Around the NBA: Feb. 21
Host Zech Lambert, joined by analysts Gabe Angieri and Logan Bourandas, discuss the NBA's All-Star Weekend festivities.
As All-Star Weekend concludes, the second half of the season looms. However, All-Star Weekend 2020 was one of the most memorable for a multitude of reasons: a stellar showing in the 3-point contest, a dunk contest that will live in infamy and the most entertaining All-Star Game in recent memory.
Sacramento Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield walked away from the 2020 Mountain Dew 3-Point Contest as the champion on Saturday night with a score in the final round of 27. Phoenix Suns guard and 2018 3-Point Contest champion Devin Booker put his best foot forward, being bested by only a single point. As a matter of fact, Hield won thanks in large part to sinking every single ball on his money rank. This storyline would quickly dissolve once the AT&T Dunk Contest got underway.
Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon was the favorite going into the dunk contest because of his performance against Zach Lavine in the 2016 edition of the event, which is heralded as possibly the greatest dunk contest of all-time. Gordon would score a 50 on each of his first two dunks, sending him to the finals against the high-flying Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat.
After each scoring a 50 on his first two dunks in the finals, Jones Jr. and Gordon went into a sudden death “dunk-off”. In the second round of the dunk off, Jones Jr. started it off by doing a windmill dunk from just slightly inside the free throw line. Gordon answered with a dunk for the ages. He jumped over Boston Celtics center Tacko Fall, who stands at 7’5, and dunked the ball after clearing Fall. To the surprise of the nation, Gordon only received a 47 for this dunk, with judges Chadwick Boseman, the Bulls’ Hall of Famer, and former Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade giving Gordon a 9 for the dunk. Jones Jr. beat out Gordon by one point, but Gordon was not happy during the press conference following the event.
“We’re here to do four dunks. I did four straight 50s - five straight 50s. It’s over. It’s a wrap. Let’s go home,” Gordon said.
However, Jones Jr. defended himself, saying he is the “best dunker in the world.” Regardless of who people think is better, this dunk contest will be remembered for its fantastic dunks and strange ending.
On Sunday, the NBA’s most elite players took the court for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. With the new system in place, Team LeBron won the first quarter, Team Giannis won the second quarter, and the two teams tied in the third. The score goal was then set at 157. Team LeBron would be the first team to get there, winning on an Anthony Davis free throw.
Fans and players alike loved the new rules to the game. Fans rejoiced over the players actually playing defense in a game that usually features a lot of “efense”, since there is no “D”.
Joel Embiid shared his feelings after the game on Twitter.
“BEST ALL STAR GAME EVER!!!!!” the 76ers center tweeted.
Chicago played host to one of the best All-Star Weekends in recent memory and set the bar very high for Indiana next year.
Zech Lambert is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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