NBA All-Star Weekend Wrap-Up
The 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend was one for the record books. With changes to rules, amazing games/competitions, and even players being upset with results, it was extremely entertaining to watch.
Hall of fame Finalists
This year there are currently eight finalists left to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. These finalists are-
- Kobe Bryant
- Tim Duncan
- Kevin Garnett
- Tamika Catchings
- Kim Mulkey
- Barbara Stevens
- Eddie Sutton
- Rudy Tomjanovich
As many people know, the first three on the list are all former NBA players. Kobe Bryant, a Laker’s legend, passed away this year in a horrific helicopter crash as well as his daughter Gianna. His legacy will always be remembered in the NBA, as well as the community of Los Angeles that he helped and inspired so much.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2020 announcement will be held on Saturday, April 4th at 11:00 AM EST on ESPN.
2020 All-Star Celebrity Game
This game, being held just prior to the Rising Stars game, is just a lead into what is to come of the weekend. Some members such as Chance the Rapper, Quavo, Ronnie 2K, and rapper Common were involved, as well as many others. The celebrity All-Star game ended in a win for Team Wilbron over Team Stephen A. Smith by a score of 62-47. The MVP of this game was voted to be rapper Common, who had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals.
2020 NBA Rising Stars Game
Being held late into Friday night, the Rising Stars game was a true spectacle of young talent in the NBA. Team World dominated most of the first half, going on a 14-4 run at the end of the half, which was capped by a Luka Doncic half-court buzzer-beating 3 pointer. The World led by 12 halfway through the third quarter, and this is when Team USA went on a tear. Team USA went on a 27-5 run against Team World and pulled the game directly back into their court. Miles Bridges scored the last 2 points of the 27 with a self-alley-oop off the backboard, then throwing it down hard one-handed. Team USA outscored Team World 80-50 in the second half, coming down with a 151-131 victory.
The MVP of this game being Charlotte Hornets small forward Miles Bridges. Bridges had 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and shot 67% from the field. This game really shows how the younger members of the NBA are progressing and what they bring to their respective teams.
2020 Skills Challenge Showdown
The skills challenge is a meetup of 8 NBA players who are determined to be the most versatile in the league. This usually ends up with guards winning due to agility and passing ability, however, more recently the big men have dominated this event. Participating members were-
- Bam Adebayo, Miami, C
- Patrick Beverley, LAC, PG
- Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn, PG/SG
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC, PG
- Khris Middleton, Milwaukee, SG/SF
- Domantas Sabonis, Indiana, PF/C
- Pascal Siakam, Toronto, PF
- Jayson Tatum, Boston, SF/PF (2019 reigning skills competition winner)
Detroit Pistons point guard Derrick Rose was also originally supposed to be a part of this event, however, he was injured for the day of the event. In the end, the event came down to Bam Adebayo and Domantas Sabonis. Adebayo won, despite his issues this season with being able to shoot the 3-ball. Adebayo was 1-11 on the season from 3, however, he went 3-6 the night of the skills showdown.
2020 Three-Point Contest
The three-point contest determines one thing, and one thing only, who has the best three-point shot currently in the NBA. This again was a matchup between 8 players, and again is normally dominated by guards. This remains the case for this year, as 7/8 contestants are natural guards. These included-
- Davis Bertans, Washington, SG/SF
- Devin Booker, Phoenix, SG
- Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte, PG/SG
- Joe Harris, Brooklyn, SG/SF (2019 reigning 3-point contest winner)
- Buddy Hield, Sacramento, SG
- Zach LaVine, Chicago, SG
- Duncan Robinson, Miami, SG/SF
- Trae Young, Atlanta, PG
The three-point contest, as always, was a spectacle to watch. So many different speeds, forms, and levels of ability for shooting the 3-ball. By the end, it came down to Kings SG Buddy Hield and Suns SG Devin Booker. Hield won by 1 three-pointer, which was his last shot on the last rack of balls.
2020 Slam Dunk Contest
The final event of Saturday night, and realistically, the most controversial, the Dunk contest. Tall guards or average size forwards with loads of athletic ability normally dominate this contest. For anyone who likes to see raw athleticism and the peak of NBA dunking, this is for you. This time around, there are only 4 members competing. Competitors included:
- Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee, SG/SF
- Aaron Gordon, Orlando, SF/PF
- Dwight Howard, LAL, C
- Derrick Jones Jr., Miami, SG/SF
Here is where the controversy came in, the final dunk. Aaron Gordon was going for his final dunk of the night, matching up against Derrick’s perfect score of 50. He then called over Boston Celtics center Tacko Fall (keep in mind, Tacko is 7’7” tall with shoes). Aaron set up Tacko just under the outer edge of the rim, gave him the ball, ran up and dunked while jumping over all 7’7” of Fall. This very well could have led to a tiebreaker, as most assumed this was a perfect 50 score. However it was not, he was given a 9/10 by 3 judges and lost due to it. This left Derrick Jones Jr. as the winner and Aaron Gordon with his second snub at a true chance in the dunk contest.
2020 NBA All-Star Game
So, this all takes us to the main event on Sunday night, the 69th annual NBA All-Star Game. Normally, and obligingly, the most interesting out of all the events, as it combines the aspects of all of them. Celebrities and Hall of Famers watching, skills, three-pointers, dunking, athleticism, the best of the best in the NBA. The voted players to represent the NBA were:
Team Lebron Starters
- PG- Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
- SG- James Harden, Houston Rockets
- SF- Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
- PF- Lebron James (Captain), Los Angeles Lakers
- C- Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
Team Lebron Reserves
- SG- Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
- PG- Chris Paul, OKC Thunder
- PG- Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers (DNP, injured, replaced by Booker)
- C- Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
- PG/PF- Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
- PF/C- Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers
- SF/PF- Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
- PG- Russel Westbrook, Houston Rockets
- Coach- Frank Vogel, Los Angeles Lakers
Team Giannis Starters
- PG- Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
- SG- Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
- SF- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Captain), Milwaukee Bucks
- PF- Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
- C- Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Team Giannis Reserves
- C- Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
- SF/PF- Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
- SG/SF- Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
- C- Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
- SG- Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
- PG- Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
- SG/SF- Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
- Coach- Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors
Eventually, with both lineups set, everyone was heavily anticipating this game to be an amazing one, and that it was. Players shooting threes from almost half-court, alley-oops over players, and just all-around amazing offense as always. Also, the defense was little to be seen if at all. Even if it was around it was a very short spur, then back to the offense. Overall, this was one of the better all-star games I have had the pleasure of witnessing in the past few years. In the end, Team Lebron topped Team Giannis at a score of 157-155, and the winner of the newly implemented Kobe Bryant MVP award went to Kawhi Leonard.
In all realism, the new rule changes and additions left me wanting the all-star weekend to last so much longer. I very rarely like watching it, however being able to be watching history in the making was a nice bonus. All the competitions and games were relatively close and hard-fought, which just added to the excitement.
Did you watch NBA All-Star Weekend? Leave a comment below.
Dunk over the competition with IroniqMedia for all of your NBA coverage.