All Star Saturday night is a weird and wonderful communal event that highlights the best and brightest as well as new talent aiming to break into the top tier. This evening was no different and despite hoards of commercials, the three event night moved at a brisk pace.
The opening event, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, featured our own Luka Doncic, looking adorably nervous in his debut for the evening:
Doncic faced off against Kyle Kuzma in round one in a surprisingly tense bout where Doncic edged Kuzma out just so.
What a round with Luka v Kuz pic.twitter.com/EaNEJSrh8I— Send Luka to the NBA lottery (@KirkSeriousFace) February 17, 2019
He fell to Trae Young in round two but not without trying some shenanigans
Jayson Tatum ended up winning on an incredible half court shot, but let’s face it, you’re not here for that. If we’re honest, Luka didn’t try that hard. In fact, this is a pretty good summary of how he looked on the evening:
Before heading to the three point contest, let’s look at Luka’s truly fantastic shoes for the evening. I want some please.
Luka Doncic is rocking a clean Kobe 4 Protro for the Skills Challenge.— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) February 17, 2019
Nike will be launching tons of new Kobe 4 colorways this year. pic.twitter.com/zaeu76rb0B
The expanded three point contest (up from 8 contestants to 10) is a different beast entirely, in terms of intensity. The Skills Challenge ends up being on where if one guy really wants it, just trying a little harder seems to make a difference. The three point contest is a skill and endurance competition. Expecting Dirk Nowitzki to get off 25 shots from five different racks in 60 seconds is a tall order. But people were rooting for Dirk nonetheless
If you choose anything other than (A) we are not friends https://t.co/YVyHUccli9— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 17, 2019
Considering his style of shooting is so different from the best sharp shooters today, Dirk performed really well.
Round one Dirk! Pretty solid! pic.twitter.com/DDpzxK1YXw— Send Luka to the NBA lottery (@KirkSeriousFace) February 17, 2019
But, despite scoring 17 in the opening round, it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the ridiculous shooting from the rest of the field. With only three players advancing to the final round, 25 points ended up being the elimination point. Still, let’s take another moment to admire greatness:
With Joe Harris, Buddy Hield, and Steph Curry advancing to the finals, fans witnessed truly absurd displays of shooting. Joe Harris outlasted Steph Curry, scoring 26 and claiming the three point crown.
Before we head to the dunk contest, it’s important to note this amazing piece of history:
I really wish I’d saved all my 90’s windbreakers.
The dunk contest featured no current Mavericks but I suspect many of our readers remain at least tangentially invested in Dennis Smith Jr., who entered the contest for the second straight year.
With his first dunk he finally nailed this awesome attempt on the third try, scoring 45 points:
Smith then had this brilliant dunk to advance to the second round:
But then Hamidou Diallo responded with this and broke my brain:
Hamidou Diallo dunk over Shaq +elbow in the rim pic.twitter.com/42cZ2eg3hf— gifdsports (@gifdsports) February 17, 2019
Dennis Smith was unable to execute his first dunk of the final round and somehow achieved a perfect 50 for his second attempt, despite taking 5-6 attempts.
Hamidou Diallo though, built up enough of a lead with his earlier dunk over Shaq that he would not be denied the dunk championship.
A fun night, with lots of Maverick participation. We’ll see you all tomorrow for Dirk’s final All Star game.