The NBA All-Star weekend is supposed to be a celebration of the game, but the league’s power brokers set aside some time to mourn the recent deaths of Kobe Bryant and Commissioner Emeritus David Stern.
Kawhi Leonard scored 30, LeBron James scored 23 and Chicago product Anthony Davis finished with 20 points after hitting the winning free throw to lift Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory over Team Giannis in the NBA All-Star Game.
Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. celebrated his 23rd birthday by winning the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, edging Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon in a memorable showdown that required two tiebreaker jams. Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield made a late surge to win the NBA 3-Point Contest, and Miami’s Bam Adebayo won the All-Star skills challenge.
The NBA and USA Basketball are still considering playing in China later this year, though the complexities of both the political rift caused by a tweet last fall and the ongoing health concerns in the world’s most populous country are making those plans seem decidedly uncertain.