NBA All-Star Friday takeaways: Danny Green shines as broadcaster

OG Anunoby talked about watching LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony at the All-Star Game and what it’s like to experience it for himself.

The NBA’s favourite festivities are on Saturday and Sunday, but Friday provided a great taste of the names who will occupy the marquee events for years to come.

Luka Doncic, Ben Simmons and Canada’s very own Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the charge for Team World against Team USA’s Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Trae Young in the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge but ultimately fell short, losing 161-144.

Despite all those big names, it was Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma who took home the game’s MVP award for scoring 35 points.

Friday’s main event was preceded by the Celebrity All-Star game, and while there were plenty of spills in that one, having a few pros past and present from both the NBA and WNBA (Ray Allen, A’ja Wilson, Jay Williams, Stefanie Dolson) saved it from being a complete eye sore.

Here are four takeaways from the first night of all-star festivities:

Danny Green has got himself a future in broadcasting

Green took the mic for the entirety of what was once the Rookies vs. Sophomores game and acquitted himself extremely well to the desk job. From calling a little play-by-play to sharing his virtual reality experiences using Oculus to discussing defensive strategy with Team USA coach Kyrie Irving, Green sounded so at ease he even had local broadcaster Leo Rautins singing his praises but also fretting over his career a little bit.

The Toronto Raptors sharpshooter has had great success with his podcast, and showed that he has a career in the broadcast booth after his playing days if he so chooses.

He extolled plenty of support for teammate OG Anunoby who played in the game, speaking highly of the sophomore’s athleticism and then even making a case for the 21-year-old to be in the dunk contest.

Anunoby finished the night with 12 points — a far cry from Thursday’s career-high 22 — and making that 360-degree, through-the-legs dunk was the only way he could have outshone Green on this night.

Ray Allen can still ball

So the Raptors are 22nd in three-point shooting you say?

Allen put on a show in the celebrity game, making full use of the four-point line and embarrassing celebrity defenders before draining some vintage shots.

I mean, come on. How is the all-time leader in three-pointers made not playing in this era of basketball. Allen would fit like a glove on any team, and doesn’t seem too out of shape either.

Of course, Twitter was quick to point out that LeBron James may beat everyone to the punch and recruit him along with everyone else he’s got on his team for Sunday’s big game.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showed out

The 20-year-old rookie out of Hamilton, Ontario has impressed everyone from Doc Rivers to Sam Cassell in the Los Angeles Clippers organization and took the opportunity of a global stage to showcase exactly what he brings to the table.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 15 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals in 20 minutes, and even though he didn’t throw down any highlight reel dunks, he stayed true to his playing style by doing a bit of everything else and keeping his teammates fed.

Throw it down, big man. Throw it down

What’s an all-star weekend without a jaw dropping dunk?

Atlanta Hawks centre John Collins had everyone jumping out of their seat, channelling his inner Vince Carter / Tracy McGrady to throw one down off a backboard lob from himself.

He wasn’t done there, serving up a healthy tease of what fans can expect in the dunk contest by throwing down a sick 360 tomahawk off a feed from teammate Trae Young.

Dennis Smith Jr., Miles Bridges and Hamidou Diallo, consider yourselves warned.

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