The 2019 All-Star Game weekend has officially kicked off as of Friday night with the Rising Stars Challenge between the USA and the World. And for the first time in two years, the Americans were able to figure out a way to win, winning 161-144 in a game that featured little to no defense. They were able to do so in large part thanks to the efforts of Kyle Kuzma, who made it very clear what motivated him to win: the $25K bonus offered to the winners. The eventual MVP ended up scoring 35 points to lead all scorers, with 14 of them dropping in the first quarter alone. The lead that the USA built in that quarter would end up holding for the entire game, as they never looked back and saw off the World squad. Trae Young and Jayson Tatum also had starring roles for the Americans, while Ben Simmons led the World’s squad with 28 points and six helpers in the loss.
Another big story at the moment revolves around the “dumpster fire” that is New Orleans right now. After making that statement, Alvin Gentry soon found out his GM, Dell Demps was indeed being let go by the team. The Pelicans, since the end of January, have been hit by a storm of controversy surrounding center Anthony Davis that just will not go away after he made it known he wanted to be traded. When he was not traded, they had to play him anyway and it’s just caused a lot of drama in and around the team. As a result, he’s been sent packing. It must be said that although it does seem a little bit harsh, this is just something that was bound to happen sooner or later. He had eight years in charge, and he had Davis for the majority of that time. Yet, he and the Pelicans could never find a winning combination. That’s ultimately why he’s been moved out.
Speaking of Davis, according to reports, the big man is going to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday in spite of his bruised shoulder. This according to Yahoo Sources, and considering that the game won’t overwork many players at all both in terms of minutes or aggression of play, it shouldn’t be an issue. Davis picked up the injury going for a rebound in the first half of a win against the OKC Thunder on Thursday, causing panic among some fans and executives with the team.