Steph vs Sabrina Was Lone All-Star Highlight
Another NBA All-Star Weekend came and went. There was hope that this rendition may be different. However, the game fell well short of entertainment value and desire from the players. The same can be said for the events leading up to it but there was one highlight.
Thank goodness for Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu. Curry continues to be the most positive face of the NBA for his pureness. Not only his incredible shot-making ability and long-distance heroics but the way he carries himself on and off the court.
He accepted the challenge by Ionescu to step up for a three-point shootout old school style. One on one, one round of 27 shots equaling one winner. Curry could have downplayed the invitation via social media months ago but instead he embraced it. Once the stage was set, he could have made a mockery of it. Instead, he was calm, cool and ultra focused. It was business as usual for the greatest shooter the game has ever seen.
Ionescu, who set the WNBA All-Star Weekend on fire last July in Las Vegas with her blazing shooting performance in three-point contest when she set the NBA & WNBA record of 37 points winning the competition with ease. She made 20 consecutive shots and missed only twice. So, it made sense for two of the greatest shooters of all time to square off.
After Ionescu opened by hitting her first five shots against Curry, the crowd in Indianapolis was buzzing. The WNBA star scored 26 points totaling the leaders of the NBA contest which took place earlier. With his back against the wall and pressure galore, Curry started off slow and then came charging totaling 29 points and securing the victory. The two were cordial and full of praise for each other. It was the perfect ending to a perfect idea.
That was the lone highlight of the All-Star Weekend. After that a boring Slam Dunk Contest dragged on until Mac McClung a G-League player took the crown for the second straight year.
The following day, despite Commissioner, Adam Silver imploring the NBA All-Stars to compete and play defense, it was the same old story. Even worse as the East defeated the West 211-186. 397 points was not what the Commish ordered. You could see and hear the disgust as he presented the trophy to the winning team.
In the aftermath, there is more criticizing and speculation if the All-Star game and festivities should continue. If players are going to go rogue and disobey commissioner's orders, then what is the point of playing this exhibition contest.
Going back 40 years ago, the game was the highlight where players had pride in making the squad and enjoyed competing against each other and attempting to play it as close to a real game as possible. What we see today is nothing of the sort as players are more disinterested than ever. Congrats to Steph and Sabrina for bringing at least one shining moment.
The Super Book at Westgate Las Vagas Friday's 2:00-4:00pm
Pick the Score Contest!
Hear Darnell Hillman
NBA's 1st Slam Dunk Contest Champion & Judge of this year's event discuss his scoring and criteria