Team LeBron Defeats Team Giannis In New Format All-Star Game 157-155, Kobe Bryant Honored
The 2020 NBA All-Star game featured a new format that fans and players thoroughly enjoyed including the fourth quarter that featured physical play and the most excitement the game has seen in years. On Sunday, The teams started the contest playing three quarters that accumulated the total points for each team. Team Giannis lead 133-124 going into the fourth quarter and under new rules 24 points would be added onto the leading team’s total in honor of Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey, with the target score being 157.
The passion was evident as the physicality picked up in the fourth quarter. LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo went back and forth. First it was James stealing the ball from Antetokounmpo then it was the “Greek Freak” blocking James at the rim just before the ball appeared to hit the backboard. That play was initially called a goaltend but resulted in a lengthy review and was overturned to a jumpball late in the fourth quarter.
Kyle Lowry was taking charges and playing tight defense on James Harden while Chris Paul was throwing down an alley oop helping to lead Team LeBron back into the game late in the third quarter. Joel Embiid was posting up players and backing them down from outside of the paint putting on a big man clinic. You could feel the energy in the arena and the players did not disappoint.
Team LeBron wore No. 2 jerseys paying tribute to Bryant’s daughter Gianna and Team Giannis wore No. 24. James told the media after the game, “You could definitely feel [Bryant’s] presence. So he was definitely here.” Team LeBron won 157-155 after Anthony Davis caught a pass from James and was sent to the line following a foul in the paint on Lowry. He sunk one free throw to seal the win.
On February 15, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the All-Star Game MVP trophy would be renamed the Kobe Bryant MVP Award, which Kawhi Leonard won after posting 30 points and shooting 8-14 from the three-point line.
“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” Silver said in regards to the name change. “He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world.”
“For a lot of us, it’s still surreal,” Paul said. “I think the best way we could honor Kobe, Gigi and everyone involved was to play like we played.”
“Anything else would be uncivilized,” James said. “It’s a beautiful time, it’s a beautiful day, and his presence was felt here in Chicago. So appreciate it.”
Here’s some reactions from around the league:
This the best game of all time
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) February 17, 2020
New format got the guys hooping hooping!!!!
— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) February 17, 2020
Well… the Elam ending worked!
— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) February 17, 2020
Is this the NBA Finals I’m watching?
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) February 17, 2020
— NBA (@NBA) February 17, 2020