All-Star Saturday night has come and gone, and there are a ton of opinions flying around about the quality of entertainment given to us. We may not have a consensus, but there are a handful of clear-cut winners from the night.
There were some extremely entertaining dunks in the Slam Dunk Contest. It was just in one of the worst presentations with some subpar judges ready to throw up 10s for any and all dunks that were crowd-pleasers.
The musical acts were stale and poorly amplified, the crowd was definitely not into it and Nick Cannon's "emceeing" was incredibly unexciting.
Other than that, it was a solid night.
As far as the non-basketball-related events go, this year's Saturday night entertainment was incredibly weak.
Booking Phillip Phillips and Fall Out Boy would be fine if we were looking to attract and excite 16-year-old girls, but for a night that's centered on hype and excitement, you'd be better off booking will.i.am and Fergie.
Hell, they'd be better off booking Simon and Garfunkel to hype the contest.
Beyond the poor entertainment booking, attendance looked a bit like it sucked.
Perhaps this is the start of the NBA realizing that it needs to do something more to really promote this event and at least chop down the ticket prices a bit so it can get some people screaming up in the rafters.
Damian Lillard took home the first meaningful trophy of the night, winning the Skills Challenge with the two fastest times of the night.
He had a subpar evening at the Rising Stars Challenge with a rough 2-of-10 shooting display from the three-point line but bounced back nicely, winning the Skills Challenge against the likes of Jrue Holiday, Tony Parker and some of the fastest dudes in the NBA.
Speaking of Tony Parker, he now never has to do another Skills Challenge again, unless he actually wants to.
Parker won the contest a year ago with a decent time, which meant that he was going to have to come back and give it another go this time around, which was his fourth time in the competition.
At some point, there's nothing left to prove, and the Skills Challenge is nothing more than something taking up your Saturday night.
Parker missed a few too many shots and made it seem as if he was upset at his score, but something tells me it's not going to tear him apart too long.
Jeremy Evans' Art Career
Jeremy Evans had a shot at repeating as the Slam Dunk Contest champion, as he made it to the final round to compete against Terrence Ross, but things didn't go over as well as he would have hoped.
Ross won the contest, but Evans did get to reveal a bit of his art in the process.
With his first dunk in the final round, Evans dunked over a picture of himself dunking over a shrouded picture, which we can only assume was a picture of himself dunking over a shrouded picture (I'm sure there's an Xzibit joke to be made somewhere).
The painting was one of Evans' own works, so at least he got to show it off to the world.
Regardless of your renown beforehand, winning the Slam Dunk Contest generally leads to more people knowing your name.
Even Jeremy Evans went from being a guy that only people in Utah had ever heard of to being a guy that only people who can remember a year in the past have ever heard of.
Already an increasingly important player with the Toronto Raptors, and the fact that Terrence Ross is now the reigning Slam Dunk champion will give him a lot more attention moving forward.
Besides, his dunks were easily the best part of the evening, and I'm excited to see him come back next year.
Kyrie Irving didn't win the most prestigious contest of the night, but he did win what was perhaps the most exciting.
After a stellar performance in the Rising Stars Challenge, scoring 32 points in a losing effort, Irving took home the Three-Point Contest trophy on Saturday night.
Irving wasn't quite an underdog, but he was far from the favorite with Steph Curry and Matt Bonner getting a lot of hype coming into the contest.
The shots fell, and Irving walked away with 23 points in the final round, the fourth-most points ever put up in the final and just a money ball away from 25, the highest in any round.
Irving now has the chance to go into the All-Star Game on Sunday and really put a stamp on the weekend, forcing people to remember him every time they look back.
If he can go in and compete for the All-Star Game MVP Award, or perhaps even win the thing, the 2013 All-Star weekend is going to be Irving's weekend for the rest of time.