LeBron James’ game-winning shot perfectly concludes NBA’s All-Star Game
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Hunter De Siver
NBA legends Bob Cousy, Dolph Schayes, Paul Arizin and George Mikan paved the way for future generations in the first-ever NBA All-Star Game in 1951 (the sixth-ever NBA season).
These four players became immortal when they were enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame decades ago.
Since October, the NBA has been celebrating its 75th season. Throughout the season, fans across the world have learned about the historic moments that have made this league what it is today.
This year’s NBA All-Star game celebrated those years by announcing its top 75 players of all time at halftime. Most of these basketball gods flew to the game in Cleveland and were given a navy blue jacket with the “NBA 75” logo embedded on it.
Seeing these superheroes all on the same court brought millions of NBA fans together. Decades of high-flying dunks, lockdown defense and game-winning shots were reflected on a piece of hardwood.
The NBA made sure to announce the members of the NBA 75 team who are deceased during the presentation as well. Several players, including Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant, had family members who accepted the honor.
For the last few years, the NBA abolished its Eastern conference vs. Western conference all-star game format and implemented a fantasy draft system. Captains for the draft were selected based on the number of votes by the fans on nba.com.
Since the format change, NBA 75 team member LeBron James has been a captain every time and has won every time as well (4-0). NBA 75 team member Kevin Durant was the other team’s captain.
Another part of the format change was the scoring system. The score reset at the end of each quarter, and whichever team had the most points after 12 minutes would donate $100,000 to a certain charity (both charities initially received $150,000). They keep the overall score at the top right of the TV screen.
LeBron’s team won the first quarter and Durant’s team won the second. They tied in the third. That’s when the overall score came into play for the fourth quarter.
For the most part, the players don’t try on defense during the first three quarters as they want to show millions why they are the best basketball players on the planet. In the fourth quarter, they treat it like an NBA Finals game on both sides of the ball.
Instead of having another 12-minute period, the fourth quarter is untimed and has a target score. The first team to get to 163 points wins the game. Team Durant was winning 139-138 at the start of the untimed quarter.
Team LeBron hung in the game mainly due to the greatest shooter of all time and NBA 75 team member Stephen Curry hitting shot-after-shot from way downtown.
In a back-and-forth final quarter, LeBron was given the ball with a 161-160 lead. Slowly moving with his back facing away from the basket, LeBron nailed a fade-away jumper to win the game.
LeBron played most of his 19-year career in Cleveland and won a championship for the Cavaliers in 2016. He is widely regarded as a top-two player in NBA history, with Michael Jordan next to him.
In front of dozens of basketball gods, and millions watching from their couches, LeBron converted on yet another clutch play in his legendary career.
Curry deservingly earned the Kobe Bryant Trophy (all-star MVP) due to his 50 points (one away from the all-star game record) and his record-shattering 16 threes.
The main of the highlight, though, was when LeBron and MJ hugged each other during the halftime ceremony. The two greatest to ever touch a basketball officially earned those ranks from ESPN’s NBA’s 75th Anniversary rankings released this morning.