NBA All-Star Weekend had plenty to offer sports and music fans this year, as the reliable intersect brought us plenty of good, bad and Fergie moments to last a lifetime. Touching down in Los Angeles after a seven-year break, there was no doubt the events would be bigger than ever before.
Kicking things off was the Celebrity All-Star game with
Michael B. Jordan Eric Killmonger, Justin Bieber, MVP Quavo, and Jamie Foxx. Despite his awkward interview walk-off, the Academy-Award winner was seen cracking jokes with his teammates during the game. Just hours later, Kendrick Lamar dominated the American Express Roadshow, presented by NBA on TNT.
Friday evening (Feb. 16) was an enjoyable precursor to the weekend with parties falling out of the sky. Over in West Hollywood, Nike and Revolve continued their creative collaboration for an intimate gathering at TAO, with guests Chanel Iman and Revolve founder Michael Mente. The House of Rémy Martin helped lead the turn up over at Avenue with their MVP Experience. Tristan Thompson, French Montana, James Harden and plenty of other celebrity guests jammed out to a performance by Travis Scott.
Anticipation for Saturday (Feb.17) was only heightened after rumors began of Kanye West’s secret performance. Just before that came into fruition at Adidas’ warehouse party with Kid Cudi, Thompson hosted Rémy’s watch shindig for the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest, with Hall of Famers Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Lisa Leslie paired with fans and fellow judges Chris Rock, DJ Khaled, and Mark Wahlberg.
Saturday evening was the night of stars back at Avenue, where it hosted the Beats party. LeBron James served regal looks with his wife Savannah Brinson, Killmonger partied with Angela Simmons and attendees said a prayer or two for their toes as “God’s Plan” virtually played on a loop in the very packed venue. No worries, it was still loved.
Sunday evening’s All-Star game was what Black Twitter’s dreams were made for, with a handful of viral moments almost overshadowing James’ warrant victory.
In between the winners and losers of the weekend, there were underdogs who essentially helped make this All-Star Weekend one to remember. From Jesse Williams and The Advancement Project’s special gallery pop-up to Dwyane Wade taking out time to chill with fans, here are seven lucky moments you may have missed.
L.A. barbershop Grey Matter was the setting of Rémy Martin’s Locker Room event, also paired with Toronto’s Get Fresh Company. Thanks to the sounds from Wondagurl, guests enjoyed Rémy cocktails while scoring free cuts and custom tailoring at the grooming suite. Pieces on hand were the line’s collaboration with PUMA, like the GFC League Suit.
Black excellence shined bright in the collective formerly known as Hennypalooza. The cross-country bash premiered their new pairing with Dussé Saturday (Feb. 17) evening at the Globe Theater. Legendary super producer Just Blaze kept the night going with guests Terrence J and Roc Nation’s Young Guru. More than just a party, Kameron Bennett, Rory Farrell, Kazeem Famuyide, LowKey, Chris Stylezz, Ravie B, Peeje, Dewayne, Austin Millz and Karl Lunsford developed a brand enjoyed by those who appreciate the power building an experience for music and spirits lovers.
Transforming from a basement party, the group gained fans all over the country and in the industry leading to past performances from Ty Dolla $ign, Wale, Cam’ron and Chance The Rapper. The tour helped to boost Hennessy’s cool factor, despite their reluctance to the “strange music fest.” It also gained the attention of Lenny S. and JAY-Z, encouraging the brand’s powerful switch up.
September 30th, 2015 was the date. Lenny S called @lowkeyuhtn and myself to come to his office. He wanted to shoot us as a part his #GoldStandard photo series. He introduced us as “the Henny sippers” followed by “we gone change that.” Fast forward to February of 2016, and the good brother @taxstone called me and said that D’usse wanted to meet with us. He said those were words straight from Hov himself. After 10 minutes of telling Tax he was a liar, he connected me to @baxelrod and the D’usse family. I’m a firm believer in timing and it wasn’t quite the right time yet. We went on to body an international tour for the next two years as #HennyPalooza. Then this past summer, 4:44 was released and my favorite rapper kept encouraging to start your own, support your own, and invest in your own. As a believer in timing, I couldn’t ignore the signs that were in front of me. There was a golden opportunity right in front of us. Around this time, people kept asking what’s next for #HennyPalooza. It was time for us to elevate the brand, and there was one clear way to do it….alignment. People were/are shocked every time I tell them that the other brand would have nothing to do with us. Who could possibly understand where we were coming from? We’re a self-made group of friends in business that were just looking for an opportunity, sound familiar?! Not only is the opportunity here, but we now have the PERFECT partner in D’usse/Hov/Roc Nation. When I said Terminal 5 was the last #HennyPalooza, I meant it. I’m proud to announce that we’ve officially partnered with @dussecognac to bring you all #DussePalooza!! Same crew. Same energy. New Rules.
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Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the celebrity presence of All-Star Weekend, but it wasn’t hard to miss the Girl Scouts of America. The tiny members of the organization were the first people you saw while leaving the Celebrity All-Star Game on Friday as they sold their classic cookies with big smiles. The fact that they now take Venmo was just the cutest and a nice ode to their business savvy.
With multiple spaces rented out all over the city, adidas provided fans with space to shoot hoops while enjoying performances by N.E.R.D., 21 Savage, Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert. Their celeb basketball game at 747 Warehouse was perfect as 2 Chainz and Snoop Dogg went head-to-head with some help from their friends. We were also treated to this hilarious celebratory dance by Uncle Snoop.
But of course, adidas owned the weekend after hosting a performance by Kid Cudi and a surprise performance by Kanye West. On Sunday, the brand teamed up with Rémy Martin for a cozy, but lit finale at Poppy, with Slam Dunk champion Donovan Mitchell present to celebrate.
Budweiser’s two-day event helped bring light to the wonderful world of custom kicks with Troy “Kickasso” Cole. The designer helped host the brand’s LIVE event with an art exhibition and performances from T-Pain, Smino, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, and MadeinTYO.
Guests also had the chance to hang out with Tracy MGrady and LaMarcus Aldridge in between art presentations by graffiti master Madsteez, and art by Vyal One, Morley, Brett Crawford, Taylor Kinahan, Blake Barash, B Street Shoes and Nina Palomba.
But the coolest moment arrived when Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond took the shoes off his feet and gave them to Kickasso to revamp. The designer got the job done in 30 minutes, proving his artistry has no limits.
This is probably the coolest thing that’s happened to me in awhile… @andredrummondd took his Jordan’s off and walked around the @Budweiser event barefoot while I put some work into them. That’s real love man! Swipe to see the process. Making art on the spot on these flyknit 3s is no easy task, not the best material to work with, but as an artist gotta do what you gotta do .
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Speaking of shoes, Wade hosted the unveiling of his extremely limited All-Star Weekend “Moments” colorway of his “Way of Wade 6” performance basketball shoe by Li-Ning. The shoe was made directly with the people in mind so it was only right that Wade and teammate Udonis Haslem spent time with fans.
The fight for equality didn’t stop this weekend. The Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil organization, hosted a special pop-up to change the narrative of policing. Board member and actor Jesse Williams was on-site at the Underground Museum filming #FreeandSafe testimonials in which actors, designers, and musicians shared their experiences with police.
Participants included 2 Chainz, designer Waraire Boswell, Uber Chief Brand officer Bozoma Saint John and actress Alexandra Shipp. The videos will live on social media and also serve as a means of education to those unaware of the proper practices of policing, especially in black and brown communities.
Learn more about The Advancement Project here.