Best of the Best: Pro Athletes Shine
by Jack Weiler on Friday, February 12th, 2016
The NHL and NBA annual All-Star games, along with the NFL Pro Bowl, have displayed and are slated to showcase some of the best athletic talent in the country. All three events honor the year’s high-performing athletes.
This year’s NHL all star weekend, occurring from January 30th to the 31st in Nashville, was a two part event. Players competed in various skill competitions and games. John Scott of the AHL’s St. John’s Ice Caps stole the show at the 3 v 3 tournament. Despite scoring only five goals in his NHL career before the All Star game and only one goal during 11 games with the Arizona Coyotes, he was named captain of the Pacific Division team for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, perhaps as a joke by NHL fans. He turned out to be the game MVP, leading his team to tournament victory with two goals.
The NFL Pro Bowl took place in Hawaii on January 31st, with NFL legends Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice heading the teams. The Pro Bowl features a regulation-length game, with no skills contest. Selected players such as Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski did not play in the event in order to recover from the toll of the regular season. Teams that made the Super Bowl were not allowed to send players. Consequently, younger players, such as Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper, and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, could play. Team Irvin won the Pro Bowl 49-27, and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who did not participate in the last two Pro Bowls because his team made the Super Bowl, was named offensive MVP.
The NBA All-Star weekend will take place the weekend of February 14th in Toronto. The starters for the west—Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant—will battle the starters for the East: LeBron James, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Kyle Lowry, and Dwayne Wade. The competition will also include Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, and Boston Celtics Star, Isaiah Thomas. In the skills competition, Zach LaVine will look to defend his slam dunk contest title and Stephen Curry will look to defend his 3pt contest title.
The NHL All-Star game was one for the ages as John Scott stunned all with his surprising underdog story. The NFL Pro Bowl was dominated by Russell Wilson’s standout performance and the NBA All-Star game should provide even better play from the league’s reigning MVP, Steph Curry.
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