The 2020 NBA All-Star weekend was one for the history books. All three days were incredibly entertaining and exciting while also emotional. With the weekend being largely dedicated to the late great David Stern and Kobe Bryant, many were expecting the best players in the association to put on a show and that is exactly what happened.
Starting with Friday, the Rising Stars game is always fun. The Rising Stars game pits the best international players against the best players from the United States in a blacktop style game. Most of the fans in attendance were most likely there for only a couple of players. Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Ja Morant, and Zion Williamson were the main headliners. The entirety of the game consisted of lobs, deep three-point attempts, flashy ball-handling moves, and shots that should NEVER be taken in a regular-season game. But that’s the fun of the all-star weekend. Everyone is there to have a good time and take a break from the season.
Saturday Night, which is always one of the most looked forward to nights in the whole NBA calendar, was legendary. The Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shootout, and Dunk contest were all worth watching as all came down to the wire. The Skills Challenge came down to two big men showing how the style of today’s game has changed. Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat went head to head with Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers and came out on top. Adebayo showed why he is up there with the best big men in the league, showcasing his passing, shooting, and ball-handling abilities. The three-point contest was very exciting. It really showcased how the league is moving in terms of all the three-pointers being attempted. Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings showed off his smooth stroke after knocking off Devin Booker, who won the 2018 contest, on the final shot of the whole thing! The dunk contest was easily the best contest throughout the evening. Every round seemed to get more competitive and creative. After Pat Connaughton and Dwight Howard were eliminated, Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon put on a phenomenal performance for the city of Chicago. They were tied the whole way through that, in fact, there were 2 extra tiebreaker rounds. The crowd was electrified the whole night and especially during the final round. Aaron Gordon’s last jam was a dunk over 7’5 Tacko Fall and Derrick Jones Jr. did a windmill dunk from the free-throw line. Both were worthy of being the winning dunk, but people were shocked when Jones Jr. won, and there is even said to be controversy with the judging as Jones Jr. only beat Gordon by one point.
Sunday night was emotional but also a lot of fun. The famous NBA All-Star game had its format changed and altered to honor Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash in January, by changing the jersey numbers, scoring system, an MVP award. Team Giannis wore 24 in honor of Kobe Bryant and Team Lebron wore 2 in honor of Gianna Bryant. The scoring system was changed in the sense that the final target score would be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points. Team Lebron won by 1 point in what seemed like the perfect game to honor Kobe. It was competitive, fiery, and exciting throughout every quarter. It also seemed to end the perfect way. Kobe Bryant’s first NBA point was a free throw when Kobe scored 81 points his 81st point was a free throw, and during Kobe’s final game when he scored 60 points, the last two points of his career were free throws. The 2020 NBA All-Star ended with now Laker Anthony Davis hitting a free throw. Finally, the All-Star game MVP was renamed the Kobe Bryant MVP award which was also very fitting as Kobe won 4 throughout his 20-year career.
The 2020 NBA All-Star weekend was one of the best in history. Kobe was honored in the perfect way, Chicago was a fantastic host city, the fans were electrified, and the players had a ton of fun. All-Star Weekend is always a great time to take a break and enjoy the best that the NBA has to offer.
Dillion Brooks has apparently developed a reputation as a provoker over the past few seasons in the basketball world. The Memphis Grizzlies wing was infamously ejected from a playoff game last postseason for picking a fight with Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II, and the same thing happened on Thursday with another player. This time, it was Cleveland Cavaliers player Donovan Mitchell.