ALL STAR GAME PUTS FINAL TOUCHES ON HUGE WEEK FOR ORLANDO
KEVIN DURANT WINS MVP BY:SEAN SLACK
Twenty years ago Orlando hosted the NBA All Star game in the now closed O-rena. Everyone calls it one of the most memorable games because of the MVP performance by Magic Johnson who had recently announced he had contracted the HIV virus. Tonight, Orlando hosted another exciting, memorable, fast-paced game that saw the WEST All Stars beat the EAST All Stars by a score of 152-149. Although it did not carry the emotional ties as in 1992, there was plenty of drama towards the end and it will be remembered fondly as well.
The moment the ball was tipped, the action was non-stop as a slew of fast breaks and thunderous dunks from the world’s best basketball players captivated the audience. Initially, the WEST team led by MVP Kevin Durant (36 points) seemed to be the one team more determined to win. The All Star game is not known for defense, and the WEST continued to run up and down the court. Kobe Bryant (27 Points) set the record for the most points ever as an All Star surpassing legendary Michael Jordan with 271. The WEST raced to a 20 point lead at the half and carried it midway through the 3rd quarter until Lebron James decided to take things over for the EAST. He exploded for 36 points in the game, hitting fade away 3-pointers, vicious dunks, and clamping down defensively on Kobe Bryant. The EAST had their chances at the end to possibly win the game. Trailing by two, Deron Williams attempted a long three pointer that clanked off the rim and was rebounded by James. James tried to make a last second pass but it was intercepted and the game ended.
Orlando’s own Dwight Howard ended the night with 10 points and seven rebounds. He appeared to be in the mood to have fun….Even attempting 2 3-point shots himself and missing both horribly. The entire night was packed again with celebrities and mini concerts as the night began with a rousing performance by Nicki Minaj. Nicki performed many of her hits, including the current single “SPACESHIP”. As she gyrated and rapped on stage, the players for both squads were announced to the approval of the sold out Amway Center.
Mary J. Blige then gave a soulful rendition of the Star Spangled banner. Halftime was all about the efforts of Miami resident and Cuban born singer PITBULL. PITBULL ran through all of his current and past hits, flanked by dozens of scantily clad models. Current hits like “RAIN” with a video of marc Anthony, a fantastic surprise with Chris Brown showing up and singing “INTERNATIONAL LOVE.” Chris showed off some of his spectacular dance moves before NE-YO came out to join PITBULL for the final song “TONIGHT”. A great performance.
Orlando clearly put its best foot forward tonight as celebrities, politicians, and athletes all shared the same goal….To make Orlando shine. Lil Wayne was in the house along with Birdman, Jesse Jackson, all of Orlando Government and city councils, and many more. We were extremely grateful to have this opportunity to cover this event, and we would like to extend our thanks to Sharon deLima (Paulista), Rebecca Colling,, and all of the NBA office in New York city for their help making our coverage possible. Complete coverage, photos and a complete recap will be posted soon in our ABOUT US SPECIAL EDITION.