NBA All Star Game 2020



In honor of Kobe Bryant, the NBA introduced a new all-star game format. The format proved to be amazing, and made the players play competitively.

Raghu C., Editor-in-Chief

Last Sunday, the best of the best came together to face off in the 69th annual All-Star Game. The two captains, voted by fans were Lebron James and Giannis Antetekoumpo. Lebron drafted Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Nikola Jokic, Ben Simmons, Domantas Sabonis, Jason Tatum, and Russell Westbrook. Giannis drafted Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker, Trae Young, Bam Adebayo, Brandon Ingram, Donavan Mitchell, Jimmy Butler, Rudy Gobert, Kyle Lowry, and Khris Middleton.

In honor of the late Kobe Bryant, the entire All-Star Game format was changed. Team Lebron wore #2, the number of Kobe’s daughter, Gianna, who also passed away in the crash. Team Giannis wore #24 to represent the Hall of Famer. Moreover, the first three quarters were mini-games with the score resetting every quarter. The winner of each quarter won $100,000 for charity. The fourth quarter would not have a time limit but instead a target score. The highest combined score out of the two teams plus 24 points would be the target score. So, for example of the combined score of 3 quarters was 100-99 the target score would be 124 points. The winner of the fourth quarter (and the game) won an additional $200,000 for charity. 

The first quarter was by far the flashiest and the one with the least defense. The players allowed alley-oops, behind-the-back passes, and wide-open threes. Kawhi Leonard of Team Lebron made an astounding 4 three-pointers. Team Giannis had their points spread out amongst its players. The quarter ended with the $100,000 going to Team Lebron, as they won 53-41.

The second quarter saw a slow-down in highlights as the bench played in Chicago. Kawhi made yet another 3 three-pointers for Team Lebron. Giannis scored 14 points for his team, in hopes of winning $100,000. The quarter ended with a half-court shot by Trae Young, sending the crowd up from their seats. Team Giannis tied it up, winning the quarter 51-30.

After an amazing halftime show by Chicago native Chance the Rapper, the teams headed out of the locker rooms, ready to prove their greatness.

In the third quarter, the teams started to get down to business, showing off their defensive skills. Kawhi made yet another three tying Paul George for the record. His teammate, Lebron scored 10 points and 1st-time all-star Luka Doncic hit 2 back-to-back threes. On Team Giannis, Rudy Gobert scored 12 points and his teammate Joel Embiid scored 6 points. With a tight contest, the quarter ended with the score tied 41-41, and the $100,000 up for grabs being added to the $200,000 4th quarter prize.

With the cumulative score being 133-124 in favor of Team Giannis, the target score was 157. The teams came back from the commercial break with a Mamba Mentality, ready to win the game for their idol, and for charity. The quarter was competitive, to say the least, with no flashy alley-oops or shots from the logo. The refs finally made an impact on the game with fouls on almost every other possession. The lead went back and forth between Team Lebron and Team Giannis, and for a while, it seemed that Team Giannis was going to secure the win. However, Lebron and his fellow All-Stars crawled back into the game, tying it up at 152-152. From there the game was purely free throws with only one field goal by Lebron. In the end, Anthony Davis hit his second free throw to win $300,000 for charity. 

Kawhi Leonard took home the newly named Kobe Bryant MVP award after scoring 30 points, going 8 for 14 on threes, getting 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

 After winning the award he told the crowd, “Words can’t even explain just making this the first Kobe Bryant MVP Trophy. I want to thank Kobe for everything he’s done for me. All the long talks and workouts, thank you. This one’s for him.”

The box score leader for Team Giannis was the captain, The Greek Freak with 25 points 11 rebounds and 4 assists. 

Lebron, who scored 23 points said after the game, “Throughout the whole fourth quarter and at the end of the game, everybody was like, ‘That was pretty damn fun.’”