Forget Fergie, LeBron James and Steph Curry Agree That 2018 NBA All-Star Game Was a Hit



Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

While the internet is still abuzz with Fergie’s disastrous national anthem rendition, everyone agrees that — despite a few bizarre entertainment segments courtesy of Kevin Hart — the new NBA All-Star format was a huge hit.
For the first time, the NBA broke with the traditional (and often uneven) East vs. West matchup for an exciting twist pitting Team LeBron vs. Team Stephen, which involved the captains drafting their most desirable players.
“But I think the format was great. I think the fans did a great job of reacting to it in a very positive way,” James said during the post-game press conference following his team’s 148-145 victory.
“The great thing about our commissioner, he’s absolutely OK with trying something new, to change the format, and it definitely worked out for everybody,” he continued, referring to Adam Silver. “It worked out not only for the players, not only for the league, but for our fans, for everybody. It was a great weekend, and we capped it off the right way.”
Of course, that “capping off” also involved James being crowned MVP for the third time of his career.
Along with captaining his team to overcome a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers star also had the last possession of the game, which ironically ended on a defensive stop. The three-time NBA Champion then flew down the court with his arms up in ecstatic celebration, like a little kid who’d won his first game (as opposed to one of the most famous athletes in the world after what is essentially an exhibition game).

“That’s what you wanted, and we gave it to y’all!” #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/OORYqza5p5
– NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2018
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“Championships is what I play for, and along the way you’re able to have — if you’re able to have some accolades along the journey, then it’s really cool, and this is one of them,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do. We just added four new guys before the break, and we have a lot of work to do.”
James also revealed on what order he picked his team — a matter that has been highly debated — saying: “I took Kevin first, then I took Anthony Davis, and I followed that with Kyrie and DeMarcus.”
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Many people, most notably ESPN’s Rachel Nichols have campaigned to have the draft aired live, and Silver has now conceded. “When we sat with the union and we came up with this format, we all agreed, let’s not turn something that’s 100 percent positive into a potential negative to any player,” the commissioner said. “But then … maybe we’re overly conservative, because then we came out of there, and the players were, ‘We can take it. We’re All-Stars. Let’s have a draft.’ So it sounds like we’re going to have a televised draft next year.”
Despite leading the losing team Sunday night, Golden State Warriors phenomena Curry was also singing the praises of the new format. “It was an amazing environment, obviously with the new format, having guys mix and match from different conferences, same conference, whatever the case is,” he told reporters.
In a sharp contrast to prior year’s blowouts, the point guard for the current NBA champions described the 2018 All-Star as “a very competitive game. I think we did it the right way — showcased our talents and our skills and put on a show, so that was fun.”
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The success of this year’s All-Star also reflected in the ratings for host network TNT, with viewership peaking with an average of 8.2 million total viewers. The telecast drew a 4.3 U.S. household rating and 5.1 million household impressions — both up 2 percent — and marking the highest for All-Star since 2013, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms were also up 101 percent in video starts for the over last year.
The 2019 NBA All-Star will take place in Curry’s home city of Charlotte, North Carolina. “It will be great finally getting the game there, first time in a while,” he said. “It will be kind of crazy for the Curry family. But it will be a really cool experience to go home and enjoy bringing the NBA and celebrating the game of basketball and what the NBA is about in Charlotte.”

NBA All-Star weekend is always a splashy affair but when it’s located in Los Angeles, it attracts a slew of entertainment and sports A-listers who didn’t have to travel far to party with pro basketball’s finest. Click through for the scoop on this year’s hottest parties and coolest appearances (photos are in chronological order).
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The biggest man in basketball (in every way), Shaquille O’Neal proved he is the real king of the NBA when he took to the throne at the American Express Experience on Thursday.
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AMEX’s intimate pop-up just outside of L.A. Live offered guests a multi-sensory journey of basketball through interactive rooms and instillations such as the Lakers Vault, a room of 18 handmade Chandelier Hoops and a walkway of Exploded Floorboards.
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The LED-lighted Neon Backboards created a surreal — and very cool — look at a pro basketball court ahead of Sunday’s All-Star Game.
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The AMEX Experience delivered up twice as much of Maria Menonous as the SiriusXM host and “AMEX Ambassador” made fun Insta stories from the interactive displays.
Instagram

All-Star weekend isn’t all about parties. The NBA also took advantage of having its most influential players in one place to give back to the community by having Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green and Swin Cash visit kids and their families at Children’s Hospital L.A.
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What’s better than having Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving read you “Star Wars” stories? Nothing.
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Veteran hop-hop genius DJ Whoo Kid (doing his signature salutes) took over the decks at the Let It Fly party Thursday night, as he spun in the middle of a pumping VIP room surrounded by towering NBA stars.
Let It Fly

The man of the night, Andre Drummond, hung out with Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell at the “Let It Fly” event to raise money and awareness for the Precious Dreams Foundation on Thursday night, which was co-hosted by Johnny Stephene (a.k.a. Dribble2Much).
Let It Fly

Former L.A. Laker Carlos Boozer caught up with another ex-NBA player and undisputedly the best-dressed person at the Let It Fly party — thanks to his pink satin jacket — Jack McClinton. 
Let It Fly

Who wouldn’t want to sleep with — we mean ON — Steph Curry? Let It Fly party sponsors Active Dreamers make that dream come true with their line of bedding featuring top NBA stars. Before you call bias, they had a LeBron James bed at the party too!
Let It Fly

“Property Brothers” siblings Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott hammed it up for the cameras at the Celebrity Game Friday. While Jonathan wasn’t playing this year, Drew made up for it by scoring a spot on the winning Clippers team under Katie Nolan.
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ESPN’s Jemele Hill kicked off All-Star week in Hollywood on Thursday night at the “UNINTERRUPTED” party at Avenue Los Angeles, which was presented by Remy Martin.
Banfy Photos / Avenue LA

Former Clippers player Baron Davis hosted a trifecta of events All-Star weekend at the London Hotel in West Hollywood. His BIG Summit on Saturday afternoon featured a panel made up of Ice Cube, Chris Paul and David Robinson and co-founder/president of Lyft, John Zimmer. The power group discussed ideas on how to create real business and social impact, collaborations and opportunities that live at the intersection of sports, media, technology and culture, disrupting industries and enriching the communities. 
Baron Davis Enterprises

The theme of giving back continued when Kendrick Lamar performed Friday night for the NBA on TNT American Express Road Show stage at L.A. LIVE’s Microsoft Square. The gig was exclusively for AMEX Card Members, and ticket proceeds will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.
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Lamar put on quite the show, singing his hits including “Humble,” “Swimming Pools,” “Love,” “M.A.A.D. City” and “Money Trees.” Easy to spot in the crowd in the VIP section was TNT analyst “Sir Charles” Barkley — who was an NBA All-Star a whopping 11 times during his career.
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While “Black Panther” was blowing up the box office this weekend, Chadwick Boseman was blowing up the NBA party scene. Marvel’s latest breakout star actor was the man everyone wanted to see at GQ’s effortlessly-stylish party at the NoMad Hotel in downtown L.A.
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Before she took to the stage to perform, rapper and singer Cardi B looked slick in black leather at the GQ party.
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Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love was dressed fit for a cover of GQ, not just the party, as he arrived with model Kate Bock.
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Kanye West blew up the internet on Saturday night by gatecrashing  Kid Cudi’s show at the adidas party during NBA All-Star weekend. The pair then joined forces to perform their Life of Pablo single “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.”
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On the eve of the All-Star game, LeBron took a break from the serious stuff to kick back with Odell Beckham Jr. at the Beats party at the Dream hotel in Hollywood on Saturday night.
Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Remy Martin

The Kardashians have had a variety of NBA connections over the years, and Kourtney was on hand All-Star Saturday to pose at the MVP Weekend Experience at Liv. The star-filled bash was LIV hosted by French Montana and presented by Remy Martin.Getty Images for Rémy Martin // Johnny Nunez
Getty Images for Rémy Martin/Johnny Nunez

Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian proved “The Game Is Everything” by attending a VIP dinner at Beauty and Essex Saturday night. Other famous diners included LeBron James, Jessie Williams and Kevin Hart, no doubt enjoying cocktails from Rémy Martin and a tasting of their LOUIS XIII.
Getty Images for Rémy Martin // Jerritt Clark

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The “Black Panther” star was a hit at the GQ party, as sports and Hollywood collide before LeBron and Steph take to the court

NBA All-Star weekend is always a splashy affair but when it’s located in Los Angeles, it attracts a slew of entertainment and sports A-listers who didn’t have to travel far to party with pro basketball’s finest. Click through for the scoop on this year’s hottest parties and coolest appearances (photos are in chronological order).

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