The NBA’s greatest 75 players were honored at halftime of this year’s All-Star game, and many of the legends were in the building to bask in the atmosphere. It was great to see the legends of past and present being celebrated and sharing a podium, including Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Steph Curry, Chris Paul, and a litany of others.
James and Jordan, the two men that will forever be embroiled in the GOAT argument were even seen having a happy moment on camera.
However, the weekend hadn’t been that great to start off with, with marquee events like the dunk contest turning out to be duds, but the actual All-Star game became a spectacle because of one man: Steph Curry.
The Golden State Warriors star set an All-Star game record with 16 made threes, and after three quarters had 45 points. That put him within striking distance of the all-time scoring record of 52 points. He made a three quickly in the fourth quarter and then a floater to make it 50.
With his team leading 151-150, with a target score of 163, Curry still had a shot at breaking the record, but missed a pair of long range bombs. The crowd was tense with anticipation in the game’s closing moments, hoping to see history being made by one of the Splash Brothers, but his shot unfortunately abandoned him. Different teammates, including King James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, all tried to find him for the bucket, but just couldn’t make the record-breaking shot.
With the lead being narrow 161-160 for his team, James had the chance to take the game winning shot, and he made it. It was a fitting end to a game held in his home state of Ohio, the one he promised and then delivered a championship to, and the Kid from Akron was all smiles after winning the game.
I was critical of last year’s All-Star game, because I felt that it didn’t need to happen, and it also wasn’t particularly competitive. The story was completely different this time around, with everything to play for as Team LeBron and Team Durant both won a quarter in the first half and tied the third. The fact that they competed with each other to win money for charity is also a nice touch that I appreciated, especially in a close game.
It was a fun game to watch all around, and Curry wasn’t the only one to have a huge game. Antetokoumpo also had 30 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals, while James finished with 24 points six rebounds and eight assists. Joel Embiid had a strong game on the opposing end, finishing with 36 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
There are a few things that people will remember from the weekend, like Karl Anthony-Towns being the first center to ever win the three-point competition. That was a great moment to witness, considering all he’s been through in the last couple of years.
However, the weekend was definitely saved by the main event, because the game’s biggest stars delivered. It was enjoyable, and even tense at times. What more could you want?