloaked canvas, which when revealed exposed a picture of him dunking over a canvas. To quote a friend, “He might get my vote for being so meta.” In his second dunk, he busted out his dunk over a seated guy go-to, and finished with a filthy one handed flush.
– Terrence Ross turned back the clocks and pulled the Vince Carter jersey out of his closet, and rim-rattled a gorgeous off the backboard baseline flush. He followed that one with a nasty classic between the legs throwdown, over the kid of Twitter’s CEO. How’s that for trending?
– And the winner is… Terrence Ross! Ross took home 58% of the fan vote en route to the honor. After the win, he had this to say: “This is honestly my first really big dunk contest, so I was nervous… ”
Final score: West 140, East 125