Every year there is a build up to All-Star weekend as the most elite players take center stage at a super-sized circus. This year Los Angeles was hosting the festivities with LA Live serving as the perfect setting to showcase extraordinary athletes, musicians, and celebrities at high-profile parties and a myriad of events.
Thursday night started off with the unveiling of the Jerry West statue and ceremony with some nice words from Lakers legends and family members.Â LA Hoops then went off to Zo and Magic’s celebrity 8-Ball tournament, which was filled with All-Star players, legends, media, and celebrities. We will have a follow up article on this event with details and photos, but I wanted to give a personal thank you to the hosts for all the free food, booze, and good times.
Friday featured the celebrity game where Justin Bieber and his wig took home MVP honors with his 3-11 shooting and a team loss. Thank goodness for fan voting.Â Bieber fever went crazy when Justin crossed over hip-hop emcee Common and then dished off a dime. I’m sure Common is gonna hear it from his boys.
The Rookie-Sophomore game showcased the young stars of the game that looked more like a track meet than a basketball game. John Wall took home MVP honors and the rookie win with 22 dimes, narrowly edging out his former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins who dropped 33 points and 14 boards. “We talked about it before the game,” said DeMarcus Cousins. “We were kind of trying to work together. He wanted to break the assist record I and wanted MVP. Well, he got both.” Not much defense played in this game, but entertaining nonetheless.
Saturday is the MVP skills competition day and started with the Haier Shooting Stars event compiling teams from Â a current NBA player, a legend, and a WNBA player. Atlanta’s Steve Smith, Al Horford, and Coco Miller took the win over Texas in the finals, but I’m not sure if anyone actually cared.
The Skills Challenge had a stacked lineup with Stephen Curry beating out Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and John Wall to take top honors. Curry’s win also earned a $30,000 college scholarship for Karen Batani, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Southern California. “Thank you so much for winning,” said Batani, seated next to Curry afterward. “It’s like the best day of my life.”
Miami Heat’s James Jones won the 3-point contest over Celtics Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, but the highlight of the event was listening to the Staples Center crowd boo Paul Pierce when he was introduced. Pierce then questioned why they were booing him and not Ray Allen. One word Mr. Pierce: Wheelchair.
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