The 2018 NBA All-Star Game was the 67th time the best of the best basketball players showed what they’re made of. But this game had a twist that has never been done in All-Star history. There was competition.
Each player on the losing team earned only $25,000 while the players on the winning team walked home with $100,000. The winning team also got to donate $350,000 to the captain’s charity of choice, and the losing team got to donate $150,000. LeBron James’ charity of choice was After School All-Stars Los Angeles, and Stephen Curry chose Brotherhood Crusade.
The game started off with a hilarious announcement of the starting line-ups by Kevin Hart, with the Canadian National Anthem sung by the Barenaked Ladies. But the most notable part of the pregame show was the National Anthem sung by Fergie. She gave it a twist with a jazzy feel and it could have sounded good; but the fact that it was Fergie, and the fact that it was live in front of millions of people, made it the laughing stock of the All-Star Game.
For the first time, there was a sense of competition during the All-Star Game. It didn’t seem like a dunk contest and it played like an actual game. It was no longer the Eastern Conference vs. the Western Conference. It was like school yard ball with captains choosing teams. Many players who haven’t gotten to play together were able to play on the same team, which also helped add to the competition. It was the first time that a player hasn’t scored more than 30 points in an All-Star Game. Team Steph lead for most of the game and we all thought that his team was going to take home the $100,000 per player. But in the last six minutes, both teams were trying their hardest to prove that they were the team that deserved to win. Team LeBron was the one to prove that they were the best, and James was there to prove that he’s still the best in the NBA at age 33.
Photo courtesy of The Ringer