Paolo Panchero smiles during the first NBA All-Star game; The Orlando Magic were big winners all weekend

Indianapolis – What a weekend for the Orlando Magic organization!

Paulo Banchero became the fifth player in NBA All-Star Weekend history to participate in Friday's Rising Stars Game, at least one Saturday night event and Sunday's All-Star Game in the same year.

Osceola Magic star Mac McClung became the fifth player to win the Slam Dunk Contest in as many years.

Magic two-way contract player Trevelyn Quinn was named MVP of the G League Next Up game after leading the team to an Earn Your Leisure game win in the tournament's championship game over Team Polylife, which included fellow Magic two-way player Kevon Harris.

Magic Gaming All-Star Joshua „Unguardable” Hunter was around town. Serves as a brand ambassador NBA 2K will help grow the league.

With that representation and success, it was undoubtedly one of the best All-Star weekends in franchise history.

Banchero capped his action-packed weekend by recording six points, nine rebounds and five assists during East's 211-186 win in 73.rd NBA All-Star Game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. It was the first time an NBA All-Star team reached 200 points.

“It was great. I've been smiling all night – honestly,” he said. „This is what I've been waiting for on Sunday. To be around the fans, all these players – it's special.

Paulo Banchero's NBA All-Star Debut

What was clear throughout the weekend was that the NBA is loaded with elite talent. One could argue that we've never seen the league have so many top players at the same time.

As Banchero points out, a big reason for this is that older generation superstars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry are still playing at elite levels, and a younger generation of stars, including Banchero and skills teammate Anthony, are challenging. Edwards and Victor Vembanyama are playing beyond their years. And then, of course, as you'd expect, several stars are MVP candidates, including Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

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„I look at it like levels or tiers — guys and where they are in their careers, what they've already done in league (like) championships or playoffs,” Banchero said. „The older guys have done it. There's the middle guys who are doing it. And then the young guys who are trying to do it are chasing it. I think it's great for the league. It's great for me to have a young guy like me chasing these guys and working my way up.

Banchero can now recharge before Magic practices and games resume this weekend. At 30-25, Orlando is eighth in the East, but a ½ game back of sixth and three games back of fourth.

The Magic have a very „friendly” schedule in other ways. They play 15 of their remaining 27 games at the Kia Center, and 16 of those 27 games are against teams that are currently on a losing streak.

Banchero and Franz Wagner also have a chance to make history. Both averaged at least 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and one steal, becoming the youngest pair of teammates to reach those marks in a single season.

„In the locker room (around the other East All-Stars), we were talking about the levels and how intense it was going to be after halftime,” Banchero said. „Getting back on the court and chasing this playoff spot, (I'm) excited to see everyone (in Orlando).”

NBA All-Star Postgame: Paulo Banchero

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