Saturday, February 13, 2010

All-Star Saturday Night 2010 winners

steve nash paul pierce nate robinson nba all star saturday 2010
(Nash, Pierce, Robinson shine on All-Star Saturday)

Dunkers, sharpshooters and skilled ballers all arrived in Dallas for Saturday night. That's when the NBA stars of the past, present and future make their way onto the courts for NBA All-Star Saturday. The annual events include the All-Star Skills Challenge, 3 Point Shootout and the crowning of a new Slam Dunk champion.

Haier Shooting Stars contest

The Haier Shooting Stars contest kicked off the events, where teams of three players from different cities competed in a timed shooting event which required shots from different spots on the court. The teams consisted of a current WNBA player from that city, an NBA player from the city and then a former player as well. This year's teams included Los Angeles (Marie Ferdinand-Harris, Brent Barry & Pau Gasol), Atlanta (Angel McCoughtry, Steve Smith & Joe Johnson), Sacramento (Nicole Powell, Chris Webber & Tyreke Evans) and the hometown Texas squad (Becky Hammon, Kenny Smith & Dirk Nowitski). In the early going of the contest, two former players hit half court shots for their teams (Brent Barry, Steve Smith). LA had the time to beat of 1:00 minute flat in the early round. Team Sacramento had to beat a time of 1:47 and just did so by 1 second on Nicole Powell's half court shot. Kenny Smith's half court shot made the third by a former player/TNT analyst in the opening round. LA & Texas advanced to the finals where the Texas team finished in an impressive 34 seconds behind some sharpshooting including a Dirk Nowitski half court shot. The Dallas fans were definitely pleased with the win.

Taco Bell Skills Challenge

(Nash's pinpoint passing comes in handy for Skills challenge)

In the Taco Bell skills challenge, last year's champion Derrick Rose sat out this year's contest due to a nagging injury. Taking his place was Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Also competing were Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash, the 2005 winner, and Derron Williams, the 2008 winner, which is just the way things worked out for the finals of the challenge. Steve Nash put up a time to beat of 29.9 to open the finals, putting the heat on 2008 champion Derron Williams. Williams messed up one of the final 2 passes that went in and out. It took him several more tries after that to get the pass through the hoop, giving Steve Nash the 2010 Skills Challenge victory.

After an intro from Alonzo Mourning and Dwyane Wade, as well as a video message from former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton it was a special halftime performance. Grammy Award-winning recording artist and Dallas native Erykah Badu performed her rendition of the James Taylor classic "You've Got a Friend" at halftime to represent the spirit of the NBA cares program.

Foot Locker Three-Point contest

2010 nba 3 point champion paul pierce
(Pierce leaves the Dallas arena as 3-Point Champion)

This year's 3-Point contest competitors featured the likes of Paul Pierce, Channing Frye, Danilo Gallinari of the Knicks, Chauncey Billups, rookie Stephan Curry, and the defending-champ Daequan Cook of the Miami Heat. Defending champion Daquean Cook was eliminated early as Stephan Curry put up a score of 18, while Chauncey Billups and Pierce both had 17's. Pierce and Billups had a mini-shootout between the two to determine Curry's opponent for the finals, with Pierce getting a score of 20 to make the it. Curry and Pierce faced off for the crown, with Pierce's scoring of 20 besting Curry's score of 17. The commentators were surprised by Pierce's victory, despite him being the top scorer for Boston as they said he's not generally known for 3-point shooting. Pierce said he feels he's one of the better shooters in NBA history.

2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest

nate robinson 2010 nba dunk contest winner
(Robinson makes 2010 dunk history, 3-time winner)

The main event most years is the Slam Dunk contest. This year the defending champion Nate Robinson looked for a repeate as he battled Gerald Wallace, Shannon Brown of the Lakers, and the first-ever "Dunk-in" winner DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors. The "Dunk-in" was a contest held at halftime of the Rookies vs. Sophomores game between DeRozan and the Clippers Eric Gordon. Each did a variety of dunks and fans were able to text in their votes for whose dunks they preferred with DeRozan getting the nod.

In the dunk contest, each contestant got two minutes for each of their 2 dunks in the first round, with the top two scorers advancing. Dunks were judged by a panel of five judges consisting of former NBA players, several of whom won the dunk contest before. Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Derek Harper, Dominique Wilkins and Spudd Webb were the judges for the 2010 dunk contest. In the final round, fans were able to vote via text message or

DeMar Rozan's windmill dunk from his teammate Sonny Weems' bounce pass off the side of the backboard wowed the judges enough to get the first perfect 50 score of the night to move him forward into the next round with a 92. The defending champion and crowd favorite Nate Robinson also advanced with a two round score of 89.

The 2010 dunk contest may not have held too many thrills, but thanks to the fans, Nate Robinson repeated as Slam Dunk champion with 51% of the vote going in his favor. Robinson may have won it with his use of props including the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. After his finals dunk, which was a double clutch reverse dunk, he grabbed a set of pom poms to celebrate, getting the Dallas crowd revved up. Nate posed with his trophy in front of the Cowgirls to celebrate his victory.

See Nate Robinson's winning dunk here

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