The NBA All-Star Weekend for the 2022-23 season was held from February 17, 2023 to February 19, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. All the basketball actions took place at the Vivint Arena, which is also the home court for Utah Jazz team.
Table of Contents
The NBA All Star Weekend
The All-Star Weekend has been an annual event of the National Basketball Association since the year 1951. It is a showcase of few of the best basketball players in the league, also those who are fan-favorites, who come together and come amongst each other in various events, out of their general teams. Competitions like the Dunk Contest, Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest are held, with the main highlight being the All-Star Game. As it is meant to be an entertaining showcase for the fans, the NBA keeps making changes in the rules of the All Star Weekend to keep the fans engaged.
All-Star weekend 2023
The All-Star weekend in 2023 was as exciting as ever. The weekend has always been a fan favorite because the fans get to watch and interact with all their favorite players and they also get to see the players do things which they might not do in regular games.
Not only were there players of the league competing but there was also a celebrity game. Celebrities from around the world, including Bollywood star Ranveer Singh competed in the Celebrity Game.
This year, the fans were keen to witness the dunk contest and expected the participants to impress them as the contest’s previous edition was highly disappointing. ESPN broadcaster Stephen A. Smith defined it as a ‘national atrocity’. Thankfully, the 2023 Dunk contest did not disappoint at all. All participants put their best foot forward with creative and powerful dunks with G-League MVP Mac McClung got the better of all his competitors to lift the trophy.
The 3-point contest was also an exciting watch with Portland Trail Blazer’s Damian Lillard winning the trophy.
The Skills challenge saw a few change in its rules. The home trio from the Utah Jazz team showed great precision and skill to lift the trophy.
The Jordan Rising Star games, which constituted young (rookie and 2nd-year players) was also a great success and the fans got to see highly contested games.
The main controversy revolved around the NBA All-star game. The two players: Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who were voted as team captains, chose their respective teams before the game. This was also an alteration from the previous style of draft, which used to be conducted a couple of days before the game.
Though ‘Team Giannis’ won the game with the score of 184 against 175 points of Team Lebron, the players were criticized for playing near to no defense. Coaches and players also seemed to be disappointed. Boston Celtics’ All-star Jaylen Brown called it a ‘fancy lay-up line’. His teammate Jayson Tatum did break the All-star game record for most points (55) and won the All-star MVP award but the showcase seemed to be too easy of a game. The players visibly did not put in a lot of effort and were giving each other easy opportunities to score.
Due to such a performance, players, coaches, fans and basketball lovers are now looking up to the NBA administration to make improvements to the All-star game so that it gets competitive again.