On NBA All-Star Saturday night, the events include the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest.
The night starts with the Skills Challenge, which saw two surprising players in the final round. When creating the bracket, guards and matched up against the big men, with the big men winning all four first-round matchups this year. In the final round, it was Domantas Sabonis from the Indiana Pacers and Bam Adebayo from the Miami Heat. Both players were neck and neck, with Adebayo coming out on top after making the three-point shot first, after both players had multiple attempts.
The next event is the 3-Point Contest. Per usual, the winner from last year returns to defend his crown, with Joe Harris from the Brooklyn Nets competing in the contest. In the final round, Devin Booker scored a historic 26 points, all but sealing the victory. But Buddy Hield scored four of the five balls from his money rack, pushing his score to 27 on the last shot.
The premier event, the Slam Dunk Contest, draws the most attention and excitement every year, as all the main NBA stars are present in the front row. After the final round, Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon were tied, and after one overtime, they remained at a tie, sending the event into double overtime. Despite dunking over 7-5 Tacko Fall, Gordon finished second, with Jones winning the contest.
NBA All-Star Weekend and the events have many flaws. It’s a system that is now over 40 years old and requires change. The Slam Dunk Contest has become stale, with a new player being “robbed” of the trophy every year. The problem is that there are too many dunks. What the contest should be is four players, each given only two or three dunks, and the total score wins. Make the judging stingier, with every dunk not being rewarded a 50, which is the max score.
Bring back more exciting events too. There used to be an event called the Shooting Stars Competition, where players would have a team that included celebrities and WNBA players and compete in a shooting competition, which included a half-court shot at the end. It was entertaining and fun.