Kevin Durant and Steph Curry

USA Today

2019 All-Star Weekend

The game was good.

February 18, 2019 - 9:23 am

Another NBA All-Star Weekend has come and gone. Final score: one of the team: a helluva lot. And the other team just a little less. And of course people are going to come in and complain about the lack of defense. In other words, the lamest argument of all time. 

Right, because what I want to see when the best players in the world assemble, is some quality trapping and excellent help-side defense. I could get hyped about the best players in the world dunking or…or… hyped about them closing out on a three point shooter in a controlled and fundamental way. 

Forget the moment where Dirk drained one three after another, one from halfway back to Dallas….did someone do a good job of positioning himself between both his man and the ball? Forget the best dunks, who did the best job showing and then recovering?

Hear me now: that was fun. That was entertaining... In fact, it was a borderline perfect NBA All-Star Game. Because the NBA All-Star Game isn’t a basketball game. It’s a compilation of highlights and moments. And for what it was, that was great. And if you don’t think so, that’s on YOU, not them. 

Because the All-Star game is all about highlights, and that was jammed with highlights.  Great highlights. Now, the All-Star weekend overall???  It’s pretty meh. Nobody really remembers the celebrity game…, the three point shootout had one incredible first round before Joe Harris ripped it. The dunk contest had John Collins wearing a scarf and hat jumping over a plane, except he didn’t jump over it, he took a big chunk out of it. 

I’m not going to say the contest jumped the shark when he couldn’t jump that plane, but they probably just should’ve cancelled the Dunk Contest after the Aaron Gordon Zach LaVine showdown three years back. Unless you’re running those two guys back again, anything else is going to seem boring. And it was. Trust me, three years from now, you won’t be able to remember a single thing from that all-star weekend. Hell, three hours from now. Other than the game itself, which again, was pretty awesome.

You had Anthony Hamilton absolutely dominating the national anthem. Seriously. I’m not even going to mention what happened a year ago because that disaster shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as what Hamilton did yesterday. If you were looking for someone to make sure it wasn’t a joke this year, Hamilton was your guy.

And then there’s the game itself. You had the great moment of Dirk and D-Wade coming into the game together. And then Dirk hitting a three.

And then another three.

And then another. Those shots scraped the ceiling, but they barely touched the net. My guy was drawing rain every time he let it fly. That was incredible. And that’s exactly why he was there. What a moment.

And speaking of moments, there was the Steph Curry to Giannis alley-oop.

The ball went up so high, it went off the screen and The Freak still had to wait for it. That’s a 6’11 dude getting up, waiting for it, and then throwing it down.

That’s what the All-Star Game is about. It’s not about 48 minutes of awesome action, it’s about moments. And that game had moments by the truckload. 

Because there was one more Wade to LeBron moment. 

The question going into the game was would they figure out a way to replicate that iconic photo from back in the Miami days. And they came damn close. Of course, the original wasn’t an alley-oop, but who cares?

There was Curry kicking his leg out at Klay Thompson to draw a four point play. And Curry yapping at Klay the entire game, which prompted Klay to say afterwards: “I’ve seen him do that so many times in his career, and it sucked to be on the receiving end. And then to rub it in my face. He was taunting me. The guy’s a terrible sport. He should have got a T, but that’s life.”

Oh, and jokingly calling Curry a flopper: “he sold it. He flopped a little bit. But he’s good at that. He’s got a lot of gamesmanship.”

There was Dame hitting not one, but two threes from the logo.

You even had Steph closing out the game by chasing that bounce alley oop to the Freak with one to himself.

Reverse dunk off the bounce to himself. Hell yes. That’s for all the haters who said he can’t get up and get down. 

I don’t care about the final score. I don’t care who won or who lost. I don’t care about the game MVP. But I cared about whether or not I was entertained. And I was. 

So here’s something I never thought I’d say about an All-Star game: hell. Yes!! That was good. Seriously. It was. Really freaking good. I loved it.