After the tragic passing of legend Kobe Bryant, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and several other players vowed to use the All Star Weekend to honor the late great star.
This year’s host city of Chicago was packed with several events on the court and off, including speeches from players, former President Barack Obama, and many more.
When it came time for basketball action, the players did not disappoint. From Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat winning the Skills Challenge to Miles Bridgestone of the Charlotte Hornets earning MVP in Team USA’s comeback over Team World in a 151-131 victory, the weekend left fans wanting more.
Perhaps the biggest headline outside of the actual All Star Game is Saturday’s Dunk Contest.
After narrowing down the competition, two competitors were left and battled head to head against each other: Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon.
Matching 50 point dunks in extra rounds, both competitors scored less than 50 on the last dunk before a judge-off was held to decide the winner.
However, to most viewers and even the NBA players at the game the clear winner was Gordon as his final dunk was over 7 foot- 5 inch Tacko Fall.
To most, several people were disappointed as Jones Jr. ended up winning on points to take home the trophy.
In my opinion, Gordon outperformed Jones on every dunk as he added different elements, where as Jones performed every dunk through the legs.
For Aaron Gordon, after previously competing and not winning when he was also seen as the winner, he declared that he will not be competing anymore.
It would be a huge loss to the competition if he did not return but there’s still until next year to see how serious he is on not competing.
The main event All Star Game, though initially confusing to most fans with the new playing format, shaped up to be a great fight.
Rather than lacking in defense like most people have complained about over the past few years, the restructured quarter system and point accumulation allowed for an intense fight down to the end.
After ending on an Anthony Davis free throw, Team Lebron took home the victory. Kawhi Leonard won the newly renamed Kobe Bryant All Star Game MVP Trophy with a dominant 30 points, eight being three pointers. All in all, with this new format, we get to see players in their prime try their hardest to get a win, the way many visioned it would be initially.
This new format just might prove good for fans, players and even the NBA.