Warriors have a new batch of All Stars
Golden State has some fresh faces as the NBA All Star weekend evolves
The Golden State Warriors are sending a new contingent of All Stars to the pageantry of an evolving NBA All Star weekend. New faces abound, and there’s a bunch of different formats to the events this year. Every year I tell myself I don’t care about any of this, and every year I end up watching pretty much all of it.
There’s something for Warriors fans every single night, from rookie Jonathan Kuminga on Friday, to DNHQ favorite Juan Toscano-Anderson on Saturday, and then the sweet capper of Stephen Curry showing up to the All Star game with newly minted franchise cornerstone Andrew Wiggins on Sunday.
WHO: NBA All Stars, rising stars, three-point specialists, skillsmen, and slam dunkers
WHEN: 6pm PDT(ish) Friday and Saturday; Sunday at 5pm
Preview Buddy: I “borrowed” heavily from this one
Friday’s Rising Star: Jonathan Kuminga
When I looked down the barrel of this Warriors rebuild, one of the critical path issues I saw was that the team absolutely had to hit on this high draft pick. With James Wiseman’s injury uncertainty, it was clear that the team’s extremely rare shot at a second consecutive lottery pick was going to carry a lot of significance for the future.
And then bam! Kuminga!
At just 19 years old, his ceiling is so absurd it’ll make a grown man giggle. He’s got the body quickness of Kevin Durant, the visceral dunking power of Shawn Kemp, and a spin move stolen from The Dream. He didn’t play much early, but has shown out through whatever situation the team has offered him.
The format for the Rising Stars game is a lot different than in years past. This time around, there are 28 players (12 rookies, 12 sophomores and 4 members of the G League Ignite developmental squad).
Those players were then drafted onto four teams that will do battle in a round robin style tournament of three games. Per the NBA, each game will be played to a final score: Games 1 and 2 will be played until a team reaches 50 points; Game 3 will be played until a team reaches 25 points. Personally, I think it sounds cool, but a game to 25 sounds a bit short to me.
Saturday: Our guy Juanito, dunking for the glory of Oakland on Saturday
Juan Toscano-Anderson is easy to love. He came storming on the scene last season and though this season hasn’t been going as well, he managed to make his way into the NBA dunk contest somehow.
Well, not “somehow” — almost certainly because of this dunk:
McGee, ever the good sport signed that poster and handed it back to Toscano-Anderson the next time they met.
And rest assured, Dub Nation, the Oakland native is going to care a lot about bringing the heat:
"Why would I say no?" Toscano-Anderson told reporters Wednesday when asked how his appearance came together. "I'm a kid from 95th and A Street in East Oakland. I used to dunk on courts in my grandfather's driveway and break through the milk crates. ... I'm still a kid when it comes to enjoying the game. I love this game more than anything. This is what I love the most in my life. So, it was a no-brainer for me. Why would I say no to All-Star Weekend?"
"You got to wait to find out. I think the dunk contest is just a combination of athleticism, creativity, showmanship, all that stuff. Just going to try to put it all together. I know some of those younger guys, someone like Jalen Green, he's very explosive, extremely athletic. ... Like I said, the dunk contest is a combination of a bunch of things. I'm not really going to trip off the athleticism part. I know those young guys are a little more athletic than me. But I'm going to try to come up with some stuff and have fun with it.”
"Get the crowd involved and maybe have some Warriors fans feeling some nostalgia. Hint, hint. We'll see."
Sunday: Curry brings his new All Star friend, Andrew Wiggins to the party
Finally, the Sunday All Star game, where Stephen Curry will represent Dub Nation alongside first timer, Andrew Wiggins. This game is both the silliest, and the worst that the NBA has to offer. Over the years, the games have become more and more self aware, turning into an exhibition game of free flowing dunks.
It’s fun for what it is though, and it’s going to be real nice seeing Andrew Wiggins step out onto that court and bask in the accolades that he has earned. Without Wiggins’ strong early season, there would be a greater sense of panic around here. Instead Wiggins has been one of the strongest stabilizing forces all season. Building off of his solid previous season, Wiggins has more than delivered on expectations.
Is this crazy? I don’t know, but I did find it on the internet, so who can say for sure?