NBA All-Star Weekend: Shooting Stars (Part 1)

Janie Octia
The Score

By Patricia Bermudez-Hizon
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia

The NBA All-Star Weekend was jam packed with sensational events, highlights at every stop, and poster worthy moments at every corner.

There was one reason why the Rookies had numerous jaw dropping above the rim moments on All-Star Friday night.  Apart from having young guns over eager to show their springs, and the fact that it wasn't really an organized game as it was more of a throw down contest, they had John Wall.  He set up Blake Griffin good had dished out the leather for many other entertaining finishes.  Wall conspired with former Kentucky University teammate DeMarcus Cousins who ended with 33 points and 17 rebounds.   Wall ended up as the event's MVP with his record breaking 22 assists, 5 more than Chris Paul's 2007 record, helping the Rookies win 148-140.

The next day they had the Shooting Stars where they pool together a current NBA player, a former NBA player and a current WNBA player from the same city.  With team Texas trying to defend its 2010 crown, they came in as the favorites.  But this year team Atlanta, comprised of WNBA Coco Miller, former Hawk turned TV analyst Steve Smith and Al Horford who sank the half court shot on the team's 18th attempt, won the event.

Steve Nash wasn't around to defend his title but before the Skill's Challenge, most were pegging the Bull's Derrick Rose (2009's winner), the Hornets' Chris Paul and the Wizards' John Wall to lord over the obstacle.  But Oklahoma's Russel Westbrook and Golden State's Stephen Curry were the two to beat.  The others seemed not so enthused, like CP3 who had no chance after missing his layup.  With a time of 28.2 in the final round, Curry was the finest in the challenge and even won a $30,000 scholarship grant for a lucky NBA fan.

In the three point shoot out, Los Angeles fans seemed at ease booing Paul Pierce who was out to defend his 2010 title. Although fellow Celtic Rey Allen was also on the court, it was just Pierce who felt the hostility in Staples.  And he's from Inglewood for crying out loud!  Then again, they hate that one of their own wears a Celtic green.

But in that contest, it wasn't about the (lack of ) love Pierce was getting or the momentum Allen was riding on with the record he set in the NBA.  It was about James Jones.  He wasn't exactly the first to come to mind when it comes to South Beach gunners, but he certainly packed some Heat, especially in the finals against two certified gunners from Boston.  Jones' 20 points in the contest got two of the best in the league beat.  And that's the bigger story.

Photo by AP/Matt Sayles