NBA All-Star Weekend is one of my favorite times of the season. It is without a doubt the best All-Star celebration among all of the major professional sports leagues.
Major League Baseball’s home run derby is no match for the NBA slam dunk contest and the 3-point shootout and skills competition simply overpowers the NFL’s Pro Bowl. In fact, I can’t even put the Pro Bowl in this argument because the NFL’s all-star game is one big waste of time.
I have so many great memories of NBA All-Star Weekend: Larry Bird winning three consecutive 3-point shootouts, the Michael Jordan-Dominique Wilkins dunk war in 1988 was an instant classic, Spud Webb winning the dunk contest in 1986 was awesome, Vince Carter threw down three of the best dunks I’ve ever seen in 2000 and Dwight Howard’s “Superman” dunk was so good it has become the signature moment of his career.
The NHL’s All-Star Weekend has been using and imitating the NBA’s format for years, but they haven’t gotten the same recognition nor the same amount of excitement.
This year the All-Star Game is in Dallas so Big D is under the spotlight this weekend to try to live up to memorable showcase events in New Orleans, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I was in Vegas in 2007 and I must admit it was one of the most spectacular weekends I’ve ever been a part of. Vegas should host All-Star Weekend every year! I ran into Mark Eaton in the casino level at the Mandalay Bay, shared a buffet line with Allan Houston, and I attended a Nike Camp with Carmelo Anthony. I even participated in the skills challenge held inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center, and proudly turned in a very respectable time of under 32 seconds.
The NBA always puts its best shoe forward during All-Star Weekend, and this season is no different. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has promised more than 90,000 to pack Cowboys Stadium for the main event on Sunday.
As for All-Star Saturday Night, the Slam Dunk Contest takes center stage with defending champion Nate Robinson going up against Gerald Wallace, Shannon Brown and DeMar DeRozan. To read more about the dunkers, click on this link: www.nba.com/dunk.
Enjoy NBA All-Star Weekend. I know I will.