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The 10 best moments of the NBA All Star Weekend 2020

The best of the 69th edition: from the Kobe Bryant homage to the new format, passing through the Saturday controversies

The 10 best moments of the NBA All Star Weekend 2020 The best of the 69th edition: from the Kobe Bryant homage to the new format, passing through the Saturday controversies

"To me it was probably the best All-Star Game ever." Words and music by Joel Embiid, in his second consecutive NBA All-Star appearance. We'll never be able to say that for sure, but the 2020 version of the All-Star Game was incredible. Chicago and the United Center hosted the 69th edition of the Star Game, a unique show where the best athletes on the planet faced off on the same court (which for the occasion depicts part of the city's iconic skyline). The Windy City was the setting for a weekend for the ages. Here are the ten things that have marked the ASG 2020.  


In memory of Kobe Bean Bryant

There's not too much to turn around: it was the All-Star Game of the Black Mamba. Every person who participated wanted to pay their respects in some way to the Lakers legend, who tragically passed away on January 26th. The embrace between Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson has already gone viral for the nostalgic ones, while tears come out naturally when Magic Johnson takes the floor to remember what he called "the best Laker ever." The eight seconds of total silence and the hands of the All-Stars held tightly together represent two of the best moments of the evening. Soon after, there are Damian Lillard's "outfit tribute" - Dame D.O.L.L.A. for her musical version - and Devin Booker wearing a dedicated Kobe and Gianna Bryant jacket during warm-up. 

The format itself is a very clear tribute to Kobe Bryant, in honor of which commissioner Adam Silver also named the MVP award. In addition to the All-Star jersey numbers and Jennifer Hudson's moving performance, a numerical curiosity is a clear sign that the Basketball Gods had their eyes on Chicago. The final result was 157 for Team LeBron, 155 for Team Giannis. Adding up the score figures, the total is 24. Subtracting them, on the other hand, the total is 2, like the number of little Gianna. 


The sneakers we spotted: from Kawhi to Trae Young

It was undoubtedly the ASG of novelties and changes, the same that we find at the feet of different stars. There are those who opted for vintage - such as Kyle Lowry with his adidas Pro Model or Kemba Walker dusting off the Air Jordan 10 Retro "WINGS" - and there are those who take the the opportunity to launch brand new shoes. That's the case with the night's MVP, Kawhi Leonard, who debuts New Balance's new signature shoes. Trae Young followed a slightly different route, showing off the adidas N3XT L3V3L 2 'Ice Trae', a customized version for one of the best point guards in the league. Russell Westbrook, on the other hand, wasted no time and immediately tested the Jordan Why Not Zer0.3 "LA Born", released just this week. Double shoe, insted, for LeBron (Nike LeBron 17 "Monstars" & Nike LeBron 17 "Mr. Swackhammer"), for Giannis (Nike Zoom Freak 1 "Multicolor" & Nike Zoom Freak 1 "Employee of the Month") and for Brandon Ingram (Adidas YZY BSKTBL & Adidas Pro Model). 


New winning formula

Convincing public opinion is never easy, especially when we talk about American opinion. Yet the new All-Star Game format has convinced so many, despite the latent skepticism that was overshadowed only by Kobe's memory. The last quarter was a triumph of intensity, good basketball and emotional involvement of the players. Kendrick Perikins even compared the last part of the game to an NBA Finals game, but never trusted the former Celtics' social streak.

The finish in the sprint has ignited the competitive spirits of all, showing the world all the offensive and defensive skills of the best athletes in the world. Considering that a few years ago they were merely jumping around, the latest editions are symptomatic of a change that is continuing in the right direction. 


The incredible musical show 

The NBA, always in competition with the NFL for the sceptre of the best professional league in the world, responded blow-on-shot to the wonderful performance of Shakira and J.Lo at Super Bowl LIV. There were so many weekend hosts and everyone played an essential part in reviving a show that has been losing its shine in recent years. Damian Lillard is comfortable not only in the final seconds of a game, but also on a stage. The duet is usually with his Trail Blazers partner, CJ McCollum, but he stays in his comfort zone even when he shares the microphone with Lil Wayne. The other parts of the show involve the likes of DJ Khaled, Chaka Khan, Chance The Rapper, Jeremih and Quavo.


SDC, Slam Dunk ContestED

Saturday's slam dunk contest is the focus of media attention and will stay there for a while. Derrick Jones Jr., Aaron Gordon, Dwight Howard and Pat Connaughton have created a mind-blowing dunk contest. Especially the first two, who reached the final after two authentic masterpieces in the first round, battled to the end, raising controversy over the votes that made the Miami Heat winger the 2020 winner.

The judges extended the show of the two well beyond the canonical dunks of the final round, but the decision to prefer Jones's windmill to the jump-over-Tacko (Gordon jumped on the head of Tacko Fall, 226 centimeters player, NdR) aroused controversy. At the center of Cyclone Wade, he was guilty of favoring a player of his historic franchise.


Superman is back!

We stay in the thick of All-Star Saturday, even if ideally we get on Marty McFly's DeLorean DMC-12 thanks to Dwight Howard. The new version of Superman (with the iconic "S" accompanied by the number 24) seems to be timeless, complete with a return to the red cloak. A show, that of the center of the Los Angeles Lakers, which has nothing to do with the showmanship staged twelve years ago, but the strength of amazement of a 34-year-old has left everyone speechless. Of course it would have been a dunk of 50, but Chadwick Boseman spoils the party.


All-Star Courtside

A global show like All-Star Weekend attracts the attention of the most important American personalities, of any industry. From Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, to Tiffany Haddish and Chris Tucker, through musical icons such as J. Cole, Quavo (who was wearing a sweatshirt for Kobe), Ludacris, Queen Latifah, 2 Chainz, Migos and Cardi B. Many movie stars among the first rows of the United Center: Eboni Nichols, Donnie Wahlberg and his son Elijah Wahlberg, Jon Stewart and his son Nathan, Spike Lee, Gabrielle Union. In the "VIP Sports" list we find Megan Rapinoe, Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker. In short, All-Star on the parquet floor but also outside.


Chris Paul and a historic dunk

7:36 on the second quarter. An almost epic moment in the history of the ASG. After witnessing Dirk Nowitzki's dunk way back in 2015, this is another dunk destined to stay in the annals: Chris Paul gets a lob from Russell Westbrook, gets a two-handed and nails a two-handed shot that drives everyone crazy at the United Center. You don't see CP3 flying every day, but the previous statistic has some surreal: Chris Paul's last dunk was in December 2015. After Superman's return, it's also up to the helicopter return of The Point God. 


Jennifer Hudson's performance

If the emotion were to have a voice, it would be that of Jennifer Kate Hudson. A Chigago-born artist was chosen to remember Kobe, in one of the most touching moments of the evening. Singing "For All We Know" by Nat King Cole moved everyone: players, fans, audiences. It has to be in the top 10 moments of the weekend, even if it's not just about sports.


“You could definitely feel Kobe’s presence at All-Star Game”

A phrase that encompasses the essence of sport, of the power of sport. Every reference in the arena was dedicated to Bryant, every single basket was dedicated to Mamba, at every moment "you could feel Kobe's presence" as LeBron James said at the end of the game. He is echoed by the words of his long-time friend Chris Paul, who adds at the conference: “But I think the best way we could honor Kobe, Gigi, and everyone involved was to play like we played”.