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Opinion: NBA All-Star weekend entertains – to an extent

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Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (8) dunks during the second quarter on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (8) dunks during the second quarter on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

NBA All-Star Sunday morning was moderately entertaining, and that’s all it needs to be.

Of course, there were no significant events Sunday morning but, probably like many others, I recorded the Friday and Saturday night festivities and watched them Sunday because the NBA All-Star competitions just aren’t worth setting time aside to watch. But they’re still worth watching as long as you accept them for what they are though.

Yes, the rising stars challenge, the celebrity game, the shooting stars competition and the skills competition are all boring and basically pointless. But to be honest, it’s fun to watch 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis make 5-foot-4 comedian Kevin Hart look silly on the basketball court.

It’s also moderately enjoyable to watch Chris Bosh, Swin Cash and Dominique Wilkins lob half-court shots in the general direction of the basket.

And none of that even covers the feature Saturday night events.

I’ll skip the skills challenge, because every participant loafed through the entire thing and it wasn’t entertaining at all. I’ll also skip all of the random commentary and concerts thrown into the mix, just as I did when I hit the fast forward button on my remote Sunday morning.

That button even proved useful in the two events I actually wanted to watch: the three-point contest and the dunk contest.

Don’t get me wrong, I watched every silky-smooth Stephen Curry jump shot and every jaw-dropping Zach LaVine dunk, but the nonsense in between — like Victor Oladipo doing his best Frank Sinatra impression — was a waste of time.

But that’s just me. Maybe there are fans out there who enjoyed all of that, but there are also people like me who just want to watch the best in the game, you know, play the game.

And that’s exactly why NBA All-Star weekend works better than any other all-star game in any other sport.

The fans who want the flair get it, and the fans who want to see legitimate skill put to the test get that.

In the NFL, there is nothing of note except the actual game when it comes to the Pro Bowl, and that’s nearly unwatchable. But in the NBA, the players clearly try in the three-point shootout and the dunk contest, displaying real ability that sets them apart from their peers.

So, sure, the showmanship and fashion statements make it seem like a joke, but for those looking for a bit of Sunday morning entertainment, a recording of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night isn’t a bad option.

As for the game itself on Sunday, it’s basically a free-flowing version of Saturday night, which, let’s be honest, isn’t that far off of what a regular season NBA game looks like, anyway.

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