NBA All-Star Game 2014 Notebook
Kyrie Irving Gets A MVP Trophy Holding Lesson From LeBron
He can cross up defenders and drive to the basket flawlessly. But Kyrie Irving needed some help when he was awarded this year's All-Star MVP trophy after leading the East to victory over the West, 163-155.
Irving, a two-time All-Star and first-time starter, recorded 31 points and 14 assists to help the East rebound from an 18 point deficit. An awesome stat line, but in Irving's moment of accepting the award, he didn't know what to do. That's when LeBron James, and few other All-Stars, stepped in with the assist to give the 21-year-old some guidance: Raise the trophy high above your head.
"I just wanted him to have his moment," James said afterward. "[It] seemed like he didn't know what to do, and I just wanted to try to give him a little tip. I'm extremely proud for him to receive this award. It's big time."
Pharrell Rocks the House
There was no better way to start the 2014 NBA All-Star game than with one of the "happiest" singers around—Pharrell!
The mastermind behind the Despicable Me soundtracks performed a medley of his most popular songs while sharing the stage with his own musical All-Star lineup. Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dogg), Diddy, Nelly, and Busta Rhymes all joined the "Happy" singer to get fans at the Smoothie King Center hyped and introduce both conference teams. Before the performance was over, Pharrell's newly-signature oversized hat made an appearance (this time it was a red fedora – he wore a brown one at last month's Grammys). The hat may give off a park ranger vibe, but it was one of the coolest accessories spotted on the stage.
Dunk Contest Part 2
LeBron James stuffed the basket with back-to-back jams to open last night's big game. Blake Griffin responded with a few of his own, and the first quarter became one big highlight reel of powerful uncontested dunks that set the tone for the high-scoring game. Windmills and alley-oops sum up what these two were doing, and the fans loved every minute of it. Griffin threw down seven dunks on his way to 18 first-quarter points (he finished with 38), which was two shy of the most points scored in an All-Star quarter.
And speaking of all that scoring: 318. That's how many points (combined) were scored in the 2014 All-Star game. Despite the lack of defense, both teams nailed shots that made the contest the best offensive showing in history. Carmelo Anthony set a record with eight made three-pointers. Blake Griffin erased the record for made field goals, sinking 19 of them – not all of them were dunks! – and Kevin Durant broke the record for most three-point attempts, recording 17 tries.
Happy Birthday, Bill Russell!
Last week, NBA legend Bill Russell celebrated his 80th birthday. Russell, who has the most NBA championships as a player (11), was serenaded with the birthday song by the sellout arena crowd during a first half timeout. Immediately after the song, All-Stars from both teams wished the former Boston Celtics center a happy birthday. No singing from the players, though. They decided to keep their day jobs.
All-Star Star Wattage
NBA celebrity fans like All-Star Saturday Night host Nick Cannon, comedian Kevin Hart, and rapper Drake were in the crowd to watch the league's biggest stars hoop in the annual exhibition game. Some of them stuck around to congratulate the Eastern Conference winners. Drake, a Toronto Raptors ambassador, doled out a congratulatory hug to LBJ right outside the All-Star locker room. I'm sure Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan received one, too. Hugs for everyone!
What was your favorite moment from the 2014 NBA All-Star Game? Let us know in the comments section below!
Photos: Bruce Yeung/NBAE via Getty Images, Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images, Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images, Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images