What a fun weekend for the NBA as a whole. For most, NBA players got a week off from playing basketball, to hang out with family and friends due to the All Star Weekend in Chicago. For some special players, they got to go to Chicago to compete in some type of event or multiple events on All Star Weekend.
To start off this All Star Weekend for players, the first event which is the rising stars game took place. This featured fan favorites including Zion Williamson, Trae Young, R.J Barrett and Luka Doncic. The game was U.S against the rest of the world. The players were first and second year stars in the NBA. Team U.S.A beat the World by twenty, 151 to 131. R.J Barrett led the World with 27 points. Eric Paschall went on to lead team U.S.A with 23 points, securing the NBA Rising Stars MVP.
On Saturday, 3 events were held. These events are usually the most exciting for NBA fans. This night started off with the skills competition. Skipping to the final round, all the bigger players in the matchups, won each relay. To be more specific, the centers or forwards, beat the point guards or guards. In the final round, the Miami Heats Bam Adebayo, faced off against the Pacers Domantas Sabonis. Bam Adebayo was the least likely to win going into this, and ended up winning. Part of why Bam was the underdog in this competition, is because he is a terrible 3 point shooter, only making 1 all season. This is detrimental to the relay because you have to make a 3 pointer while also making it before your opponent. Bam Adebayo suprised everyone, making 3 pointers before his opponents in each round. The funny thing was that Bam made more threes in this contest, then he did all season. The second event was the Three Point Contest. In the final round, Buddy Hield, who has made the 3rd most 3 pointers in the NBA, faced off against the 2018 3 point contest winner, Devin Booker. Devin scored a great 26 points. Buddy Hield knew what he had to beat and set his mind to it. Buddy hit a competition winning 3 pointer to give him the win by 1 point. Lastly, the Slam Dunk Contest occurred. This is the most exciting events for fans because these dunks are so entertaining because they are so creative and hard. Dwight Howard who won in 2008, was famous for his superman dunk. He brought back the superman outfit to try to advance himself to the second round, but it was no use. Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon advanced to the 2nd round/final round. In the long run, Derrick Jones Jr. won in a controversial and outstanding contest. The contest went into a dunk off because both players had the same dunk scores. At the end, Aaron Gordon claims to be robbed like he was back in 2016. The 5 judges that rate the dunks out of 50, gave up at the end and stopped handing out 50's. Derrick Jones Jr. got a 48 which was surprising because he attempted to do a Michael Jordan dunk from the free throw line. He made the dunk, but had one foot in front of the free throw line which is still amazing. This was the moment everyone knew Aaron Gordon can seal the win. They knew he could seal the win even more after they saw what player/prop Gordon brought out. Gordon brought out NBA fan favorite, Taco Fall who is 7'5. In total, Gordon jumped over Taco but was scored a 47. No one knows why.
To finish off this weekend, the main event which is the All Star Game took place. It was Team LeBron versus Team Giannis. In honor of Kobe Bryant, NBA commissioner Adam Silver changed the format for the all star game. The first 3 quarters would be 12 minutes long. Each quarter would be a mini game, so the scores would reset each quarter. The team that wins, will donate 100, 000 dollars to the team captains chosen organization. The fourth quarter would be a non-timed game. The scores of the first 3 quarters will be added up to start the 4th quarter. The winning teams score at the beginning of the 4th quarter will be added 24 points honoring Kobe to make the target score. In other words, if Team Giannis had 120 points and Team LeBron had 118, the target score would be 144.
This new format turned out to be a hit. Team LeBron won the first game/quarter 53-41. Team Giannis came back to win the 2nd quarter 51-30. In the last mini game, both teams tied at 41. As a result, the 100, 000 dollar donation moved on to the 4th quarter. In the 4th quarter, both teams played very competitive. This was rare for an all star game, because players don't want to be injured, and usually do crazy shots and dunks to entertain the fans and make the game fun. Instead, both teams played tight defense, and even drew fouls. It was even nice to see Kyle Lowry drawing offensive fouls. The target score was 157. Team Giannis led going into this quarter 133- 124. At the end, Team LeBron who came in down by 9, came back and won by 2 points, 157-155. Anthony Davis hit a game winning three throw. The MVP was Kawhi Leonard who scored an amazing 30 points on 8 3 pointers made. Giannis led his team with 25 points. Everyone loved this new format.