By MATHIEU WETMORE
Only the players can say they are happy the 2016 NBA All-Star weekend is over, as they finally get to leave the cold Toronto weather to continue training with their respective teams. After spending the weekend watching the top 24 basketball players in the world, NBA fans have to anxiously wait for next year’s All-Star weekend before they can relive it all over again.
From the “Splash Brothers’” three-point shoot out to Zach LaVine’s entertaining victory in the dunk contest, there is no better way to look back on the memorable weekend than to honor the winners and losers.
Russell Westbrook: The Oklahoma City guard did not disappoint Sunday night. Westbrook took full advantage of the All-Star stage in showcasing his talents, by finishing with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals in picking up a second straight MVP award.
Paul George: After missing last year’s event George was determined to make up for the lost time. If the East had won the game, there is no way George wouldn’t have been crowned the MVP. He finished with a whopping 41 points on the night, one point away from tying Wilt Chamberlain’s record for most points in an All-Star.
The Dunk contest: Whether or not you agree with the outcome, this year’s dunk contest will be remembered as one of the best in recent times. Zach LaVine’s and Aaron Gordon’s combined performance raised the bar and took the dunk contest to unprecedented heights. Minnesota’s LaVine eventually won the contest when he pulled off a between-the-legs slam from the free throw line.
The Three-Point Contest: This weekend, Klay Thompson was able to do what few teams have accomplished this season: beat Steph Curry. For the first time in NBA history, the title was passed along from one teammate to another. If the “Splash Brothers” can stay this hot, few teams can stop the Warriors from winning it all again this summer.
LOSERS (kind of):
Jimmy Butler: Chicago’s guard wasn’t healthy enough to play this weekend, but imagine if he had been able to. Jimmy Buckets was on fire before he got injured, so fans can only imagine how his talent would have affected the All-Star game.
Tim Duncan: Who’s to say that Duncan will return and play next season? It would have been nice to see the five-time NBA champion retire as a 2016 All-Star.