As we bid another NBA All Star Weekend adieu but we can’t say it wasn’t eventful. There were celebs like Kevin Hart who got in on the act, players like Terrence Ross who wowed us and guys like Blake Griffin who did exactly what we’re used to them doing. ASW is about appreciating the game we love and the NBA giving the fans a few days of fun without worrying about stats, trades or standings.
This year’s game was also special because it landed on Michael Jordan’s birthday and his two most worthy disciples were the focal point of the last two minutes. On top of that, the point guard of his brand, Chris Paul, took home the MVP. For all the memories, here are the 5 Best Performances from the 2013 All Star Weekend.
No. 5 — Damian Lillard
Event: Skills Challenge
Sneaker: adidas Rose 3.5 “The Spark”
There are a few debates in the NBA that make sense. Like who’s the best scorer in the NBA: Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant? Or who’s the best player: LeBron, Kobe or KD? Usually the debates come down to about two, maybe three people and they’re fun for blogs and barbershops alike. But when the topic turns to who the best point guard is, just get up and leave the room. For one, there are too many options (Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, a healthy Derrick Rose and now, even the young Kyrie Irving) and even if you do narrow the list down to two or three, they all do so many different things that every time one has a better game than the other, twitter or some other “reliable source” anoints said point man king. Yes, the concensus is that Chris Paul is the current point-god, but let D. Rose come back banging like Blake Griffin and people will soon forget CP3. The new debate is who the best "young" point guard is and Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard lead the way for this one. Lillard helped his case this weekend by winning the NBA Skills Challenge on Friday Night wearing the adidas Rose 3.5. With the EVA midsole and the SPRINTWEB technology, Lillard controlled his quick movements around the obstacles, burst out of the gate for a good start and ultimately slammed home a dunk for his first (and probably not his last) piece of NBA hardware this year.
No. 4 — Kenneth Faried
Event: BBVA Rising Stars Challenge
Sneaker: adidas Crazy Fast “All Star”
If you looked at the list of NBA rookies and sophomores on both Team Chuck and Team Shaq prior to Friday night’s game, Kenneth Faried wouldn’t have been the early candidate for MVP. Not that he isn’t skilled or that he isn’t a fan favorite, but he’s a hardnosed hustle guy. Players like him make events like this out of respect and recognition for their body of work, but are expected to rebound and pass the ball to a guard or a scorer who can put on a show. However, the New Jersey native went out and won one for the blue-collar fan. Like Ben Wallace 2.0, Faried earned his MVP with crazy stats (40 points and 10 rebounds) in the adidas Crazy Fast. Faried helped lock in a W for Team Chuck by an homage of sorts to the Round Mound, who like MJ, also turns 50-years-old this week, by playing the game the right way. His way. Defense, rebounds and scoring in the paint. The Crazy Fast, with it’s synthetic leather upper and SPRINTWEB construction, is durable enough for him to play like a “MANimal.”
No. 3 — Kyrie Irving
Event: BBVA Rising Stars Challenge
Sneaker: Nike Lunar Hyperdunk 2012
What can we say about Kyrie Irving and the Hyperdunk 2012 that we haven’t already? Yes, a lot of Nike athletes wear the Hyperdunk 2012’s and yes, they’re the most warn shoe in the league, which makes it hard to really just declare him the Hyperdunk 2012 front man. But dammit, the kid keeps doing amazing-ass things in them. Aside from dropping 32 points, six assists and four boards on Team Chuck, he danced and dazzled his way to the top of the highlights on Friday. The latest victim of the tandem of Kyrie’s skill and the Nike Hyperdunk’s multidirectional traction pattern with pivot point? Brandon Knight. Enjoy.
No. 2 — Carmelo Anthony
Event: NBA All Star Game
Sneaker: Jordan Melo M9 “All Star”
Of all the top tier, elite level players with five years or better in the league, Carmelo Anthony is still a bit of a question mark. We never know which Melo is going to play. There are nights when he’s the best scorer on the planet and then times when he looks like he's lethargically going through the motions. To his credit, he’s turned it on this season and has settled in to a position of top 10 player, proving that last night with his statline of 26 points and 12 rebounds (the only other player aside from Chris Paul to record a double-double). Wearing the all star edition of his signature Jordan Melo 9’s, the New York Knicks leader was comfortable in his formfitting liner and FlyWire upper that gives supreme lockdown.
No. 1 — Chris Paul
Event: NBA All Star Game
Sneaker: Jordan CP3.VI “All Star”
Chris Paul reminded us all why we can’t just hand that regular season MVP trophy over to LeBron just yet. OK, we probably can but CP3 still deserves some consideration. He helped turn Lob Angeles into a legit title contender instead of simply an aerial show. He’s currenty leading the league in steals per game (2.59), is second in assists behind the sidelined Rajon Rondo (9.6) and controls game pace every time he wears the Red, White and Blue (Clippers or Team USA. Pick one). Rocking his All-Star edition signature Jordans, he outplayed the point guard dubbed next up, Kyrie Irving and the rest of the Eastern All Stars by scoring 20 points and passing out 15 assists. His Hyperfused upper provides a lightweight, yet sturdy and stable construction which allowed him to stay on the attack. But the real winner this weekend was the fans. Not just because we got to see CP3’s wizardry, but whenever Lil Chris is on T.V. the sports world wins.