The 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend was full of revival and goodbyes. NBA All-Star Saturday night has been a big draw for fans to watch the NBA players compete in the skills challenge, 3-point contest, and the slam dunk contest. This year none of these contest disappointed. The skills challenge saw a new addition in to the competition, big man were added to the field to compete against the guards. And even a big, Karl Anthony-Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, upset a guard, Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics. The video below displays Towns win over Thomas.
The 3-point contest has been a highly anticipated contest over the last few years with guys like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, and J.J. Redick of the Los Angles Clippers have headlined the field. This year’s field saw an unlikely contestant make it to the final round in the Phoenix Sun’s rookie Devin Booker.
However, the real the competition was between Warrior teammates Curry and Thompson. Curry was the reigning champion and the the 3 point championship came back to the Bay Area but it was Thompson winning it this year.
The main event of NBA All-Star Saturday night has always been the slam dunk contest. Last year’s slam dunk contest saw a revival with Zach LaVine bringing down the house but years prior people questioned if slam dunk should be the close to the night. They got their answer this year with an epic revival of the slam dunk contest with the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine and Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon going back and forward with spectacular slam dunks. LaVine and Gordon competed back to back getting the top score of 50 six consecutive times. People watching this event saw the competitors have to improvise on their dunks as they had used the dunks they had scripted for the competition.
Lavine won the dunk contest back to back but Gordon made the dunk contest competitive again. Many, including the NBA, compare this dunk contest with the infamous Michael Jordon versus Dominique Wilkins dunk contest of 1998.
The real winner of the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend was none other than Kobe Bryant, who was playing in his 18th consecutive and final NBA all-star game. Bryant’s last all-star game stat line read 10 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. But that night was more than his stat line, it was about honoring a man who had excelled to be one of the best in the game of basketball. NBA All-Star weekend allowed the young players the chance to talk and receive advice from Bryant as well as praise and remember how much he meant to the game of basketball. Prior to the game, Kobe Bryant with Turner Sports reporter Craig Sager reflected on how some of the players like Stephen Curry were around during his first few all-star games with the fathers and his children were about the same as Curry and he’s doing the same in his final all-star appearance. NBA All-Star Weekend showed that it was a family affair from honoring Kobe Bryant to the many players that brought their families to enjoy this moment with them.