Terrance Ross' between-the-legs dunk over a toddler eventually led him to winning the crown.
James White teased us all night with athleticism, but couldn't hammer most of his dunks home.
Kyrie Irving was just unfair in the final round of the 3-Point Shootout, scoring 23 out of a possible 30 to defeat Matt Bonner.
All photos taken by Abdullah Sharif.
All-Star Saturday Night Recap
The stage was set at the Toyota Center in Houston last night for one of the most anticipated nights in basketball with a realm of talent ready to show off their skills in the All-Star Saturday Night challenge.
Unfortunately for the fans in attendance, it took until the championship round in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest to draw any rouse.
Everything culminated when Terrence Ross jumped over a child (who he told reporters was actually the son of the owner of Twitter) and went between his legs to seal his first Slam Dunk Championship. But it took a while for the main event to get going. Many of the contestants were having trouble completing their dunks in the allotted amount of time as the crowd witnessed two non-completed individual rounds, and two other dunks that were just slammed in due to time running out.
It was a pretty thin crowd at the arena, but the culmination of the event between Terrence Ross and Jeremy Evans finally got the crowd going as the two of them upped the creativity in their attempts and thankfully saved what looked to be a contest that was falling to pieces.
Evans found his creativity in the final round, as well, by dunking over a painting of himself dunking. He revealed the artwork after completing the dunk, which thankfully was stuffed on his first attempt.
I’d be remiss to not mention the other highlight of the night in the three-point shootout that saw an unbelievable performance from Kyrie Irving in the final round. Irving ended up facing Matt Bonner in the finals and had a performance that was only two points shy of the all-time record. The Red Mamba kept it close, but couldn’t pull it out on the final two rounds. Steve Novak, arguably the favored winner in the contest, couldn’t even make it out of the first round.
New to the lineup was the new form of scoring. The NBA modeled it so that it ended up being an East versus West contest on top of having individual winners. The point system was rather..pointless, however, because there were still individuals crowned in each competition. They announced the winner, (Team West), but at this point in the night, the crowd had already mostly diminished.
All-Star Saturday night didn’t feel like it used to. No matter what the players say post-game or what the commentators and the NBA try and focus on, it’s just not the same without NBA All-Stars performing in NBA All-Star Saturday night. When you look back at the history of the Slam Dunk contest, fans remember Jordan, Dr. J and Vince Carter, all who were household names in the NBA. No fan in ten years is going to look back and say, “Remember when Terrence Ross dunked over that kid?”
While the grand finale tonight, the All-Star Game, is not going to disappoint, the NBA and it’s players need to make sure that All-Star Saturday Night doesn’t disappoint again next year. They need the bigger names to get back into these contests, because if not, the New Orleans Arena may see a lot of empty seats again on All-Star Saturday Night.