Cleveland Cavaliers-influenced All-Star competitions

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Earl Boykins handles the ball. (Photo by DAVID MAXWELL/AFP via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Earl Boykins handles the ball. (Photo by DAVID MAXWELL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Hey now, you’re an All-Star, get your game on, go play”….Well, for this year’s Cleveland Cavaliers, the Smash Mouth toe-tapper doesn’t exactly apply. Though Collin Sexton has an outside chance of being named one of the Eastern Conference’s All-Star reserves, it’s unlikely any Cavaliers will be making the trip to Atlanta for next month’s All-Star festivities.

Aside from the game itself, the league is expected to have players compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Contest and Skills Challenge.

Per a league announcement, the league (given COVID-19 potential exposure concerns realistically) stated for the first time, the All-Star Game and key individual events will be on the same day.

The Skills Challenge and Three-Point Contest will be before the game plays out on March 7, with the Dunk Contest at halftime.

Not wanting to miss out on the fun in Atlanta, let’s take a look at which former Cavs would’ve made for good contestants in each of the three above mentioned competitions.

The criteria to be considered for each event follows:

  • Cannot be on the current Cavaliers roster
  • Has to have previously played for the Cavs, and only the season(s) said player was on the team is under consideration for each contest
  • Must not have previously competed in the Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Contest or Skills Challenge while with Cleveland or any other team.

First up, is the Skills Competition. This tests ball-handling, passing and shooting ability. Our Cavs representative is Cleveland’s own Earl Boykins (played for Cleveland during parts of the 1998-99 and 99-00 seasons). At 5-foot-5, Boykins is the second-shortest player in NBA history. Despite his lack of height, Boykins’ ball-handling skills were often head and shoulders above everyone else on the court.

Throughout his career, he averaged an assist every six minutes and only one turnover per game. As a member of the Cavs, Boykins shot 41 percent from the field. His all-around game would be a perfect match for this event.

From there, the increasingly popular Three-Point Contest had to bypass an impressive group of players who have previously played for, or currently play for the Cleveland Cavaliers because they have already participated in, and in some cases, won the competition. Those sharp shooters included names like Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Wesley Person, Mark Price, Jason Kapono and others. With our options limited, we lend our ears to Smash Mouth once again who remind us that “only shooting stars break the mold”.

To find that shooting star, we ventured down to a front office in the bayou. There we find current New Orleans Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon, who played 119 games (his only NBA experience) with Cleveland in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. In his brief career, the former Duke Blue Devil converted from deep often enough to rank ninth all-time for the Cavs in career three-point shooting percentage (39.6).

The Slam Dunk Contest figures to be the main event, though. Because of the criteria above, we don’t have the tough task of deciding between rim-rattlers Shawn Kemp and Larry Nance Jr. as our Cavs competitor. Instead, we land on the oft-forgotten Alonzo Gee.

As a member of the Wine and Gold, Gee was a main stay above the rim in four seasons post-LeBron James (2010–2014), throwing the hammer down 193 times in that span. Gee’s dunks had power, flare and creativity, but they often went unnoticed since he was playing for a Cavaliers squad that won just 97 of 328 games during Gee’s stay in Northeast Ohio.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 30 all-time greatest players. dark

Cavs fans will have a chance to see these competitions up close next year, as the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend will be held in Cleveland.