NBA All-Star 2018
NBA All-Star 2018

Recapping 10 standout moments from NBA All-Star 2018 weekend

Sekou Smith

Sekou Smith NBA.com

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Feb 19, 2018 10:55 AM ET

The 2018 All-Star weekend did not lack for star power or memorable moments.

There's a certain flair and pageantry that gets added to any sporting event when Los Angeles is the host city. When it came to the 2018 NBA All-Star festivities, Hollywood did not disappoint in living up to its standard.  

From the arrival of a handful of players late last week to the throng of celebrities, NBA legends and, of course, actual All-Stars on the court for Sunday night's All-Star Game, big and bold moments marked this All-Star weekend that was.

This is by no means the be-all, end-all list for the weekend. But, if you somehow missed them, these 10 moments and events -- listed in no particular order -- will stand out in NBA All-Star lore for years to come:

AN ALL-STAR (GAME) COMEBACK

The format change for the 67th All-Star Game, with captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry choosing their rosters, proved to be a rousing success. And the game itself, with its final frantic minutes, were worth all of the hand-wringing. The defense-wins-when-it-matters final seconds living up to all of the promise that accompanied the reset for both the players involved and all of us watching. Team LeBron’s furious 28-12 comeback in the final six minutes made the game an actual, real life competition. Both sides going at it and wanting to win in the worst way is all anyone was asking for -- well that and a televised player draft (which may be coming soon ...).

 
In a thrilling finish, Team LeBron takes down Team Stephen.

POKE THE PROCESS?

First-time All-Stars Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) all acquitted themselves quite well in Sunday night’s game. Embiid stood out among the crowd, though, and might have taken home MVP honors if Team Stephen had held on to their late lead. He gave as good as he got from Team LeBron (see his back and forth with Russell Westbrook early and physical tussles with LeBron late), which is exactly what you expect from The Process.

 
In one sequence, Joel Embiid nailed a 3-pointer and then blocked Russell Westbrook.

BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY(?)

What we can say about Fergie’s soulful rendition of the national anthem that NBA Twitter (and the rest of humankind) haven’t already said?

 
Fergie's version of the national anthem drew some comments on social media.

LIVING LEGENDS ABOUND

One thing that never gets old during All-Star weekend is seeing the living legends of the game in the flesh, usually in groups and basically everywhere. And from the Legends Brunch to All-Star Saturday Night to Sunday’s game, the stars were out all over Los Angeles. No sport celebrates its rich history better than the NBA.

(From left) Jerry West, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal chat together.

'THE BROW' REPS FOR 'BOOGIE'

Anthony Davis represented the the right way for his All-Star New Orleans Pelicans teammate DeMarcus Cousins at the start of the game by wearing Boogie’s No. 0 jersey for Team LeBron. The Big Easy bromance between the superstar big men is real.

 
Anthony Davis finishes off the alley-oop from LeBron James.

 

NEW WAVE OF FUTURE STARS

Friday night’s Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars contest lived up to its billing, as the Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown headlined the game filled with some of the league’s most exciting young stars, several of whom could be making appearances on Sunday night in Charlotte next year and Chicago in 2020.

 
Team World ripped Team USA in the Mtn Dew Rising Stars game.

 

L.A. SHINES BRIGHT

As we mentioned, the city of Angels didn’t disappoint as the host for All-Star weekend and this marked the sixth time the league’s showcase event was held here. From the party scene that seemed to stretch all over the Southland to the concentration of stars that made the Staples Center, LA Live and the downtown area the epicenter of the basketball universe for the long weekend, LA delivered.

 
Kevin Garnett and the Area 21 crew had a blast at All-Star weekend.

 

SHOOTER’S PARADISE

For all of the great shooters who have captured the hardware over the years, none have ever done what Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker did to take home the JBL Three-Point Contest title Saturday night. Booker’s 28 points in his final round duel with Splash Brother and 2016 champion Klay Thompson was an event record. He knocked down a wicked 20 of his 25 shots in that monster final round. 

 
Devin Booker makes history with his performance in the JBL Three-Point Contest.

LEBRON AN MVP ON AND OFF COURT

The oldest player in Sunday’s game turned out to be the best on and off the court. LeBron James collected his third Kia All-Star Game MVP trophy on the strength of his near triple-double performance (29-points, 10 rebounds and eight assists). Some of his best work came in his response to a battle LeBron and his peers have been fighting all season. “Shut up and dribble,” as Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham suggested LeBron and Kevin Durant should do after they dared to discuss social and political issues in our current climate, was met with the ultimate clap back from the face of the league. His nuanced and eloquent words during Saturday’s media day session was the perfect response.

 
LeBron James responds to criticism of him using his platform to discuss social issues.

A STAR IS BORN ON SATURDAY NIGHT

If you didn’t know Donovan Mitchell’s name before State Farm All-Star Saturday night, you do now. The Utah Jazz rookie stole the show in the Verizon Slam Dunk contest, introducing himself to the world that doesn’t have NBA League Pass with a masterful performance in the event known for launching new stars. Mitchell’s use of family (his little sister Jordan), newfound friends (comedian Kevin Hart and his son) and history (Jazz dunk champ and legend Darrell Griffith/a Vince Carter Toronto Raptors jersey) proved timely. Mitchell out-dueled the Cleveland Cavaliers' Larry Nance Jr. for the title, securing the title with his ode to Carter on his final dunk.

 
Donovan Mitchell tops Larry Nance Jr. in the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk contest.

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Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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