Ricky Rubio and Alexey Shved made Wolves fans proud on Friday night, but the crown jewel of All Star Weekend for me has always been All Star Saturday Night. Even though it's been a while since anything in the competition was particularly memorable, it still has the highest potential of all the All Star Weekend festivities. With that in mind, I decided to document my experience for the second straight year, much to the request of nobody.
7:31 All Star Saturday Night starts off with a video of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performing with a group of children while lots of past highlights are shown. A surprisingly large amount of Timberwolves are represented... Derrick Williams, Kevin Love, Gerald Green(who's also taking part tonight), and Isiah Rider. None this year, however. My Ricky Rubio Skills Challenge pleas have obviously gone unanswered for the second straight year.
7:33 Kevin Harlan announces that this year's structure is entirely different with proceeds going to charity this year rather than to the individuals participating. This kind of makes sense, because I don't think guys that make $5 million per year are ever going to be excited about a $25,000 check for winning their event, and this obviously has a feel-good factor. This year is also based on conferences rather than individuals and the conference with the most points at the end of the night gets the check.
7:36 The camera is panning around this year's participants in the Sears(not Haier) Shooting Stars competition. Sam Cassell and Muggsy Bogues are both competing, which is noteworthy because Muggsy was in Space Jam as a player whose body was taken over by an alien, and Sam Cassell looks like an alien. Or so the internet would lead you to believe:
7:37 Team Harden finishes with 37.9 seconds, and were slowed down a little by Sam Cassell, who might run his house, but doesn't necessarily run the right baseline jumpshot.
7:38 Team Westbrook finishes with 29.5, and much credit is due to Lynx sensation Maya Moore, who nailed both of her first two shots without error, and hit her second half court attempt. In fact, Moore is the only person on her team to even hit the rim. Somebody is representing Minnesota tonight besides Crunch, and so far, she looks fantastic.
7:44 Team Bosh just finished and Dominique Wilkins has never looked older than he did attempting to hit his three pointer from the top of the key and appears to have gone from "Human Highlight Reel" to "Human Shaq-tin a Fool Reel".
7:46 Team Lopez limps to the finish line. Interesting final portion of the round, where Brook Lopez shoots set shots from half court while Muggsy must heave the ball with all his might like he's trying to win the softball throw on track and field day.
7:47 TNT previews a new show called Boston's finest, which is a reality show following Boston PD. I think we all liked this show the first time, when it was called Cops.
7:52 The East doesn't even deserve to be in the finals, but Team Bosh competes, being the least awful of the two. I stand corrected from before, because 'Nique actually looked older this time around. Kenny Smith quips "He scored so much during his career that he has nothing left". Touche. They finish with a pitiful 1:29, and it looks like the Maya Moore-led Team Westbrook will mop this up.
7:55 Team Westbrook breezes through the early portions of the round(another tip of the cap to the flawless Ms. Moore), but unbelievably cannot hit the halfcourt shot to save their lives and lose to Team Bosh. The Great Minnesota Let-Down strikes again.
7:56 Nick Cannon asks Chris Bosh what they key to victory was. Bosh: "Uh, you know, just making shots." Thanks Chris! Dominique also admits he hasn't shot the ball "in years", much to the surprise of nobody.
8:04 Chris Paul hugs Drake as Jeff Teague tips off the Ricky Rubio-less Taco Bell Skills Challenge(I'm not bitter at all, if you're wondering). Teague is clearly bothered by nerves and finishes with a less than impressive 49.4 seconds. If he's anything like me, he was probably hoping this challenge had less to do with basketball skills and more to do with tacos.
8:07 Brandon Knight finishes 17 seconds faster than Teague and throws a chest pass that nearly decapitates a camera guy, who was clearly trying to Live Mas.
8:08 Jrue Holiday, the first person born in the 90s to ever play in the NBA, and former Timberwolves Shootout star(yes, we will reach this far to claim somebody as our own), snags the top first round time thus far.
8:13 Jeremy Lin completes the course with a respectable time, but was clearly not running the course at a "Linsanity" pace.
8:14 Damien Lillard and his candy-corn inspired shoes take the new top spot.
Really? I mean, really.
8:16 Defending champion Tony Parker loafs his way to an embarrassing 49.7. Even Greg Popovich would be at a loss for words to describe what just happened. (Wait, what?) Holiday and Lillard will advance to the finals.
8:21 Candy Corn Shoes Lillard edges out Holiday in the finals by 6 seconds, which is about 5 seconds longer than it probably took Meatsauce to become bored with All Star Saturday Night. Two events in, I really can't blame him.
8:27 Nick Cannon interviews conference captains Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade. Wade is wearing a snazzy sport coat, a seizure inducing shirt, a Run DMC-esque thick gold chain, and leather pants. I have. Nothing. More. To add to that.
8:32 After a Phillip Phillips performance of his hit "Home", Houston's PA announcer guy says "Ladies and Gentleman, Phillip Phillips" in a way that sounds more like "Ladies and Gentleman, I apologize for putting you throught that."
8:39 Sideline reporter Rick Fox presents Spurs forward Matt Bonner with a "Red Mamba" t-shirt as America collectively tries to forget Kobe Bryant ever attempted to give him that nickname.
8:41 Steph Curry kicks off the Foot Locker 3-Point Contest with a score of 17, which is 10 less than his viral video total of 27 earlier this week. No matter how he does the rest of this competition, I implore Wolves fans to ignore the fact he could have been selected alongside Ricky Rubio in the '09 draft.
8:44 The West team wraps up as the Red Mamba(dammit) finishes with 19. He might not be flashy, but he's at least as boring as team mate Tim Duncan.
8:50 Uncle Drew gets Team East off to a decent start with a score of 18, as the camera shows a scarf-laden Kevin Garnett, who apparently wanted to be prepared for any flurries that may occur within the Toyota Center.
8:53 Steve Novak comes up short at the singular thing he's known for in the NBA, so Uncle Drew will continue on to the Finals to face the Red Mamba(dammit).
8:59 Kyrie Irving hits an impressive 23 in the final round. It's going to take a lot of venom from the Red Mamba(dammit) to top that.
9:03 Irving hoists the trophy, which marks his second All-Star weekend trophy, the other being the Rising Stars MVP last year. This also marks the second year in a row that a Pepsi Max endorser has won the competition without donning the requisite old-person makeup. If Cliff Paul can be in the audience this year, why can't Uncle Drew compete in the contest? That might have been the greatest ad tie-in ever.
9:07 What better way to transition into the final event of the evening than Fallout Boy? What's that you say? You can think of *many* that would be better? Join the club.
9:09 2Chainz emerges on stage wearing -- you guessed it -- two chains. And leather pants? Seriously, what is going on with all of the leather pants?
9:12 Pete Wentz wishes a happy birthday to Michael Jordan as the song wraps up. MJ's day has no doubt been made by this verbal gesture from such a high profile celebrity. (Honestly though, if you're Michael Jordan, is there any celebrity on Earth that *could* actually impress you? Or does he represent the pinnacle?)
9:18 The Dunk competition is about to begin and judges are back this year(after last year's inconspicuous absence). They include notable high flying dunkers of their day Rudy Tomjanovich, Dikembe Mutombo, Yao Ming, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Clyde Drexler. If you're keeping track, that's a lineup that consists of a guy best known as a coach, a guy best known for blocking shots, a guy best known for being tall and injury prone, and a guy best known for low post finesse moves. (One out of five ain't bad, I guess?)
9:21 Kenny Smith proclaims that this will be "one of the top 10 dunk contests of all time" as Gerald Green nearly hits his head on the rim as he starts with an impressive reverse dunk off a pass off the side of the backboard from Lance Stephenson.
9:23 James "Flight" White brings out flight attendants to mark a path for a free throw line attempt. After a miss, he connects on an impressive two handed dunk that is taken off from, of course, just inside the free throw line. Just once can we get somebody to dunk it from BEYOND the free throw line in the NBA competition? Just once? Please? White had PLENTY of distance, which makes it all the more disappointing.
9:25 Terrence Ross takes six attempts to finish a dunk that JR Smith nailed in one attempt way back in 2008. For some reason, the misses don't count and Ross still gets an undeserved 50. After 4 attempts Charles Barkley notes "he shouldn't be getting tired, he hasn't been getting in the game". A point to Sir Charles. James White is going to get undeservedly screwed.
9:26 Kenneth Faried, after an MVP showing in the Rising Stars competition and not wanting to show up the rest of his peers right away, respectfully converts a less than stellar dunk(that looks a lot more impressive in slow motion) that only nets him a 39. That Faried -- always a team player!
9:28 Eric Bledsoe finally converts a mediocre dunk after several missed attempts of through-the-legs dunk and nets himself a 39. At this point, a pretty simplistic dunk should be enough to get reigning champion Jeremy Evans into the final round.
9:30 Evans finally completes his "reverse over a sitting Mark Eaton" dunk on his 4th attempt with a 47. At this point, none of the West competitors deserves a spot in the finals, but, you know, rules.
9:38 Thankfully all competitors advance into the finals, so the deserving "Flight" White gets another shot... But ultimately comes up lame and can't make anything. White, one of the greatest dunk contest competitors of all time, ultimately disappoints those who know what he has to offer. Honestly, watch these highlights featuring Flight White and Gerald Green in this Russian Dunk Contest from 2010:
9:42 Gerald Green cuts off the net and attempts the legendary "Earl the Goat" double dunk, but can't convert. As a result, two straight second round performances have resulted in absolutely nothing. Kenny Smith's hopes for one of the "top 10 dunk contests of all time" are on life support. ...And of course, after his attempts are over and it doesn't count anymore, Green converts the dunk.
9:45 Maintenance guy installs a new net in 1 minute and 8 seconds, less than half the expected time. Kenny Smith notes "that was much more impressive than those last 3 dunks." Sad, but true. As the camera scans the scene, Russell Westbrook is shown:
Charles Barkley wonders aloud what the writing on Westbrook's shirt says, and Kenny Smith delivers a potential line of the night in "It says 'I should have bought a new shirt'". Hard to argue, Jet.
9:46 Terrance Ross gets an undeserved 49 points for a 360 tomahawk off the bounce in an obvious "judges just wanted somebody to make something" situation.
9:47 Kenneth Faried completes an off the backboard-through the legs dunk that Jason Richardson did much more impressively 5 years ago. To hammer his point home, he holds up a sign suggesting The Departed should win best picture.
9:48 Eric Bledsoe completes a windmill reverse dunk off the bounce that gets him a 50 point rating probably based on the fact that he only needed one attempt make it happen. There's no question in my mind that these judges are as sick of misses as the rest of us are.
9:50 Jeremy Evans completes the same "two basketballs" dunk that he did last year, except without a partner. Not shockingly, it took him multiple attempts, and he got more points than he should have. This competition will (disappointingly) come down to Terrence Ross and Jeremy Evans.
9:57 Evans throws down a left handed windmill over a portrait of... Himself doing a left handed windmill. He then signs the portrait and waves to the crowd. Sigh. Where's Vince Carter when you need him?
9:58 Unbelievably, as if on cue, Terrance Ross puts on a Vince Carter jersey and completes a 360 tomahawk off a Terrence Jones alley-oop off the side of the backboard. One of the more impressive dunks of the night, if for no other reason than he nailed it on the first try.
10:00 Jeremy Evans throws down a one-handed tomahawk off a pass from Dahntay Jones while hurdling over him. Easily one of the best dunks of the night, and might be enough to win it. Will Ross be able to top it?
10:02 Ross throws down an East Bay Funk Dunk while jumping over a ball boy. The dunk brings Toronto native Drake out of his seat -- something that Jimmy from Degrassi never could have accomplished.
10:05 We left this vote up to fans and with a 58% tally, Terrence Ross pulls it off. This wasn't the worst dunk competition I've seen, but it was far from the best -- that honor, in my mind, belongs to the 2000 competition. Even with the win from Ross, the East still falls short to the West for the overall Charity winner.
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This article was written by jab. You can normally find him meandering around Rube Chat. Or feel free to email him at email@example.com.