The State Farm All-Star Saturday Night is the combination of four events, starting with the Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and culminating with the Sprite Slam Dunk. Should be fun. But who comes up with these names? It's like they took a page out of the college football bowl system and just tossed together random corporations in hopes it sticks. There's nothing as bad as the Beef O' Brady's Bowl, though.
D-League All-Star Game
Don't discount the D-League Slam Dunk contest either as that has been very entertaining the past couple years. There aren't too many noticeable college stars on here—like you'd expect from a league that grooms many in-between players—unless you're a college hoops junkie but there's talent littering both rosters. Santa Cruz's Travis Leslie is also in the game so if you miss some GSW D-League action, check it out.
Plus, Marcus Landry (Carl's brother) is playing too. Wonder if he has any underhand reverse layup finishes under his sleeve like his brother.
2013 Sears Shooting Stars
Quick look at the rules—for the two of you that care:
I'm not actually sure who watches this but the half-court shot is always fun to watch, if you really need your basketball fix on an early Saturday evening.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Jrue Holiday—EVERYBODY IN THE EAST IS AN ALL-STAR.
Brandon Knight—please don't do this today, Brandon.
Jeff Teague—I've got nothing.
Damian Lillard—rather just watch him shoot step-back threes all day long.
Jeremy Lin—have to get that hometown guy in there.
There's dribbling, there's passing, and there's definitely shooting. Parker is the reigning champ here but I have a sneaky feeling Lin will take this one for the home crowd.
2013 Sprite Slam Dunk
That's it. We're going home.
Oh, the contestants.
Gerald Green—can blow out candles while dunking so he's definitely eating one while up there this time.
Terrence Ross—might not even be the first or second best dunker on his own team (Rudy Gay and Demar Derozan).
Eric Bledsoe—might be a Celtic by the end of the day.
Jeremy Evans—reigning champion but no one seems to know or care about this.
Kenneth Faried—will definitely win a Most-Dunks-Per-Minute contest.
Every year people whine about how bad the dunk contest is and bemoan the fact that great players like LeBron James and Russell Westbrook refuse to participate. And then everyone watches it anyways. As long as Nate Robinson isn't still trying to dunk on his 50th try, this should be fun.
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest
Perhaps the most entertaining of all the competitions every year. Because simply put, you can't screw this thing up. You put six of the best shooters in an NBA stocked with some of its best in a while, sit back, and watch them stroke.
There's Kyrie Irving, shooting 42.5 percent this year.
There's Paul George, a candidate for Most Improved and shooting 38.6 percent this season.
There's Steve "Novacane" Novak, shooting an absurd 44.7 percent this season.
For the West, there's another set-shot shooter in Ryan Anderson, shooting 40.2 percent this season.
Another set-shot Buford in Matt Bonner, the Red Rocket, shooting 44.6 percent this year.
And finally, there is this man.
Good night, Houston. Sleep well to the gentle sound of threes raining down.