The 2023 All-Star Weekend is officially in the books and as always the events featured some highlights that had fans buzzing.
Although the All-Star Game itself was dampened by injuries to superstars, fans still got to enjoy watching their favorite players on the national stage. LeBron James did not play the second half of the game due to a hand injury but did receive a ceremony at halftime where he was honored for breaking the scoring record. James later said it was an honor to share the stage with NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone, who now sit No. 2 and No. 3 in all-time scoring, respectively.
Normally the All-Star Game is the best part of the weekend’s festivities, but this year the main attraction was the 2023 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. The event has seen a dip in production in recent years, but this year’s edition was well worth the ticket of admission as each participant put on a great performance.
However, Mac McClung stole the show as he was able to bring the house down on each of his attempts. McClung would go on to win the event and he received high praise from James, who believes he’s one of the very best to ever participate.
“He solidified himself as one of the — probably one of the greatest slam dunk competitors that we’ve had in the history of the game,” James said.
Standing at 6’2″, McClung’s blend of bounce and power made him a YouTube sensation as his mixtape is one of the most viewed on the platform. His theatrics were the perfect fit for the Slam Dunk Contest as he wowed the crowd and the judges with his selection of dunks. Making the performance even better was that it only took him one attempt for each dunk, a strong consideration for judges when scoring.
McClung started the 2022-23 season with the G League’s Delaware Blue Coats, so he became the first G League player to ever participate in the event. He had a strong season with the Blue Coats and was eventually signed to a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.
If the NBA is smart, they’ll continue to invite McClung to the Slam Dunk Contest every year until he decides not to partake. He has already said he would come back next year if he’s invited, so fans should have something to look forward to.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wants revenge on LeBron James after getting blocked in All-Star Game
This year’s All-Star Game could best be described as a glorified layup line as players have been more cautious as ever with their health. However, there was a rare defensive moment when James chased down Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and blocked his dunk attempt. The Oklahoma City Thunder star later recalled the play and said he would like revenge on James.
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