This week’s weekly wrap features a wrap-up of the NBA all-star festivities from this past weekend in Cleveland, Ohio before the start of the second half of the season.
New formats in the Clorox Rising Stars and Taco Bells Skills Challenges were on full display while the three-point contest and dunk contest did what they usually do, not that that’s a good thing to all.
And finally, the All-Star game that featured an ending fitting for a King.
Team Barry claims Clorox Rising Stars Challenge
Reigning No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons took home MVP honors as Team Barry claimed the Clorox Rising Stars Challenge coached by Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry.
Team Barry beat Team Isaiah, 25-20, in the finals of the challenge. Prior to, the team downed Team Payton, 50-48, in the semifinals.
Team Isaiah took care of Team Worthy, 50-49, in the other semifinal game.
This was the first ever tournament-style with four separate teams, composed of seven players each.
Cunningham finished with a combined 18 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks in two games played.
Cleveland forward Evan Mobley also tallied 18 points and 11 rebounds in two games played as well in front of his hometown crowd at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cavs forward Issac Okoro also shared in the win in front of the Cleveland faithful.
Team Cavs snatch Skills Challenge
Team Cavaliers, made up of rookie forward Evan Mobley and all-stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge filled with signature moments.
The trio beat Team Rooks (guards Cade Cunningham, Josh Giddey and forward Scottie Barnes) in the final round, which was a half-court shot.
The Rooks set the time to beat with 9.9 seconds to make the 45-plus-foot shot. However, it took Cleveland 5.5 seconds to oust them.
Mobley nailed his first attempt from half-court, the team’s second attempt to take home more hardware.
The Cavs edged Team Antetokounmpos, represented by Thanasis, Giannis and Alex of the Raptors 905 of the G League to get to the finals.
KAT stakes claim, takes home 3-point crown in process
Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns added to his claim as the Best Big Man Shooter of all-time, winning his first three-point contest.
KAT becomes the third player to win the contest at 6’10 or taller, joining Peja Stojakovic and Dirk Nowitzki.
Furthermore, KAT moves into second as the second-tallest player to win the challenge at 6’11.” Nowitzki holds the record as the lone 7-footer to win the contest.
The league made an exception to it’s “no jewelry” policy for the competition, allowing Towns to wear a gold chain with the name of his late mother, Jacqueline.
Toppins tops Toscano-Anderson in dunk contest
New York forward Obi Toppin topped Golden State forward Juan Toscano-Anderson in the finals of the AT&T Dunk Contest, 92-69.
He finished off the performance with a between-the-legs, dunk that he tapped off the backboard before flushing it down.
Houston guard Jalen Green and Orlando guard Cole Anthony were ousted in the opening round taking several misses with them.
Despite the flares in moments, analysts and NBA fans alike expressed displeasure in the entire competition.
King closes All-Star Game, improves to 5-0 in the process
It was a Homecoming fitted for a King.
Team LeBron defeated Team Durant, 163-160, in the All-Star Game in a game that featured 10 lead changes and 12 ties.
The game-winning field goal came from Los Angeles Lakers’ forward LeBron James, who scored on a fadeaway jumper over Chicago’s Zach LaVine as Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid closed out from the weak side.
Now, James is 5-0 when a captain in the All-Star Game.
At halftime, James was recognized as one the Top-75 NBA players of all-time.
Another Top-75 member in Golden State’s Steph Curry took home the newly re-designed Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP Award.
Curry posted an all-star game record with 16 made three-pointers, scoring 50 points in the process. Just two points off of the all-star game record of 52 points, set by then-New Orleans forward Anthony Davis in 2017.
Both James and Curry were both born in Akron, Ohio and played in the first all-star game in Cleveland since 1997.
“It’s right on the nose of how it should go,” Curry said after the game.