Hip-Hop Strong During All-Star Weekend

Although NBA All-Star Weekend

in Denver was largely a setting for rock and country music, hip-hop and R&B

artists also made their presence felt.

The weekend’s events were

kicked off Friday night with the McDonald’s All-Star Celebrity Game, where Nelly,

DJ Clue and Jermaine Dupri suited up and proved that the rappers wanting to

be ballers adage was still alive and well.

And while they showed rare

flashes of talent and style (Nelly, part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, rocked

his jersey backwards), it was R&B crooner Brian McKnight who earned MVP

honors and led his team to a 65-64 victory.

On Super Saturday,

Brandy hollered from the sideline as her fiance Quentin Richardson of the Phoenix

Suns won the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout.

The songstress

also stuck around as Richardson’s teammate Amaré Stoudemire and Atlanta

rookie Josh Smith competed in the finals of what was one of the most memorable

Slam Dunk contests in recent years.

Smith was victorious, with

a perfect score of 100, largely due to a vicious willmill dunk he threw down

while donning a throwback of Hawk’s legend Dominique Wilkins.

Rap moguls P.Diddy

Combs and Jay-Z, an investor in the New Jersey Nets, grabbed front-row seats

for Sunday’s main event, watching the East defeat the West, 125-115, and Allen

Iverson hoist the MVP trophy.

Performances by Ciara, Tamia

and Destiny’s Child were also included in festivties.

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