NBA All-Star Break

Matthew Greenberg , Sports Editor


Chris Paul by State Farm
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The stage was set at the Toyota Center in Houston for the NBA’s best of the best to come together in the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. Features included the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, and the East vs. West All-Star Game. The players were ready, and these were the results.

The Three-Point Contest is set up in two rounds. The first round is split into two series: three players from the Western Conference and three players from the Eastern Conference, each battling for a head to head showdown in the second round where the two winners from round one shoot for the title.

The court is set up with five stations surrounding the three-point line. There are four balls at each station worth one point and one “money ball” at each station worth two points, for a total of 30 possible points. Players have 60 seconds to make as many shots as they can. The player with the most points at the end of each round advances and eventually wins.

The Western Conference players included Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets, Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs, and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Matt Bonner emerged as the victor of the first round.

The Eastern Conference players included Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Steve Novak of the New York Knicks. In a surprising display of skill, Kyrie Irving was the victor over his more lauded opponents, earning himself a chance to match up against Matt Bonner in the final round.

As a second-year guard and still up-and-coming superstar, most people did not expect Irving to make it out of the first round. He shocked fans and silenced critics by going one step further and winning the 2013 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest. Unlike many young players, Irving was very mature and humble about his victory. In an article by Scott Howard-Cooper for, Irving said, I feel like I was a dark horse in this competition. I just wanted to go out and prove a point that I was one of the premier shooters out here with all these guys. Steve Novak and Matt Bonner, I never thought I’d beat those guys.”

While the Three-Point Contest is a great way for some of the top shooters to display their skills, the Dunk Contest has devolved in recent years to whoever feels like they can dunk in a sort of cool fashion and maybe hopefully win. Needless to say, it is a far cry from the age of superstars like Michael Jordan going up against Magic Johnson.

The rules for the Dunk Contest are that each of the six players (three from the West and three from the East) has 90 seconds to accomplish their dunk, with no penalties for missing, so long as the dunk is completed within the allotted time. There are two rounds where each player gets two dunks, with a possible 50 points per dunk. The two players with the highest combined totals from the first round advance in a head to head match up in the final round, where each player gets another two dunks on the same scoring scale.

The players from the Western Conference included Eric Bledsoe of the Los Angeles Clippers, Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, and Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets. Jeremy Evans, last year’s champion, beat out his opponents with a dunk over Mark Eaton and a 360 dunk with two balls.

The players from the Eastern Conference included Gerald Green of the Indiana Pacers, Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors, and James White of the New York Knicks. Rookie Terrence Ross emerged victorious with a 360 dunk behind the back and a 180 dunk while catching the ball in mid-air.

Ross went first in the final round, completing a Vince Carter tribute, 360 dunk off the side of the backboard and dunk over a ball boy and then going behind his legs for a total of 99 points. Evans followed up with a dunk of a huge canvas and a one-handed dunk after catching the ball in mid-air for a total of 90 points. Fan voting confirmed the judges’ scores, with Ross receiving 58 percent of the votes, crowning him champion the 2013 Sprite Dunk Contest.

The East vs. West All-Star Game was the highlight of the NBA All-Star Weekend. 24 of the NBA’s best duke it out on the court to prove which conference is dominant. This year, and for the fourth year in a row, the West came out on top, defeating the East 143-138. Although the game was close, the West controlled the game, maintaining a lead throughout almost the entire game.

Although the East lost the game, the Chicago Bulls representation played well. Small forward Luol Deng played for 17 minutes and put up 10 points, 1 assist, and 2 rebounds. Center Joakim Noah played for 16 minutes and put up 8 points, 3 assists, and 10 rebounds. Coming off the bench as reserves, these are impressive numbers for the Bulls All-Stars.

A big story coming out of this year’s battle was Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant became the first player in history to score more than 30 points in three consecutive All-Star games. But the biggest story was Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul put up 20 points and 15 assists in his magnificent performance, particularly when he made Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat look like a fool when he made a spectacular pass through Bosh’s legs for one of his many assists. For his efforts, Paul was named the Kia NBA All-Star MVP.