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Sacramento reach first 40-win season in 17 years, as Mike Brown becomes only second Kings coach to achieve it – Basketball Insiders

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Steph Curry wins in tight 3-point contest to Sabrina Ionescu

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This Saturday night, the All-Star Weekend gave us what will probably go down as one of the most exciting three-point displays in basketball history, as Stephen Curry’s incredible 29 points were barely enough to beat Sabrina Ionescu in Indianapolis. 

The Warriors guard, who is the NBA’s all-time three-point king, went head-to-head with the WNBA star for the first time in history, to what most fans hope will become a regular exhibition at the league’s showcase weekend. 

“For us to deliver a show like that, it was perfect,” Curry expressed. “As much excitement as you can build in that short amount of time with two great shooters going at it. This is something we’ll remember for a long time.”

The Liberty guard had already conquered the WNBA’s three-point contest during their All-Star celebrations last year, and dropped a record 37 points, which overcomes Curry’s own 31-point mark. “Hopefully, this isn’t the last time we do this,” Ionescu said.

Once the exhibition was over, both competitors even explored the possibility of adding partners to the competition in next year’s All-Star weekend in San Francisco. The Bay Area is not only where Sabrina calls home, but where Stephen plays in Golden State. 

Fans all over social media suggested that Caitlin Clark might be the next best option to continue this NBA vs. WNBA shooting challenge, except for the fact that she is still in college. 

Combined, both athletes shot 39 for 54 (72%). “This was so authentic for the both of us to be able to be here, finally not in a closed gym, shooting in front of everyone watching and understanding what it means for ourselves but also the bigger picture,” shared Sabrina after the competition. “This is where I wanted to be … It’s changed the landscape of how people view what we’re doing.”

The players have no rivalry between them, but instead, are very close friends. During a rehearsal shooting session on Friday, Curry jokingly booed her as she attempted her shots. “Trying to apply some pressure, for sure,” Curry said.

Ionescu continues to hail Curry as her biggest inspirations as she hopes to motivate young women to pursue greatness 

The WNBA guard has been very outspoken about what the NBA player means to her, as she hails him as a great friend, mentor, and her biggest inspiration. After Saturday’s competition, Sabrina said that the experience taught her an important lesson.

“To just keep believing in myself,” Ionescu shared. “You know, 10 years ago, I never would have thought this was possible. And so being able to be up here … it’s a blessing and an opportunity to even be in the same conversation as Steph and to be able to see how much he’s respected me as a player and a basketball player and a person to want to come out here and do this.”

It is important to mention that the All-Star weekend is raising money for each of their charitable foundations. So despite the Warriors superstar taking the shooting title, they both expressed immense satisfaction after the challenge in Indiana.

“I don’t know what’s going to come out of it, but me and Sabrina talked about how cool of an opportunity it is to do something that’s never been done before in our game,” Curry said. “And for her to have a presence on this stage is going to do a lot to inspire the next generation of young boys and girls that want to compete and see themselves in either one of us. Wherever it goes from there, we know we can kind of plant our flag as doing something really special.”





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Mac McClung clings 2024 Slam Dunk title by leaping over Shaquille O’Neal

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Despite not playing for an NBA team, Mac McClung is the most exciting dunker in the basketball world. The young athlete won last year’s NBA Slam Dunk contest and was determined to conquer a back-to-back title. How, you might ask? Easy. Just ask Shaquille O’Neal if he can jump over him and dunk the ball backwards. 

And so it happened, he first asked the Hall of Famer to squeeze into his old high school jersey, then leaped over the seven-footer, took the ball out of his hands and slammed it in the net. To everyone’s surprise, he received five perfect scores from the judges and accomplished his mission. 

McClung achieved an average of 98.8 over his last two attempts, while rival Jaylen Brown was close by with a 97.8. “Shaq was so cool to put that high school jersey on, man, it almost made me emotional that he would do that,” the winner expressed. “When he put it on, he said, ‘You better not miss it.’ I said, ‘OK, I won’t miss it.’”

The six-foot-two athlete, who plays for Orlando’s Osceola Magic in the G League, just became only the sixth player to ever win two or more Dunk Contests. However, he is the first to conquer the title in back-to-back attempts since Zach LaVine did it 8 years ago. 

Now the question is if McClung will try and go for a third consecutive win in 2025. “I don’t know. We’ll think about it,” the athlete shared in Indianapolis. “I’m not sure yet.” Nate Robinson is the only player to ever get crowned three times in the Slam Dunk competition. 

While the Celtics All-Star delivered special moments during the contest, the G League star needed a perfect score to top his rival. This was the moment he picked out the Lakers icon out of the crowd, in hopes that he would stand in as a prop so he could dunk over him. 

“It was like, ‘OK, you’ve really got to bring something, and I think they want us to make our dunks on the first try’, which I completely understand,” McClung recalled. “So I knew it was time to lock in for the finals.”

Fans made fun of Brown’s slam dunk attempts despite the Celtics star ranking second with 97.8 score

Despite ranking second in the Slam Dunk Contest, fans booed Jaylen Brown when he dunked over a sitting Kai Cenat during this All-Star Weekend. Shortly after, social media was flooded with reactions making fun of the Boston superstar, as people were more confused than impressed.

During the broadcast, even Shaquille joked about it, saying that the obstacle “is smaller than Kevin Hart.” Take a look at the scenes during this Saturday’s dunk competition in Indianapolis and judge it yourselves.

Another winner of the night was Bucks star Damian Lillard, who impressed all by defending his three-point contest title with 26 points in the final round. The former Portland guard defeated Trae Young and Karl-Anthony Towns, who both tallied 24 points in the last stage. 

“I think last year it was a lower score to win. Like, nobody really shot the ball great,” Dame shared. “This one, I felt like everybody shot at a pretty high clip in the first round, in the tiebreaking round and the final round. Everyone shot well, so this one was, I’d say, a little more fun.”





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What is the most watched All-Star Game of all-time?

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Many NBA fans (casuals and diehards) have a bone to pick with All-Star weekend. When you ask them, they say a big reason for their distaste for the midseason classic is that the All-Star Game (the main event) has lost its luster.

A common complaint about the game is that none of the players take it seriously. Yes, it includes many of the best players in the world. But they are seemingly playing a pickup basketball game at half-speed.

But is this true? Is All-Star game viewership really down? And if so, when was the event at its peak?

The Most Viewed All-Star Games In NBA History

The most-watched All-Star Game in NBA history came in 1993, when the All-Star game was viewed by an estimated 22.9 million people. That game featured the likes of Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, and John Stockton.

The top-8 All-Star games in terms of viewership actually all came in the 1990s. The second most viewed All-Star game was in 1992 (18.8 million), the third was in 1996 (17.5 million), the fourth in 1998 (16.93 million), the fifth in 1997 (16.9 million), the sixth in 1995 (15.8 million), seventh in 1994 (13.7 million), and the eighth most watched was in 1990 (13.2 million).

The only other two All-Star games to surpass the 10 million views mark were the 2002 (13.1 million) and 2003 (10.8 million) All-Star games. The latter game was the last time that His Airness played in an All-Star game.

Is The All-Star Game Going Downhill?

According to Statista, after being consistently in double-digit millions in views throughout the 1990s, the All-Star game has failed to reach the ten million view mark in any All-Star game after 2003. As a matter of fact, the only time that the contest has surpassed nine million views since then was in 2011. That game was actually a thriller, going down to the wire with the Western Conference eventually winning 148-143. The late great Kobe Bryant was named the game’s MVP.

Last season, the All-Star game fell below the five million views mark for the first time in the last twenty years, with only 4.6 million people tuning in to the event.

Will the NBA All-Star Game ever get back to its glorious heights? Who knows. But one thing is for certain: far fewer people are tuning in now than they were back in the 1990s and 2000s.





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