Let’s face it — not every player (or any player, for that matter) participating in the NBA All-Star weekend takes it seriously. After all, this is supposed to be a midseason break for the players, giving them a chance to recharge their batteries before returning to the hardwood to vie for an NBA title.
However, All-Star weekend is still considered one of the most entertaining portions of the season. This year’s installment did not disappoint. If you were not able to take in the action, here are the five most memorable events that you missed.
Usain Bolt throws down a dunk
It turns out that gold medal-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is as athletic as he is fast. Bolt participated in the Celebrity All-Star game, which pit celebrities against former NBA greats and a few WNBA stars.
While comedian Kevin Hart received the nod for Most Valuable Player in the contest, Bolt briefly stole the show when he punctuated a fast-break opportunity with a slam dunk.
He might have traveled on the play, but no one seemed to care.
Kyrie Irving shines in his first year as all-star
Cleveland Cavalier Kyrie Irving didn’t display any jitters in his first year as an all-star. Irving, who was the No. 1 overall pick two years ago, not only put up 15 points in the All-Star game, but he also ousted Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs to claim the championship of the 3-point contest.
Irving edged out Bonner 23-20 to claim the title. He hit 17 of his first 18 shots of the round. This performance has to be a welcome sign to Cavs faithful, who might still be searching for a star player to cheer for after LeBron James left for Miami.
Terrence Ross pays homage to Vince Carter during dunk contest win
Terrence Ross became the second — but arguably, the less popular — slam dunk champion from the Toronto Raptors. Ross gave credit to slam dunk connoisseur Vince Carter, who was the other Raptor to win a title.
Ross wore a Carter jersey as he performed a windmill dunk that was fed to him via an alley-oop off the side of the backboard. Ross also used a ball boy as a prop, hurdling the young lad while passing the ball through his legs to jam it.
Ross got the better of fellow slam-dunk finalist Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz.
The All-Star game turned out to be competitive
While the all-stars spent their fair share of time show boating and ignoring the whole concept of defense, the contest did end up to be a competitive one. The Western Conference all-stars held on to the 143-138 victory in a game that went wire-to-wire.
Those who didn’t care about the outcome were treated to such sights as a sick alley-oop off the backboard from Dwayne Wade to LeBron James along with big Dwight Howard draining a 3-point shot.
Chris Paul named MVP
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was named the best of the best, earning the MVP award with 20 points, 15 assists and four steals. Paul spent the nigh exhibiting his nifty ball skills. One highlight that made its rounds on the Internet came when he dribbled the ball through an unsuspecting Chris Bosh’s legs.