The 2020 NBA All-Star Game may not have been in Los Angeles, but there was big Los Angeles Lakers presence throughout the weekend.
NBA All-Star Weekend might have been the best showing for the Los Angeles Lakers that we have had in a substantial amount of time.
The Los Angeles Lakers were heavily represented with Dwight Howard making an appearance in the Slam Dunk Contest, his first appearance in almost a decade. LeBron James was a team captain in the All-Star Game, playing alongside his costar teammate, Anthony Davis.
Also, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was honored and remembered in countless ways. Notable odes to Bryant were Magic Johnson‘s touching speech before the All-Star game, rule and jersey changes made in the game, and rapper Lil Wayne changing the lyrics in his verse in his popular song with Chance the Rapper during the half time show.
More from LA Sports Hub
- Lakers: 5 Players to Target Through Trades to make another championship run
- LA Chargers: Week 8 against Denver Broncos is a must-win
- LA Rams: Jared Goff wants to keep the Los Angeles title streak going
- Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Clippers interested in Rajon Rondo
- LA Chargers: Justin Herbert wins AFC Rookie of the Month
While Dwight was knocked out in the first round of eliminations he had an incredible performance in the dunk contest, especially for him being thirty-four years of age. He scored a forty-one in the first round, doing a three-sixty while extending his arms and seemingly stopping mid-spin to smile for the camera.
In his second dunk, Dwight brought back his superman persona having someone bring out his cape as he took off his jersey exposing the infamous block S on his chest with a twenty-four in the middle.
This was a clear nod to Kobe, who Howard claimed agreed to be the one to bring Howard the cape and tie it on him. Dwight then took flight from a step inside the free-throw line and flushed home a lob. This dunk earned him a forty-nine.
The next day, Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis suited up to partake in the All-Star Game. Both played for Team LeBron in what ended up being one of the most competitive all-star games that we have ever seen.
This year the rules were changed to remember Kobe. The changes implemented team captains to choose a local Chicago charity that they would like to give to. The team leading at the end of each quarter would win one hundred thousand dollars for their charity while the winning team at the end of the fourth won an extra two hundred thousand dollars for their cause.
Another reference to Kobe and his daughter Gigi was for Team LeBron to wear number two and Team Giannis wearing number twenty-four. The last rule change was for there to be a final target score (twenty-four more than the leading score at the end of the third quarter).
The third mentioned rule change made for an environment that almost made the All-Star Game feel like a playoff game. Elite defense was played down the stretch of the game, and players were invested enough to swarm officials after missed calls. LeBron showed off his playmaking skills and proved that he can still be one of the best defenders in the league.
On top of this, James showed off his leaping ability seemingly living above the rim, most notably on a flashy reverse dunk coming from Luka Doncic. Davis played elite as well catching and finishing multiple lobs along with being a spectacular rim defender.
Davis had the iconic moment of the night when he hit the walk-off free throw to win the game in his home city of Chicago.