New York Knicks starting wing Quentin Grimes was on his way to the Rising Stars title and an MVP run until Jose Alvarado sneaked from behind to steal his thunder.
Alvarado, a New York native, lived up to his monicker “Grand Theft Alvarado” as he stole both the championship and the MVP from Grimes with the winning basket to lift Team Pau Gasol in the riveting finals of the Rising Stars Friday night in Salt Lake City.
Grimes was sensational all night until Alvarado started bear-hugging him on defense and hit the dagger over him in the Finals.
“I should’ve told the refs [about Alvarado’s bear-hugging defense] to get him a technical foul, but I don’t know if I can do that in a Rising Stars game, so it is whatever it is,” Grimes said. “It’s going to be funny not to have fun. If you come out here, have fun, and compete with guys like that.”
It was a reverse full circle for Grimes after sinking the game-winning three-pointer earlier in the first game to carry Team Joakim to the Finals.
His Team Joakim teammate, Tari Eason of the Houston Rockets, teased him postgame.
“Does your back hurt,” Eason playfully asked Grimes, followed by, “Did our team, the blue team, let you down?”
“Nah, man,” Grimes replied. “I just got to have fun with you, trying to do everything I can to have a good time with you.”
The Knicks starting shooting guard had fun carrying Team Joakim on his back, putting up an impressive shooting clinic. He scored 27 points of Team Joakim’s 60 points combined in two games.
Grimes was on target all night, hitting 10 of 14 shooting from the field and 6 of 10 from downtown. And he brought the defensive effort he’s known for with the Knicks, collecting three steals and two blocks.
“It’s everything I imagined growing up watching [the All-Star weekend] as a kid, coming out with All-Stars in the front row, celebrities, and everything,” Grimes said of the whole experience. “So I couldn’t ask for a better night for me really.”
Well, except for a better ending on the winning side. But Grimes did not let that wild ending ruin his unforgettable first All-Star weekend.
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