Drop Steps

An All Star Game To Remember

Jennifer Hudson sings a tribute to former NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna who were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, before the NBA All-Star basketball game Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Huh)

By Lamar Battle
There is one word to describe the 2020 NBA All Star Game…
Wow !
This game had it all and in one of the best All Star games ever the NBA got it right.  New format  changes brought back competitiveness as the Chicago charities After school Matters and Chicago Scholars stood to gain 100,000 dollars for each quarter won.

With fired up young people cheering them on the players gave their all in this the first All Star Game after the shocking and untimely deaths of NBA star Kobe Bryant and former trailblazing NBA commissioner David Stern.
 The central theme of the game was Chicago centered as the stars and notables all came out to represent the City.

Jennifer Hudson absolutely sang her heart out during a heartfelt and touching pregame tribute to Kobe Bryant.
During the player introductions Chicago based rapper Common nailed it as he free styled rhymes for each player from teams LeBron and Giannis.
Chance the Rapper nailed halftime with a performance that people will talk about for years to come.  Chance was accompanied by Rappers Lil Wayne and Quavo and together they provided the energy and excitement  needed for this occasion.

City of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was in attendance along with Julius Erving, Bill Russell, Spike Lee, Kanye and Kim, J.Cole, Queen Latifah and many many others.
After a sluggish 1st quarter the game picked up providing one of the best fourth quarters this game has seen.  There were arguments challenges and superb performances like the one given by forward Kahwi Leonard (30 point scorer) and recipient of the 1st Kobe Bryant NBA All Star MVP award.
Team LeBron won the game by reaching the target score of 157 before Team Giannis and clocked 300k for Chicago Scholars but the effort by both teams represented the best of NBA and it’s players who are currently the gold standard when it comes to community service. 

Chicago laid out the red carpet and the NBA showed what can happen when league leadership (Labor and Management) operate in unison to provide top flight entertainment and so much more.
Here’s hoping this new format will continue but most importantly that the NBA continues to serve as an example for other sports leagues and all who want to seriously help those in need.

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