NBA All-Stars Reluctantly Put on a Show

By Issac Rangel

At the beginning of the NBA season, many people and also players were really convinced that this year’s NBA season was not going to have an All-Star Game due to Covid-19 and the restrictions. The NBA had even mentioned at the beginning of the season that there was no interest in having an All-Star Game. A lot of players felt that the whole point of the All-Star Weekend is for it to be a very entertaining weekend with a sold out arena and fans seeing the best players in the world go at it. However, with Covid-19 there would be only a very limited number of fans that would be able to attend the event, which kind of defeats the purpose of All-Star Weekend.

Furthermore, teams like the Lakers and Heat–who were the last two teams standing in the bubble–felt that they deserved that little break and should not have to play in an extra game. Even after all that, the NBA decided to have an All-Star Game anyways. Players like LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and De’Aaron Fox shared their thoughts on the NBA deciding after all to have one, and they did not like the idea of it.

LeBron James claimed that the All-Star Game being confirmed was, “A slap in the face.” Giannis also had something to say, which was, “I don’t care about the All-Star Game.” And De’Aaron Fox also shared his thoughts saying, “To be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid.”

Still, all that passed by, and NBA All-Star Weekend was finally happening. This year’s All-Star Weekend was very entertaining as it mostly always is, however it wasn’t the usual weekend that fans were used to. There were some big changes into how the schedule would be. This time it wasn’t an actual whole weekend where each day had different events, like the celebrity game, the rising stars game, the dunk contest, the 3-point contest, the skills competition, and then the actual All-Star Game. This year they did not do the celebrity game or the rising stars game, but they did do the 3-point contest, dunk contest, and skills competition.

They decided to do it all in one day though this time, with the skills competition and the 3-point contest being before the game, and the dunk contest being held during halftime. The winners for each event were, Domantas Sabonis for the skills competition, Steph Curry for the 3-point contest, and Anfernee Simons for the dunk contest.

Rosters for the 2021 All-Star Game

Lastly was the All-Star Game itself. It was Team LeBron vs Team Durant. Team LeBron’s players were Giannis, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic for the starting five. Team Lebron’s reserves were Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Domantas Sabonis, and Ben Simmons. Team Durant’s starting lineup did not include himself due to injury, but his starting lineup was Bradley Beal, Joel Embid, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Jayson Tatum. His reserves were Devin Booker, James Harden, Zach Lavine, Donovan Mitchell, Julias Randle, Nikola Vucevic, and Zion Williamson.

The game went pretty well, and it was very entertaining watching Steph Curry and Damian Lillard drain threes from all over the place. Team LeBron ended up dominating and winning by a score of 170-150. Giannis Antetokounmpo won All-Star game MVP, finishing with 35 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds, and shooting a perfect 16 for 16.

Giannis Antetokounmpo holds his All-Star MVP trophy | Dale Zanine USA TODAY Sports