If the NBA is known for anything nowadays, it’s drama and showmanship. There is still a level of competition, but nothing embodies the true nature of the NBA like All-Star weekend. The Dunk Contest, the fashion, the flashy offense (and lack of defense) are a cage match and live reptile short of a WWF event. As All-Star Weekend approach, there are a few stories everyone should be keeping their eyes on.
- The Lakers and Lonzo Ball
All-Star Weekend is in Los Angeles, and Magic Johnson will do all he can to show off his city to everyone, especially those entering free agency after this season. Johnson has been vocal to a fault about his desire to sign LeBron James and Paul George, and told reporters that after moving Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. that the Lakers were in position to sign two superstars. Yesterday, however, Magic and Rob Pelinka were thrown quite the curveBall after Mr. Inhibition Lavar Ball said the following:
“(If NBA teams don’t sign LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball) Lonzo is not going to re-sign with the Lakers but will go to any team that will take all of my three boys. That’s my plan.”
Set aside the infuriating fact that a father is dictating the career of his adult son, this is certainly big news for the Lakers. Do they look to move Lonzo, or do they simply ignore Lavar and continue to build with their point guard? If they’re looking to move Lonzo, this weekend will be crucial in doing so.
2. Kyrie Irving and LeBron
After demanding a trade to get out of Cleveland, Irving has had a spectacular start in Boston this year. Amidst excessive speculation, LeBron chose Irving to join him on his All-Star team, and the two will take the court together. It’s basically an exact repeat of the Kevin Durant – Russell Westbrook drama from last year (both of whom are on the same team again this year, BTW), but that won’t stop the media from cataloging every second of interaction these two stars have.
3. Donovan Mitchell in the Dunk Contest
Ever since the Aaron Gordon – Zach LaVine matchup a few years ago, the Dunk Contest has been looking for something to blow fans’ minds. Donovan Mitchell is a younger version of Russell Westbrook, whom we never got to see in the Dunk Contest. It’s a solid lineup all around, but Mitchell will light it up. If you want to see something REALLY crazy, look up local Utah media immediately before and after the Dunk Contest. It’s shocking.
4. A 200-point Performance
For years, the All-Star Game has hovered in the high 100s. In 2016, the Western Conference scored 196 points. This year, with the players perhaps as loose as they’ve ever been on defense, the score may climb slightly higher. In a game where blocking shots is arbitrarily forbidden, the score could easily climb above 200 points with plenty of flash to go along with it.
Stay tuned and check out what the All-Star Game has in store this year.