All-Star Saturday in New Orleans this year was not the most eventful, but this being the NBA, there were still plenty of highlights from the three-point shootout, Slam Dunk Contest, Paul Pierce somehow still needing two phones to take photos and record videos in the year 2017, and of course, Kyrie Irving's revelation that he believes the Earth is flat.
Below are the highlights from this year's festivities.
Kristaps Porzingis has got skills
The NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Competition, featuring an obstacle course with an emphasis on dribbling, passing and three-point shooting, came down to two seven-footers: Porzingis and Nikola Jokic. On the bright side, the Knicks won something. On the not-so-bright side, we might not be saying that for awhile:
Eric Gordon outduels Kyrie
The Rockets are on pace to break a bunch of three-point shooting records this season, so it made sense that one of their guards, Gordon, would outduel Kyrie Irving to win the three-point shootout:
But, really, all anyone still wanted to talk about on Saturday was the revelation that Irving believes the Earth is flat. LeBron said he was OK with Irving saying that because that's his little brother, even interrupting his own media availability on Saturday to joke with his point guard about it:
lebron interrupts his interview to ask kyrie if the earth is flat pic.twitter.com/Z7rjtZH52p- nbaayy (@nbaayy) February 18, 2017
Draymond Green weighed in as well, and now I'm officially worried how many NBA players believe the Earth is flat.
Uh oh: Draymond is a Flat Earth/Kyrie Truther. pic.twitter.com/icJThyG7hx- The Crossover (@TheCrossover) February 18, 2017
The flat Earth discussion even reached commissioner Adam Silver's press conference on Saturday. Silver joked that Irving "might have taken some different courses than I did," adding that Irving could have been making a larger social commentary about the fake news discussion that has dominated mainstream media conversations as it relates to President Trump. Silver also confirmed that he personally believes the Earth is round. Yay?
NBA stars helped raise $500,000 for the Sager Strong Foundation
Earlier in the day, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced it was awarding Craig Sager (along with New York Times reporter Harvey Araton) the 2017 Curt Gowdy Media Award. Sager passed away in December at the age of 65 after a long battle with leukemia.
On Saturday, after the three-point shootout, Ernie Johnson rounded up a long list of current and former basketball stars and celebrities including James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Reggie Miller, Candace Parker, Michael B. Jordan, Anthony Anderson, DJ Khaled, Irving, Gordon and Kemba Walker to raise a total of $500,000 for the Sager Strong Foundation.
The final basket came on a layup from Craig Sager's son with an assist from Shaquille O'Neal:
It was a fitting tribute to one of the best television personalities and human beings to have ever been involved with the sport of basketball.
DJ Khaled might have won All-Star Saturday night
In twenty years, I might only remember DJ Khaled when I think of 2017 All-Star Saturday night. His day started with him waiting in line with a bunch of kids as they waited to shoot hoops with Chris Paul at a basketball clinic:
He participated in a three-point free-for-all shootout to raise funds for the Sager Strong Foundation and made one of his shots, which means this is an undisputed fact from All-Star Saturday night:
dj khaled hit more threes than steph curry on all star Saturday- alex (@steven_lebron) February 19, 2017
It was a banner night for Khaled, or as he would say: another one.
Also, neither DJ Khaled or Fat Joe can pronounce Giannis Antetokounmpo:
Fat Joe and DJ Khaled can't pronounce Giannis Antetokounmpo's last name �� pic.twitter.com/dYqSPDYPc6- FootBasket.com (@FootBasket) February 18, 2017
But, if we're being honest, Paul Pierce won the night
Paul Pierce needs two phones to tweet one emoji...�� pic.twitter.com/TbgIOfpDvK- Thomas Duffy (@TJDhoops) February 19, 2017
Glenn Robinson III won the Slam Dunk Contest
Many people might have expected a showdown between Aaron Gordon and DeAndre Jordan in the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday, but Gordon, who put together an electrifying runner-up performance last year against Zach LaVine, failed to get out of the first round which included a forgettable drone-assisted dunk which took multiple attempts to execute, sucking the air out of what was a much anticipated event for the Magic forward:
Instead, the night belonged to Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III and Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr, who had spectacular dunks throughout:
Glenn Robinson earns the first 5️⃣0️⃣ of the night with this gem �� pic.twitter.com/idZ520YBcW- SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) February 19, 2017
Derrick Jones Jr. clears four teammates in the first round �� pic.twitter.com/dVZ4eqwD8K- SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) February 19, 2017
"I couldn't dunk until my sophomore year in high school," Robinson III said afterwards. "Not even a decade later, I won an NBA Dunk Contest. Going into this, I hadn't really practiced any trick dunks. I hadn't really got time. I focused on playing. I focused on starting and playing to the best of my ability. When they gave me this chance, it took me a week to come up with some things that nobody's ever seen in the NBA dunk contest. It was tough."
After last year's showdown between LaVine and Gordon, there was no way this year's field could have matched those theatrics. File the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest under the mostly forgettable category and re-start those conversations about raising the prize money to entice the biggest names in the game to get involved for next year.
Anyway, this was probably the best moment from Saturday:
It's been an awkward All-Star weekend for KD. �� pic.twitter.com/cxhmiqrQup- NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 19, 2017