Who won and lost at the NBA all star weekend?

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game has come and gone, with a weekend spent celebrating Kobe Bryant’s last season in the NBA culminating with a 196-173 win for his Western Conference team over the East.

There’s no better way to look back at the weekend that was than to decide who won and who lost. So, on to the scoreboard:

Winner: Russell Westbrook

No one is better built to perform in an All-Star Game than Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder star, with his overflowing combination of athleticism and personality, is the perfect player to take advantage of the stage the All-Star Game provides to put on a show.

He didn’t disappoint Sunday night, finishing with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals in picking up a second straight MVP award.

Loser: Carmelo Anthony

It was a rough weekend for Anthony, as the Knicks star spent the past three days answering a barrage of questions about his future, including a trade rumor floated by the New York Daily News that could see him joining up with LeBron James in Cleveland.

Then Anthony looked off throughout the game, finishing with 13 points and six rebounds while failing to convert on several passes from teammates – though, to be fair, they seemed to be trying to throw him alley-oop passes, which isn’t exactly part of his game. Anthony looked like he would’ve been better served taking the night off and resting his ailing knee.

He also somehow was tapped to introduce Sting at halftime, which was a pretty amusing scene to witness. Would love to know what Anthony’s favorite Sting song is.

Winner: Sting

Wait, what? I’m sure that’s the reaction of many to seeing this. How could Sting, whose performance was mostly met with a shrug, be seen as a winner from All-Star Weekend?

Well, here’s why: because before Sting was announced as the halftime act at this year’s All-Star Game, when was the last time he’d been discussed like this? Plus, his actual performance was pretty good, even though it was met by minimal acknowledgement from the crowd inside Air Canada Centre.

Let me get this straight: so Drake was in Toronto for all of All-Star Weekend, he was on the stage and took part in introductions before the game began but then couldn’t be the halftime act for the game itself?

It never made much sense that the Toronto native – who also serves as a “Global Ambassador” for the Raptors —  didn’t perform this weekend. Having him in the arena and sitting courtside during the game made it all the more confusing.

Winner: Paul George

A year ago, George missed this game while recovering from the broken leg he suffered in the summer of 2014 preparing to play for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup that fall.

George looked like someone trying to make up for lost time Sunday, putting on a fantastic show that saw him finish with 41 points on 16-for-26 shooting. It was a performance that would’ve earned him the MVP Award on most nights, and would’ve on this one if the East had found a way to win. Regardless, it’s the latest chapter in what’s been a fun story this season seeing George recapture his prior form.

Loser: Nelly Furtado

It’s hard to mess up the Canadian national anthem. But Furtado’s performance came about as close as you can to actually doing so.

The beauty of “O Canada” is the simplicity of the song – being in an arena and hearing the entire crowd sing along with whoever is performing it is always one of the coolest things about coming to a sporting event in Canada. But Furtado’s performance was so off that most people were instead trying to figure out what she was doing instead, which was a disappointment.

Winner: The Slam Dunk Contest

The demise of the Slam Dunk Contest has been endlessly debated for years, but the one-on-one battle between Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine and Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon was a truly spectacular showing by both players.

It was the kind of night – full of creativity and excitement from both players – that is what makes the dunk contest such a great event when it’s done well. Here’s to hoping this momentum can continue moving forward.

This was Toronto’s big chance to show itself off to the rest of the NBA, but it largely failed to thanks to something completely out of the city’s control: incredibly cold temperatures.

It was below freezing for practically the entire weekend, making it difficult for people to get around and, unfortunately, keeping many people from having the chance to experience a very cool city, one with plenty of culture to offer. With the success the Raptors have been having on the court, this won’t be Toronto’s last chance to take advantage of a significant opportunity like this, but it’s too bad the weather hampered the city’s efforts to leverage this one.

Winner: Michael Jordan

For all of the celebrating of Kobe Bryant, arguably the largest ovation of the night came when Jordan strode to center court as part of a presentation honoring his Charlotte Hornets as next year’s All-Star Game hosts.

Jordan may have stopped playing in the NBA 13 years ago, but even over a decade later he still remains the biggest star in the sport – a true testament to the way he and his career have resonated over the past 30 years.

Loser: Kobe Bryant

Sure, it was great that Bryant was feted on his way out as he should be, and he was fine in the game, finishing with 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

But let’s be honest: the only way this could truly be a storybook ending for Bryant would be to go out like Magic Johnson did on this same stage 20 years ago, and walk away with the game’s MVP trophy. The fact is Bryant’s body likely prevented him from making a serious run at it, but it was too bad he couldn’t muster up one more special performance.

 

 

 

 

 

-Washington Post

 

Kloe Kardashian parts ways with James Harden, Didn’t we see this coming?

Khloé Kardashian has one less man in her life. The reality star and her bae of several months, NBA baller James Harden, have officially called it quits, E! News confirms. Though Khloé and James managed to tough it out while she called off her divorce to care for estranged husband Lamar Odom, the time apart finally took its toll.

According to a source, “nothing really [bad] happened” between them. “They just barely saw each other the past few months and it died out.” Seems like it’s been over for a minute, too: Kardashian and Harden reportedly split “weeks ago,” despite the reality star confirming just last month that she and her man “are good.”

“James has been great. He’s been really supportive, really understanding,” Khloe said recently. “But I’ve been honest… I think it’s honest communication, just really being honest and hearing his feelings as well — what he’s comfortable with and what he’s not, and I have to respect that.”

Meanwhile, Lamar seems to be doing better than ever. Khloé recently Snapchatted videos of her and the former NBA player, who nearly died of an overdose last October. According to reports, Odom moved from Cedars Sinai Medical Center to a private rehab facility just after the new year, and has made such amazing progress in his treatment that he could be well enough to live independently within the next few months.

Now that she’s unattached, maybe it’s time for Khloé to make a move on.

 

 

 

-BET

Kobe Bryant announces his retirement

Kobe Bryant, who helped the Lakers win five NBA championships over a 20-year career spent entirely in Los Angeles, announced Sunday on The Players’ Tribune website that he will retire after this season, writing that “this season is all I have left to give.”

In a first-person story titled “Dear Basketball,” the 37-year-old wrote in the form of a poem that the sport “gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream/And I’ll always love you for it.”

“But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer,” Bryant wrote. “This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

“And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go.

A number of NBA players, other athletes and celebrities saluted the Mamba as he said goodbye.

Bryant scored 13 points on 4-of-20 shooting as the Lakers dropped the 107-103 decision for their sixth consecutive loss.

Scott said he was “shocked” when Bryant informed him Saturday night that he was going to announce his retirement the following day.

“He kind of shocked me when he told me,” Scott said. “[I’m] just sad more than anything. Just sad more than anything. Somebody who I truly care about, have a lot of respect for. I think it’s always hard when greatness like Kobe decides to hang it up.”

Bryant’s decision is not totally unexpected, given that he has said many times in recent weeks that he has considering making this season his last. After two decades, two Olympic gold medals, five championship rings, 17 All-Star selections, an 81-point game that ranks as the second-best in NBA history and more than 32,000 points, Bryant’s career is officially winding down.

“With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.

 

 

 

Source: ESPN

 

 

Hawks retire Mutombo’s number

The Atlanta Hawks retired Dikembe Mutombo’s No. 55 jersey Tuesday night to honor the longtime shot blocker’s Hall of Fame enshrinement.

Mutombo signed as a free agent in 1996 to make Atlanta the second stop on an 18-year career he spent with five other teams.

 ”I don’t think I ever thought my jersey would be retired,” Mutombo told reporters after his jersey was hung from the arena rafters in a halftime ceremony. ”My name will stay forever.”

The 7-foot-2 Mutombo was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time All-Star, and he ranks second on the league’s career blocked shots list and 20th in rebounds.

Through his foundation, Mutombo, 49, built a hospital that has served 140,000 in his native Congo. He twice won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award and now works for the league as a global ambassador.

Mutombo was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame two months ago.