The NBA All-Star Weekend tipped-off in extraordinary fashion, with a Skills Challenge featuring some of the game’s brightest young stars, a Three-Point Contest that came down to the wire, and the most exciting Slam Dunk Contest the game has seen in decades.
The big winner of Friday and Saturday’s festivities was Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The second-year player was named the MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge and won his second-straight Slam Dunk Contest. But what shined nearly as bright as his play on the court were the sneakers he outplayed the competition in. LaVine hit the hardwood in the Nike Air Foamposite One “Northern Lights” on Friday and the Nike Hyperdunk 2015 Low on Saturday.
But LaVine’s Slam Dunk Contest win didn’t come without controversy. Although he had some electrifying dunks, his opponent – Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic – arguably landed the better dunks. Gordon entered the competition wearing the Nike Zoom HyperRev 2016.
The Three-Point Contest featured what could be labeled an upset (but didn’t feel much like one) with Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson beat out the reigning contest champion (and teammate) Stephen Curry. The sharpshooter scored 27 in the final round of the competition in the Anta KT 1, beating out his fellow “Splash Brother” Curry (wearing the Under Armour Curry Two Low “Energy”) who dropped 23 points.
Karl-Anthony Towns, the Nike-sponsored Timberwolves rookie, topped the competition Friday in the Skills Challenge. The Minnesota big man – wearing the Nike Hyperfuse 2014 – beat out a field that featured Emmanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets, DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics, and Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers.
But the pros that hit the court weren’t the only ones to wear some heat. Win Butler of the indie rock band Arcade Fire – who won the Celebrity All-Star Game’s MVP – played in the yellow and black high Nike Kobe X Elite.