Second Night of All-Star Weekend: Just Dunks?

Scott McGrathCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2009

The second night of the All-Star weekend is, in my opinion, one of the most popular nights of the year.

Featuring some of the most exciting players in basketball and placing them in some of the most exciting challenges all adds up to a fun night for everyone.

Before everything started however, Kevin Durant won the inaugural HORSE competition (or in this case G-E-I-C-O). It was pretty disappointing, but interesting nonetheless.

To start the night was the "Shooting Stars" challenge, featuring a current NBA player, a WNBA player and a former NBA player from four different teams competing to shoot from six different zones around the court.

The San Antonio Spurs team of Tim Duncan, Becky Hammon and David Robinson won the competition last year, but a new champion would arise.

In the end, the Detroit Pistons beat out the home town favorite of Dan Majerle and the Phoenix Suns.

The Pistons tandem included Arron Afflalo, Bill Laimbeer and Katie Smith. From there, it was time to move onto the Skills Challenge.

The four "contestants" in the Skills Challenge in 2009 were Tony Parker, Mo Williams, Devin Harris and Derrick Rose.

After the first round where each of the four took a seemingly impassive stance towards the competition, Devin Harris and Derrick Rose moved on, but, is the NBA just against Mo Williams again?

During his round, one of the ball boys got in front of one of his passes, slowing him down a second.

Guess how much he missed the second round by?

About a second, but, in the end, Derrick Rose took the competition after Harris struggled on the "college three" shot.

The next challenge featured the "NBA three."

The three-point contest looked to be a great one with star-studded "three-ballers" such as Mike Bibby, Daequan Cook, Rashard Lewis, Jason Kapono (the two-time defending champion), Roger Mason and Danny Granger.

The scores were surprisingly low, with the high in the first round at 18, but, in the end Lewis and Cook made it to the final round where there needed to be an overtime as they tied.

Sounds like an exciting finish, right?

Well, the players tied at an abominable 15 and then Lewis only hit six in his overtime 60-seconds. Luckily, Cook made up for it by getting 19 in his round and becoming the three-Point Champion.

Finally, we move to the last and, to most, main event of the night: the Dunk Contest.

The dunkers were Rudy Fernandez, J.R. Smith, Nate Robinson and Superman himself: Dwight Howard.

The first few dunks were good, but some scoring seemed a little biased as Howard received two 50s in the first round, but, after some questionable "partner" choices by Rudy Fernandez who chose Pau Gasol to pass it to him and J.R. Smith who chose Sonny Weems to pass it to him.

Gasol must have forgotten he wasn't earning any points as for the first few attempts by Fernandez; he was doing around the back passes.

In the end, it came down to Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson.

Robinson had left the court and came back dressed in all green and even used a green basketball as the "kryptonite" of Dwight Howard.

Robinson ended up winning after an emphatic dunk over fellow finalist Dwight Howard, but Howard did not disappoint with a dunk just from the foul line and a throw off the side of the backboard to a reverse.

Robinson's other dunk was a reverse throw down. Nate ended up winning, deservedly-so, with 52 percent of the vote.

The second night of the All-Star Weekend has come to an end.

Most of the night was pretty disappointing, especially GEICO — excuse that, HORSE — which was barely worth mentioning, however, the dunk contest lived up to most of the hype, except for the seemingly biased scores and ended the night in an exciting fashion.

Now, it's time to move on to the culmination of this weekend: the All-Star Game.

Hopefully, it's a great one and honestly, seeing some All-Star defense would not be all too disappointing.

Time to look forward to the All-Star Game and after that, the continuation of the season — can't wait until everything is back to normal, but it's nice to take a break sometimes.

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