Heading into this year’s all star game, February 6th is the big day where captain’s Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will draft their players.
While most things will remain the same, this year has a bit of a positive twist. Without a doubt this game is meant to honor the legendary Kobe Bryant, and will go on to recognize and appreciate the one and only “Black Mamba,” making this not only the 69th all star game played, but maybe the most emotional, and most memorable game in all star history.
With Lebron and Giannis being team leads, a charity of their choice will be selected from the NBA cares outreach program. More then $1 million will be donated to a Chicago non-profit organization, a tradition that is the backbone behind the NBA all star weekend. This is the least the NBA can do in good faith and true gratitude. Giving back to the host city of All Star weekend is a tradition and a way to thank all the dedicated faces that live and breathe this sport religiously.
This year’s 2020 format will pan out a touch differently. The first 3 quarters will be played regularly at 12 minutes each. Once the 4th quarter hits, the shot clock will be turned off and there will be a final target score that is set. This final score will be calculated by taking the ending score of the leading team, and then adding an additional 24 points. The 24 points will symbolize Kobe Bryant’s jersey number. The legacy number worn by him for the last decade of his career that he is famously known for. Going into the 4th quarter, the two teams will duke it out without a shot clock keeping time. First team to reach the target score will declare their title as the NBA All Star champs. For example, if the final score after 3 quarters is 80-70, the target score would become 104 points. The team with 80 points would need to score 24 points to win, and the team with 70 points would need to score 34 points to win.
Thanks to Nike, all of these superstars will easily be spotted in a bright fashion-literally. With the jersey designs officially being released, Nike has chosen to use the vibrant colors from the city of Chicago’s transit line. With a total of 8 different colors and patterns, these jerseys are on point and ready to make a statement. Blue and red to represent the East and West, green and pink to be worn in the celebrity All Star game, brown and yellow for the NBA Cares Special Olympics, and orange and purple for the Rising Stars game. With the branding of the Chicago stars on each jersey, the beautiful array of coloring will be sure to lock all eyes on the court.
For who is playing in these match-ups, we have some of our fan favorites participating in this year’s line up. James Harden, Trae Young, Kemba Walker, Joel Embiid, Kawahi Leonard, Luka Doncic and many more recognizable names. Not to mention for the first time ever there will be four Canadians playing on the world team, representing us proudly in the Rising Stars game against the U.S. These players include R.J Barrett from the New York Knicks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from OKC, Brandon Clarke with the Memphis Grizzlies, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker from the New Orleans Pelicans. This is an exciting moment for Canada as a country. With four strong, well rounded, literal stars on the rise, we continue to grow and perform as a basketball country.
This unstoppable phenomenon of Canada’s explosive basketball culture is on a roll with expendable limits. Each year new doors are opened for our athletes, and our country’s opportunities in sports become increasingly prominent. Thanks to some of the big wigs who helped pave the way, we are forever grateful for those who have represented our country, our programs, and earned us some serious recognition. May we never forget the most historical moment to date in Canadian Basketball history, our Raptors for the unapologetically 2019, championship win-we’re still celebrating.
Our heights are stretched, and our walls are widened as Canadian basketball and outstanding players are only continuing to shine in the NBA. With the Toronto Raptors playing a strong season thus far, the actions on the court are screaming promise. Our power house legacy is fighting a tough game. We are here to remind the world this is just the tip of the iceberg.