This article was written by Jacob Witcher and Cole Tosi.
The score is 156-155; sweat is flowing down the faces of this year’s All-Stars, as thousands of fans are flowing around the arena with seats being filled left and right. The atmosphere feels impalpable. Everyone is standing, including the bench, looking ready to celebrate for each of their respected teams. With the new All-Star format, the team that reaches 157 first wins the game.
The Lakers’ star big man Anthony Davis is at the free-throw line ready to win the game. The ball is released from his fingers and…miss. But this was his first of two free throws. Davis steps up to the line, through the deafening screams of the crowd, gets the ball and releases it; the ball hits nothing but net. The crowd goes wild and the bench clears, as Team Lebron wins 157-155. This All-Star game feels like none other before, and could set the tone for how all-star games are played in the future.
The physicality, competitiveness, and determination of the fourth quarter made this game out to be one of the most amazing All-Star games in a long time. Whether it was because the players were winning money for charities, trying to honor the legend Kobe Bryant, or attempting to add more to their NBA trophy cases, this year’s NBA All-Star game had a different feel to it and could set a new precedent for future All-Star games to come.
Fouls were being complained about, flops were attempted, and defense was being played. Players were being physical, and both teams were truly giving it their all. Even days later, this game is still being talked about as possibly “the greatest All-Star Game ever.”
This year’s event showed how strong the NBA community is and how much potential the All-Star game has. The top players in the league played in this game with raw passion. They played united and with heart. They played the game how Kobe would have liked it played.
“You could definitely feel [Kobe’s] presence,” LeBron James said.
Perhaps no one cared about the All-Star Game more than Kobe Bryant, and now the NBA players have the same passion for the game that the former All-Star once had. This was unquestionably a beautiful game of basketball. Kobe Bryant’s first and last points were free throws, and the last point scored in the All-Star Game honoring Kobe was from a free throw. It is truly poetic.
This All-Star game reminded all NBA fans why they love the sport of basketball. Everything from the high-flying dunks, tough defense, and a close ending were included in this masterpiece. This game also helped honor a legend and showed everyone the amount of love that can come from ten guys dribbling and shooting a ball around.