This year’s NBA All-Star Weekend was one for the ages. Each and every night was jam-packed and full of action as their stars came to shine in Chicago.
In Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge, the rookies and sophomores of Team USA emerged victorious over Team World; 151-131. On a court that featured names such as Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Zion Williamson, and Ja Morant; it was the Charlotte Hornets’ Miles Bridges who came away with MVP honors for his high-flying 20 point performance.
The sports world and media went into a frenzy after Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Contest. After scoring 50’s on all dunks in the first and second rounds, Dunk Contest legend Aaron Gordon failed to bring home the Slam Dunk trophy.
The Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. emerged as the controversial champion narrowly defeating Gordon by one point. Despite the drama surrounding the ending, the contest was still one of the best in ages.
On a lighter note, the 2020 NBA All-Star game was an excellent showcase. For most of the game, everything went as expected. Players were hitting half-court shots, threes, and there were some surprising dunks. However, when the fourth-quarter hit, that’s when the stars turned on another switch.
With the fourth quarter not having a time clock, the players battled it out-Team LeBron v. Team Giannis. Guys were hustling after loose ball plays, battling at the rim, and defending like it was playoff time.
Anthony Davis’s late free throws would secure the 157-155 win to defeat Team Giannis.
Kawhi Leonard earned the very first Kobe Bryant Award (formerly known as the All-Star MVP award), putting up 30 points and seven rebounds off of 11/18 shooting.
This new format is great and shows a bright future for NBA All-Star games. Typically, an All-Star game encompasses alley-oops, threes from everywhere, and lackluster defense. Integrating tactics like the new fourth-quarter format bring a more competitive spirit to the exhibition.
Who knows what other creative changes could arise.