This year the NBA took it’s annual All-Star Weekend to Salt Lake City, Utah and 9450 Media was in the building at the Vivint Arena to cover it’s marquee event, the All-Star Game.
Before we get into the All-Star Game we should talk about the Slam Dunk Contest. Saturday night capped off with one of the most exciting Slam Dunk Contests in recent years. Featuring viral dunk sensation, former G-Leaguer and recently signed Philadelphia 76er, Mac McClung facing off against New Orleans Pelicans’ Trey Murphy III. Mac McClung won with an amazing 540 Dunk wearing a Gate City jersey (his old high school in Virginia) gaining 50s from all the judges.
Sunday was the day we were all waiting for, patiently waiting to see this season’s All-Stars face off with the first ever draft prior to the game. The draft was decided by Team LeBron and Team Giannis (the respective team captains) with LeBron getting first pick since he led in votes in the All-Star ballot process.
The All-Star game started off in typical fashion, a lot of 3 point attempts and drives to the basket, with almost no defensive pressure. It’s a great show of offensive talent for the players to the excitement of the crowd but we can understand why fans at home may have wanted a more competitive event.
At halftime, LeBron James was honored with a tremendous ceremony for becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer on February 8th. Featuring an introduction by his good friend and former teammate Dwyane Wade, appearances by the former No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone (now the NBA’s No. 3 all-time scorer) the duo shared a moment with LeBron after he was honored for his feat.
In the third quarter both teams upped their offense with Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum of Team Giannis making the fans in Vivint Arena go crazy with their marksmen shooting skills, shooting 15-for-23 from the 3 point line.
Neither LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo played the entire game. Giannis started and scored the game’s first bucket with a dunk almost instantly. He was later on subbed out of the game for Bam Adebayo to prevent further injury to a hand ailment suffered last weekend. LeBron played the first half, finishing with 13 points, 4 rebounds, and an assist in 14 minutes, but was then kept out of the second half with a right hand injury.
With great moments from some of the best players in the league, the 2023 All-Star Game left room for improvement as fans expected more from the two team captains. Let’s hope we get a show from them as the season continues on Thursday.