Utah Will Be a Part of All-Star Weekend Afterall
Jazz fans were likely disappointed with the exclusion of Lauri Markkanen when the All-Star rosters were announced.
After having the pleasure of watching him reach his first All-Star game last year, they got to witness him coming up just shy this season in a jam-packed western conference.
If you’ve been sulking around for days now, ashamed by the lack of Jazz that will be in Indiana this February 16th to the 18th, sulk no further.
When the All-Star festivities commence, and if you’re brave enough or bored enough to watch, you’ll notice multiple Jazz men in the Hoosier state.
You can catch rookie Keyonte George and Sophomore Walker Kessler in the NBA rising stars contest on Friday night.
The NBA describes this game as a “annual showcase of premier young talent, featuring a mini-tournament with four teams and three games.” (NBA.com)
No, I don’t expect you to watch it, but you now have greater reason to refer to Walker Kessler and Keyonte George as “premier young talent.”
Once you finish watching the future faces of the NBA like Victor Wembanyama and Ron Holland II duke it out in the rising stars game, prepare for more Jazz appearances the following day.
When the Starry (the artist formerly known as Sierra Mist) Three-Point Contest kicks off, Lauri Markkanen himself will be in attendance trying to win it for the Wasatch.
The Jazz haven’t taken home the sniping title since 2000 when Jeff Hornacek won it for the 2nd year straight by dazzling the fans out in Oakland.
If Markkanen wants to break the drought that has plagued this great state for so long (sarcasm) he will have to take down some elite shooters.
Defending champion, Damian Lillard will look to retain the crown in his new duds, despite shooting 2.4 percent worse this year. (34.7)
Tyrese Haliburton will take his smooth shooting form into the fray, as a 39.8 percent marksman.
Former Jazz legend, Malik Beasley will be in attendance, because apparently the contest has a two Buck entry fee. (Sorry, bad joke.)
Beasley’s stat line shows a blistering 45 percent from downtown, making him, statistically the greatest shooter in the contest.
Utah’s ex, Donovan Mitchell, will be hoisting away in an attempt to win, converting on 35.4 percent of his downtown daggers this year for the Cavaliers.
Jalen Brunson will represent the big apple sitting comfortably at 41.3 percent on the year.
Lauri Markkanen, the hometown hero, is the third contestant with a clip of over 40 percent. Lauri barely clears that bar with a 40.1 percent mark.
Should be a rousing good time, no doubt, with a big trophy and much fan applause at the end, I’m certain.
So, if you’re looking forward to All-Star weekend, but were saddened by the lack of highlighter yellow, make sure you circle the rising stars contest on Friday, and the Three-point battle on Saturday night.
Let me know how it turns out, I'll be doing anything else that night.