2020 NBA All Star Weekend
A weekend for the ages!
March 3, 2020
The 2020 NBA All Star weekend tipped off on February 14, 2020 and lasted until February 16th in Chicago Illinois. The first event that began the All Star weekend was the Celebrity Game in February 14th which features 2 teams full of celebrities going head to head in a basketball game. Stephen A Smith, analyst for the ESPN show First Take, coached Team Stephen A. while Michael Wilbon, co host for the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption, coached Team Wilbon. Notable celebrities from the celebrity game included Chance the Rapper, Common, and country singer Kane Brown. Team Wilbon prevailed in this game, as they won against Team Stephen A. 62-47
Shortly after the Celebrity Game, the NBA Rising Stars Challenge took place, a game that includes the best rookies and second year players in the NBA. Team World includes the best rookies and second year players in the NBA that were born outside the U.S while Team USA included players born in the U.S. Team World and Team USA played against each other in the Rising Stars Challenge and Team USA was victorious winning against Team World 151-131. Golden State Warriors Forward Eric Paschall led the way scoring 23 points for Team USA.
On February 15th, 3 events occurred for NBA All Star weekend as these events were the Skills Challenge, Three Point Contest, and fan favorite Slam Dunk Contest. The Skills Challenge is a competition that tests each contestants dribbling, shooting, and passing. 8 NBA players participated in the challenge as Bam Abedayo, forward for the Miami Heat, emerged victorious in this event.
After that, the 3 point contest occurred, the contest that features the best 3 point shooters in the NBA. Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard was not able to participate in the event due to an injured groin. Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker replaced the injured Lillard not only in the 3 point contest, but in the NBA All Star Game as well which happens the day after the contest. The 3 point contest consists of 2 rounds as each contestant has to shoot 5 threes from 5 positions behind the 3 point line. The NBA implemented a new rule in the 3 point contest, as they added 2 more three point attempts with both those attempts being 6 feet away from the 3 point line. Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield brought home the 3 point contest trophy, as he edged out Booker from his last 3 point attempt.
The NBA 2020 Dunk Contest included 4 athletic contestants, Derrick Jones Jr. from the Miami Heat, Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic, Pat Connaughton from the Milwaukee Bucks, and Dwight Howard from the Los Angeles Lakers. Each contestant has to do 2 dunks in the first round and the 2 contestants with the most points from the first round move on into the final round which have the final contestants do 2 dunks. Each dunk is graded out of 50 points for each contestant. Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon emerged victorious from the first round as they both moved on into the second and final round. The first 2 dunks in the second round were not enough to determine the winner of the contest due to Gordon and Jones Jr. having equal scores after the first 2 dunks. The 3rd dunk tie breaker was unsuccessful as both players got 50’s on the 3rd dunk and equal scores. The 4th dunk came with a controversial ending as Derrick Jones Jr. won the contest despite Gordon dunking over 7 foot 5 Center Tacko Fall on his final dunk.
The NBA All Star Game came a day after those 3 events as Team Lebron and Team Giannis went against each other on Sunday. Lakers forward Anthony Davis won the game with the final two free throws as Team Lebron won against Team Giannis 157-155. Los Angeles Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard was the MVP of the All Star game as the MVP award was renamed to the Kobe Bryant NBA All Star Game MVP Award to honor the late Kobe Bryant.