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The Downbeat #2037: All-Star Friday Night Recap!

The good, the bad, and the very ugly from Friday night

NBA: Rising Stars Challenge-U.S. vs World Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA All-Star Weekend is a go! The Utah Jazz players are doing stuff! Let’s break down what happened last night!

Okay, so yesterday the All-Star Weekend events started. There was the All-Star Media availability, the Celebrity Game, and of course the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Gordon Hayward got to experience part of the show:

And the feeling of having ‘made it’ as well.

It’s a long-time coming for someone who was, honestly, kind of snubbed the year before. And it’s a validation of his on court growth and performance.

Hell, I know if there was an All-Star team for sports bloggers out there I’d want to make it. Someone as competitive as G-Time worked hard for this. And I’m glad he’s getting a chance to participate in all the media events he can handle right now.

Here he is talking to Aussie media about Joe Ingles and Dante Exum!

And here talking with Puerto Rican media (briefly)!

Hayward has All-Star practice (Noon eastern on NBA TV) today, and then will be a part of the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night (on TNT starting at 8 pm eastern). There he will be a part of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge . . . but the show and spectacle is all secondary to the game. And the All-Star game is on Sunday, at 8 pm eastern on TNT.

Gordon isn’t getting a lot of free time to rest this weekend, but I think he isn’t going to complain. He’s a star now. The responsibilities (and expectations) are higher. And that’s exactly what he wants.

The Rising Stars Challenge was a challenge to watch. It’s not good basketball, mainly because everyone involved knows it’s an exhibition and no one wants to get hurt. It’s like the All-Star game itself in that regard, but somehow with less defense. The 150-141 Final Score in a 40 minute, two half game should prove my point.

It’s a great game if you love three pointers. Team USA hoisted up 44 of 97 total FGA as three pointers, and The World Team took 51 of their total 107 shots as threes as well. All together that was 95 three pointers attempted, being about 47% of all the shots taken. The only players who did not attempt a three were Jahlil Okafor and Willy Hernangomez. Jamal Murray (14), Frank Kaminsky (13), Buddy Hield (12), and Devin Booker (8) attempted the most shots from outside. That quartet shot 24/47 (51.1%), but it was mostly carried by Frank and Jamal who both shot in the mid to high 60%s. There were a lot of misses, is what I’m saying, despite the high score.

Comparatively the Jazz guys, Exum and Lyles, were relatively subdued with their gunnery — going 2/8 from outside and 8/17 from the field in aggregate. But it was just supposed to be for fun, and it kind of was . . .

. . . and watch him wax poetic about playing with guys his own age. (Heavy Homer Simpson Whisper Voice: He’s talking about you Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw!) Also, this is a necessary explanation of his shoes.

No one uploaded any interviews with Trey Lyles, so here’s him dunking last night:

Woo! At the end of the day, this exhibition is a fun way for these guys to play around. Also, more importantly, it puts them in the ‘NBA will advance your career’ pipeline by being a part of the shows that make them money. Utah kind of has a thing going on with so many international players on the team right now. Getting them in high visibility exhibitions helps the franchise.

I did not watch the Celeb game, so I can’t really comment on it, but here’s a video:

The real question is a) can you name more than 4 of the Celebs who played last night (before watching that video); and b) which Celebs would you want to see in this exhibition?

So the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving believes that the Earth is Flat.

Nah, for reals:

Let us not forget that this man was born in Australia, and if he cared, he could have actually seen the rotation of the earth, as a globe, during his travel to America. Of course, at the risk of sounding like we’re always too one sided here at SLC Dunk — here’s the other side of the argument via

Enjoy. Probably more entertaining than the Celebrity Game anyway. (Here’s the link to that search.)

The first rule of the internet is that people on the internet are crazy. CBS Sports listed the Top 50 NBA players of All-Time, and people are complaining that John Stockton is too high.

Apparently Kevin Durant is better, despite being a coward.