Posted on: April 21, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Waleed Alamleh

Sports Writer

The NBA All-Star weekend 2020 was held on February 16, just 30 minutes away from Moraine in Chicago, Illinois. It was a very eventful weekend with the first event held on campus at De Paul’s Wintrust Arena hosting the Celebrity All Star Game, Friday, February 14, headlined by the most famous NBA loudmouth, (in the most respectful way possible) ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. Smith was the coach of his own team facing another ESPN personality and hometown native, Michael Wilbon. It was tremendous fun,  with many celebrities ranging from rappers Common and Quavo, to actors like Hannibal Buress and Lil’ Rel taking part in the event. 

After the celebrity game concluded, some of the real stars of the NBA shone bright in the rising stars game. The rosters this year were stacked with young talent. Since the teams consist of first and second year players, the NBA world had the treat of being able to watch two young players in particular: Atlanta Hawks point guard, Trae Young, and the Dallas Mavericks point guard, Luka Doncic, who’s currently 3rd in the MVP race in just his second season in the league. The biggest star of the night, however, might have been New Orleans Pelicans forward and phenom, Zion WIlliamson, who after just coming off an injury under a month ago, has already solidified himself as one of the best young talents in the game. Williamson’s quick twitch, Superman-like strength, and freakish jumping ability were on full display in the rising stars game. The most memorable play of the night for Williamson was a dunk late in the second quarter where he titled the whole backboard on an angle causing arena staff to have to level it back to normal. It was a great showcase for the young Pelican as he looks to keep improving throughout the second half of the season with his team currently on the outside looking in for playoff contention. If there is any way for his team to climb the standings, it’s going to be through him. 

Saturday night had no less excitement than the night before as the United Center was filled with legends of the NBA coming to watch a great night. Though it was also an exciting matchup-up, the night had its fair share of controversy. Aaron Gordon has gone another year without winning a dunk contest. The Orlando Magic player, with hops like a bunny, came ever so close this year in winning the whole thing, like in 2016 when he and current Chicago Bull, Zach Lavine, put on what many thought to be the greatest dunk contest of all time. Gordon lost again this year in triple overtime, in a controversial 47 pt score by jumping over 7 footer, Tacko Fall. Gordon lost to high flyer, Derrick Jones Jr., who competed in his second dunk contest and took home the trophy after posting straight 50’s in the final round, a truly amazing feat. 

The weekend wrapped up with the main event, the All Star game. After live drafting on TNT the week before, team captains Lebron James and Giannis Antentokunmpo had their teams set coming into the game Sunday. This year’s game will be looked back on as one to remember as this was the first All-Star game afer Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in a January helicopter crash. The players definitely put on a show in his honor, not only through their game, but with their jerseys as well. Team Giannis all wore number 24 while Team Lebron all donned number 2 jerseys for Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s daughter, another passenger on the fated copter. The game showcased a brand-new format for this year, having the fourth quarter of this year’s game with no time limit and the victors of the quarter also winning the game. The new format finally brought back some intensity and defense which has been lacking in prior All-Star games. On top of all the added rule changes, the NBA  also awarded the winning team earning $250,000 to a Chicago charity. The last quarter was like something out of a video game – the game’s best back and forth all the way down the stretch with it coming down to the very last shot. Chicago native, Anthony Davis, won the game for Team Lebron, hitting a free-throw to give them the win 157-156. With such a thrilling end to the game and the overall positivity surrounding the entire weekend, the NBA will look to capitalize on further improvements to the game for next year’s weekend in Indiana.

Waleed Alamleh can be contacted at