Phoenix Suns 2017 All-Star Weekend Recap

Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr. (10) attempts a dunk in the slam dunk contest during NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr. (10) attempts a dunk in the slam dunk contest during NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Phoenix Suns have long been a franchise with significant representation in the NBA All-Star Weekend – although we are used to have players playing on Sunday.

However, for a team who has only won 80 games in the past three seasons, combined, to have had three players represent the franchise on the court during All-Star Saturday, a fourth in Alan Williams used as a prop, as well as a cheerleader and the Gorilla, Phoenix is beginning to develop it’s star-power and will soon take over both Saturday and  Sunday.

Rising Stars Challenge Team USA vs Team World

All-Star Weekend began for the Suns on Friday night for the Team USA vs Team World game featuring the league’s best Rookies and Sophomores. Both Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss participated as starters for Team USA. Booker finished with 17 points and 6 assists in 25 minutes, while the quiet Chriss finished with 7 points, 2 boards, and a steal in the USA’s 150-141 loss.

NBA Talent Show

The bulk of the Phoenix-centric excitement during All-Star Weekend occurred on Saturday beginning with Devin Booker participating in the First Annual NBA Talent Show. Booker impressed most  of the judges, as well as the American Olympic Table Tennis Head Coach, showing off his ping-pong skills.

Unfortunately for D-Book, he finished second in the Talent Show behind Oklahoma City’s Victor Oladipo’s who apparently can sing like an angel, but he still made Suns fans, well, proud that their star player might  have been an Olympic ping-pong player had he only focused on that career instead of basketball.

No really.

NBA Skills Challenge

In the evening the basketball-side of the All-Star Weekend began with the NBA Skills Challenge. Four guards and four bigs were pitted against one another in a battle for positional bragging rights. The guard bracket began with Gordon Hayward defeating John Wall, moving on to Devin Booker and a former Sun Isaiah Thomas dueling head-to-head.

I wish this clip was a little longer, however, Booker didn’t last nearly as long as Suns fans would have hoped. Booker never even got to attempt a three.

In the end Thomas made it to the final round representing the guards, although he lost in the finals for the second year in a row with Kristaps Porzingis winning the competition as the bigs representative.

Unfortunately no Phoenix Suns player was present during the three-point shooting contest as last year’s third place finished, Devin Booker, was not asked to participate again this season. Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets won the competition taking it home in overtime defeating flat-earther Kyrie Irving.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Phoenix’s final hope to bring home a trophy from the weekend was in the relatively unknown rookie Derrick Jones Jr. The Suns’ seventh all-time Slam Dunk Contest contestant stood a very good chance to win the title despite not having the most well-known name. Having only recorded three dunks his entire NBA career, he has made a name for himself via the NBADL and personal YouTube videos.

His individual dunks are below, however, even though he eventually lost the dunk contest to Glenn Robinson III, had Jones Jr. made his first dunk in the final round (he missed all three attempts solidifying the victory for GR3) it seems almost entirely likely that he would have been the winner.

To watch the full highlights, including all of the misses, watch this video below.

With that the Phoenix Suns representatives in All-Star Weekend were finished with their respective roles as no Suns were added to the Western Conference roster for Sunday’s All-Star Game. Yet they made the Valley of the Suns proud. As mentioned before, for a team who struggles to win during the regular season, there is zero ignoring the wealth of young and exciting talent on the roster. From the top with Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker, to those who see the court least and yet can still put on a show, Phoenix has a bright future and will soon again be a powerhouse figure in future mid-season festivities.

Additional Videos

There were a few additional Phoenix Suns related moments over the weekend worth sharing, as well as one interesting one about a player who we now know will not  be a Phoenix Sun when games start again in earnest at the end of the week.

Devin Booker Media Day Interview

Devin Booker Hull Highlights vs the World

Marquese Chriss Strong Putback Dunk

Derrick Jones Jr. Practicing Dunks

The Moment DeMarcus Cousins Found out he wouldn’t  become a member of the Phoenix Suns…

Next: Suns Had a Chance at DeMarcus Cousins

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