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'Slam Dunk Disappointment?'; NBA All-Star Saturday Recap

The 2022 NBA All-Star festivities came together in Cleveland as the 3-point and dunk contests concluded Saturday evening.

Rejoice! Fans are back in the stands as Cleveland hosts the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend. Leading up to the big game on Sunday night, Saturday is typically the ‘tone-setter’ of the All-Star festivities. The 3-point and dunk contests have created decades of memories for many. 

Unfortunately, the 2021 3-point contest winner, Stephen Curry, opted to sit on the sidelines this time around, but the contest was still in good hands for the NBA and its fans.

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The 3-point contest contestants were as follows: Trae Young (Hawks), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Zach LaVine (Bulls), CJ McCollum (Trail Blazers), Fred VanVleet (Raptors), Patty Mills (Nets), Luke Kennard (Clippers Desmond Bane (Grizzlies).

The 3-point contest followed a convoluted skills contest in which Team Cleveland bested Team Rookie… as well as a bad attempt at an HBO Max ad for Steph and Ayesha Curry's new show.

Low and behold, the self-proclaimed "best big man shooter of all time" Towns won the 3-point contest by scoring 29 points in the final round, with Kennard as the runner-up.

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Fittingly, at least so we thought, the finishing event of All-Star Saturday belonged to the dunk contest. However, this year's contestants seemed to follow a trend, as the group yet again lacked a star player. New York Knicks Obi Toppin maked his second-consecutive appearance in the dunk contest.

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The full dunk contest lineup was as follows: Cole Anthony (Magic), Jalen Green (Rockets), Obi Toppin (Knicks), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Warriors) 

This year’s dunk contest showcased why changes must be made to the once-anticipated event. After what felt like 20 failed dunk attempts from Green in the first round, the contest concluded with Toppin as the victor in an underwhelming final round.

Perhaps it’s time for the NBA to make the 3-point contest the closing event on All-Star Saturday night going forward.