NEW ORLEANS-This past weekend was a brief intermission for the NBA’s enduring season as NBA All Star Weekend took place down in the bayou of New Orleans.
Compared to previous All Star events, this year’s festivities were not quite up to par.
This was mainly evident in NBA’s coveted All Star Saturday night which was filled with lack luster performances from high caliber players like Klay Thompson and Aaron Gordon who failed to win in their respective events despite being the favorites.
The infamous highlight of the night occurred after the Three-Point Contest when the NBA tried to commemorate their beloved reporter that recently lost his battle with cancer, Craig Sager.
A group of celebrities and players alike arrived at half-court as they attempted to drain three pointers that, with every make, would result in donations to Sager’s cancer foundation.
The star-studded contestants were able to hit enough threes to garner $110,000 in donations to the charity.
Then to up the ante, the greatest shooter in the world, Stephen Curry unexpectedly made an appearance to help generate $500,000 for the Sager Foundation.
All he had to do was nail a shot from half-court which has been rather ordinary for Curry throughout the first half of the season.
Curry confidently told host Ernie Johnson that all he needed was “three attempts” to splash the half court shot to propel the total donations to half a million dollars.
But to everyone’s surprise, Curry missed every single attempt that he took as it was quite painful to watch.
Curry, who was dressed in fashionable clothes, missed over ten attempts to the dismay of the fans present in the arena.
In order to halt this awkward turn of the night, Shaq came to the rescue by picking up Sager’s son that then proceeded to lay the ball in the basket to increase donations to the goal total .
On Sunday, the prestigious All-Star Game took place resulting in the highest scoring game in All-Star history.
Host city superstar Anthony Davis took home MVP honors lighting up the scoreboard with an All-Star record 52 points as the West defeated the East, 192-182.
Besides winning the MVP, Davis gained another reward as his Pelicans were able to come complete the trade of the season.
Controversial Kings center, Demarcus Cousins was traded to New Orleans (with Omri Casspi) in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway.
This astounding trade gives the Pelicans the most talented front court in the Association as Cousins and AD are capable of 20+ points and 10+ rebounds on any given night.
With a new legitimate presence in the paint, the Pelicans now put themselves back in the playoff picture, only three games out of the final eighth spot in the competitive Western Conference.
The NBA trade deadline wrapped up at three o’ clock this afternoon as teams rebooted their rosters with players they feel will help them get over the hump to advance farther in the looming playoffs.
Now with all the deals being final, the second half of the NBA’s season has begun leaving many questions left unanswered:
Will the inconsistent Cavaliers repeat to win back to back NBA Championships? Can Kevin Durant be the X factor for Golden State to make them champions once again? Will Westbrook continue his triple-double dominance and win the MVP?
Only time will help answer these questions as the NBA season has been filled with immense drama, great games, and new stars that are looking to make their lasting impact on the game of basketball.
As a long-time Knicks fan, one can only hope that New York can turn their shaky season around to obtain a playoff spot for the first time in 4 years.
Maybe Porzingis’s surprise victory in the Skills Challenge will give him the boosted confidence needed to help lead the Knicks to more victories despite the distracting Melo drama that has proven detrimental to the team’s morale.