CHICAGO – 69th N.B.A.-All-Star Game takes place as soon as it is billed – and it has also frantically overcome the script at a delicious level.
The evening, as promised, acted as the emotional climax of a one-day Windy City tribute to Kobe Bryant, the former All-Star killed in a helicopter crash last month.
And then, without warning, Sunday's All Star Star Game managed to provide the second half of the most competitive basketball, the best seen on this stage for years.
The result is a kind of, however fleeting, spiritual lift, that this All-Star weekend, and frankly this tournament, is needed.
League officials were cautiously optimistic that a significant format change for the game, with a change inspired by Kobe, would pass on its All-Star procedures with an edge spirit. The painting is very necessary. What they were grateful for Sunday night was a fourth quarter no one could have planned or promised, including a United Center sell-off crowd on its feet and resulting in countless participants. crazy about the changes afterwards.
The evening began with the fans praying, song, poetry and shoe dedication Everywhere you look on the field – it all flows from move pregame program for memories of Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died along with seven other victims in a helicopter crash on January 26.
It ends with unprecedented intensity of defense for an All-Star game. The Giannis team climbing Kyle Lowry of Toronto Raptors received a lot of textbook fees. Both teams miserable through many whistles …