NBA All-Star Weekend Shines in New Orleans

The weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities culminated with the 2014 NBA All-Star game on Sunday. Despite all the pomp and splendor surrounding such events as the 3-point shooting contest and the Slam Dunk contest, some argue that the real fun is seeing the very best players from the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference face off in full court action. And the game did not support as a record number of points were put up by both squads.

This year, the East was led by LeBron James (Miami Heat), Paul George (Indiana Pacers) and All-Star game MVP Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), who scored 31 points with 14 assists. Meanwhile the West featured the talents of Blake Griffin (LA Clippers), and Kevin Durant (OKC Thunder), both of whom scored 38 points in a 163-155 loss to the East All-Stars. They each were only four points shy of breaking Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star game record of 42 points as well.

Saturday’s NBA on TNT All-Star Challenge was made up of teams competing in the Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and the Sprite Slam Dunk competition. Winning the 2013 title, the repeat shooting stars champs featured Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins and WNBA star Swim Cash clocking the fastest times shooting baskets from half court. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge, which was a mixture of shooting balls into a tire, cone runs, and shots was won by Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) and Trey Burke (Utah Jazz).   

The 3-point contest trophy went to Marco Bellinelli (San Antonio Spurs) whose 24 points topped all shooters. While John Wall won the dunk contest with a spectacular dunk in which he leaped over a mascot, grabbed the ball from the its hands, and flushed it in reverse – all in one motion.

Kendrick Lamar took his turn to burn on Saturday with an inspired performance that included a rock-infused "m.A.A.d city" and "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" before the NBA's annual Slam Dunk competition.

Pharrell Williams performed during the player introductions prior to the Sunday All-Star Game with guest stars Busta Rhymes, Diddy and Snoop Dogg.  The halftime show was a New Orleans themed piece as part of the Entertainment Series presented by Sean John at Macy's. Trombone Shorty, Janelle Monae, and Earth Wind & Fire performed an inspiring set that got the crowd on its feet.