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Opening Day For All - Star Weekend
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Opening Day for All   -   Star Weekend

The NBA is halfway through its lockout shortened season and we have reached the All-Star break. The weekend starts off with two games that were earlier tonight, the Celeb All-Star game and the Rising Stars challenge, that used to be know as the Rookies vs Sophomores game.

I was excited to watch the Celeb All-Star game. It is a combination of celebs of course, then you also get to see some retired NBA stars showcase their skills in a game that is certainly fun. Each team is coached by a current NBA talent for the East it was Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic (the host of All-Star weekend), and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. There was a little trash talk before the game between the two coaches as well as the players which I was hoping would lead up to a close game, that would be fun to watch as a basketball fan but also very entertaining! Unfortunately it was not.

The game started off pretty fast paced and I got excited for the first few minutes, but then I noticed that it was not pleasing to me in a basketball skills type of fashion. Don't get me wrong a few players impressed me quite a bit and I even got quite excited for an alley-oop, but that was it skills wise. The other portion of the game was the comedy portion which I found to be quite funny! Kevin Hart stole the show with his hilarious antics and towards the end of the game got ejected for arguing a foul call which looked like he got all ball to me, and just when you though the he was done at the end of the game he ended up being the MVP which was tallied on the fans voting by text. All in all the game was decent and it set the stage for the Rising Stars Challenge.

The Rising Stars Challenge used to be referred to as the Rookies vs Sophomores game where two teams composed of just NBA Rookies and Sophomores would play in an exhibition game. I was never a big fan of this because 90% of the time the Sophomores dominated because they had more experience. The NBA did something great they put together a group of the best Rookies and Sophomores and took Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley both former players to be General Managers.

Both managers picked out of the pool of players to assemble the teams and they were pretty evenly matched. Looking at the teams on paper team Shaq was in my opinion better, but team Chuck got off to a hot start with a few alley-oops and some three pointers. This was more of the type of game I was looking for it was fast paced, well coached, and lots of fun. Rookie Kyrie Irving had 34 points and went 8-8 from beyond the arc and led Team Chuck to the win. There were quite a few highlight plays that made me happy that I took the time to sit and watch this because I was going to wait until the Dunk and 3 point contest tomorrow.

This was a great way to start off All-Star weekend and as always I look forwards to the Dunk and 3 point contest tomorrow night, if these competitions are anything like tonight I will be a very happy fan. I hope the energy carries over to the All-Star game and helps the NBA recover from the lockout!


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