West All Star Blake Griffin (32) shoots past East All Star LeBron James (6) in the finals minute of the NBA All-Star Game at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, Sunday, February 26, 2012. photo/MCTCampus

Bustling traffic and long lines of tourists crowded the epicenter of the 2012 All Star Weekend.

For the second time, Orlando hosted one of the biggest trademark events of the National Basketball Association. The weekend began Friday, Feb. 24 with the Rising Stars Challenge at the Amway Center.

The event featured famous sports commentators and retired NBA players Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. The two commentators formed teams (Team Chuck and Team Shaq) with the rookie players of the NBA. Team Shaq featured New York Knicks Jeremy Lin and Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin. While Team Chuck had Indiana Pacers Paul George and Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving, who won Most Valuable Player of the game, Irving had a total of 34 points and a perfect 8 for 8 three point shots. Team Chuck dominated Team Shaq 146-133.

The All Star Saturday Night featured the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. The NBA Players participating in the Taco Bell challenge received the opportunity to help teenagers win a chance at a scholarship. San Antonio Spurs Tony Parker took first place with Boston Celtics player Rajon Rondo in second and New Jersey Nets Deron Williams in third.

At the Footlocker Three-Point Contest, Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Love took first place and Oklahoma City Thunder player Kevin Durant, came in second. The Slam Dunk Contest featured four different players who came up with creative techniques to dunk a basketball; viewers were able to vote on who executed the dunk creatively. After competing in two rounds, Utah player James Evans won the contest by jumping over two of his fellow teammates in the first round with a camera attached to his headband in round two that allowed the audience to see the dunk from his perspective.

The anticipated All Star Sunday brought in star basketball players from all over the nation. The East team included stars such as Miami Heat’s LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, and Orlando Magic player Dwight Howard. The West Team included Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.

“The players didn’t play any defense until the fourth quarter, the players were just shooting highlight shots. It was exciting seeing the East come back, if the last shot would’ve been made the game could have gone into overtime, it would’ve been exciting,” sophomore Madison Nagle said.

Before the game Nicki Minaj made a surprise appearance and Mary J. Blige sang the national anthem. During halftime, Pitbull performed alongside Chris Brown and Ne-Yo. By the end of the game, however, the West took the victory, winning 152-149.

“[My favorite part about the All Star Game was] seeing all the best players in the game and watching the East come back [in the fourth quarter]” sophomore William Mateer said.

Fans were able to vote for their MVP pick for the game by texting the NBA on ESPN or voting online. Durant took the title, winning MVP for the first time, with 36 points during the game.  Bryant starred in his 13th All Star Game and along with breaking his nose, broke the scoring record for most All Star game scoring with a total of 271 points, breaking Michael Jordan’s record of 262 points.

Despite the high-ticket prices to the events at the Amway Center, fans were able to attend the All Star Jam Session at the Orlando Convention Center for $35, where several basketball players made appearances throughout the event.

Fans were able to enjoy the basketball players at a close distance throughout the entire weekend. Celebrities also populated the city by visiting local eateries, gyms and malls. Sean Combs hosted several parties and artists Drake and Lil Wayne made appearances around the city.

Although not officially announced, analyst believe it added around $100 million to the local economy.

By admin

I love WP, Online Learning, Podcasting, Microsoft Office Applications, Video editing software, I can train on Mac OS X or Windows operating system, Web Design Software, Pasco Science probeware, iOS Devices, Web 2.0 Applications, Blogging

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *