All-Star Weekend – Kobe’s Last Run

by Ryan Hayes

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been hosting the All-Star Weekend for decades. All-Star Weekend is an event that captures the pure athleticism and skill of professional basketball players and the true entertainment value that the NBA offers to the public. This event attracts thousands of viewers nationwide, but viewing numbers have steadily declined over the years due to the fact that the All-Star Weekend games have become less entertaining and competitive. However, this year’s All-Star Weekend was different than years’ past.

     Every year, the same events take place in the same sequence of events. The Celebrity All-Star Game is usually a crowd favorite, along with the Rising Stars Challenge, 3-point Shootout competition, and the Skills Challenge, but this year the main two events were the Slam Dunk Contest and the actual All-Star Game itself.

     These events provide the most excitement during the weekend, but this year was special. The Slam Dunk Contest that took place this year proved to be one of the best in the history of the event.

Exceptional dunks were performed by the competitors, but especially in the championship round between Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon and Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Zach Lavine. The two athletes battled tremendously and easily captivated the audience’s attention with their high-flying dunks and incredible creativity.

    Although the Slam Dunk Contest proved to be the most entertaining event, there were only two words to describe the entire All-Star Weekend: Kobe Bryant.

    This All-Star Weekend was Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant’s last as he will be retiring at the end of the season. Kobe played in his 18th All-Star game, finishing the game with 10 points, 7 assists and 6 total rebounds. As much as everyone wanted Kobe to win the All-Star MVP, it was given to Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.

    With this year’s exciting NBA All-Star Weekend, one can only imagine how entertaining next year’s event will be.