This year’s NBA All-Star game was one of the most anticipated in recent memory. Besides the clash of the league’s biggest stars, the game also commemorated the late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. And, it is safe to say that the game didn’t disappoint as Team LeBron edged Team Giannis in a highly entertaining 157-155 match.
The 2020 NBA All-Star game featured a different format in order to honor Bryant and it ended up doing the trick as the contest was competitive, especially towards the end. The winner of the match would be the team who reaches 157 the first and Lakers’ Anthony Davis was the one to seal the deal for Team LeBron, hitting the deciding free throw.
“It felt like playing in the league in a playoff game,” said Davis after the game. “It’s a great competition, and it’s 24 players who go out and compete at a very high level, and to do it in front of a crowd like this, with a new format that we were a little skeptical of, we didn’t know how it was gonna go, but everyone, at the end of the day, they loved it. It brings back the competition, so it was great.”
Team LeBron was carried to win by Los Angeles Clippers’ superstar Kawhi Leonard, who was named the All-Star Game’s MVP and received a trophy that will now be permanently called Kobe Bryant Trophy. Leonard finished the match with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
“It’s very special,” said Leonard. “I had a relationship with him. Words can’t explain how happy I am to be able to put that trophy in my room, in my trophy room, and just be able to see Kobe’s name on there.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led his team by contributing 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, Joel Embiid added 22 points, 10 rebounds while Rudy Gobert pitched in with 21 points, 11 rebound double-double.
Team LeBron and Team Giannis played for more than bragging rights, as each team previously selected a charity to donate $100,000 per each quarter of the game they win. Team LeBron ended up collecting $300,000 for donations, while Team Giannis had $100,000 to hand out.