Something is not a pop culture phenomenon until it’s been done in Taiwanese animation. So, welcome to the big stage, Blake Griffin.
The best part is him taking the podium away from LeBron James.
NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his 10th triple-double of the season and the Los Angeles Lakers made a season-high 19 3-pointers to pull away and beat the Brooklyn Nets 128-113 on Thursday night.
James closed within 17 points of Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA’s career scoring list with a flurry in the fourth quarter. He can pass Bryant on Saturday at Philadelphia, where the five-time champion with the Lakers was born.
James has 33,626 points. Bryant finished with 33,643.
A back-and-forth game for nearly three quarters turned into a rout after the Lakers broke the Nets’ spirits with four straight 3-pointers spanning the third and fourth quarters, extending a one-point lead to 107-94, and Los Angeles coasted from there.
Kyrie Irving scored 20 points after missing a game with right hamstring tightness, but the Nets lost their fifth straight. Brooklyn has won just two of its last 14 games.
The Nets were without backup centers DeAndre Jordan and Nicolas Claxton, leaving them without many options behind starter Jarrett Allen. But they struggled just as badly guarding the perimeter. Los Angeles was 19 of 38 behind the arc.
The Lakers led 38-35 after one, before both teams made seven 3-pointers in the second. Howard went 4 for 4 for eight points in the period, helping the Lakers take a 75-70 lead to halftime.
Danny Green made three 3s in the first four minutes of the third, pushing the lead to 88-75, but the Nets had it down to 95-94 after a 3-pointer by Irving with 49 seconds remaining. But then Davis and Rajon Rondo hit 3s before Jared Dudley, who played in Brooklyn last season, hit one from near the Nets’ bench to beat the buzzer and make it 104-94.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made it four straight 3s to open the fourth, extending the lead back to 13. James then scored eight in the period before taking a seat for good.
It’s only fitting that Jordan brand has a significant role with the All-Star Game coming to Chicago.
Jordan Brand designed this year’s ASG uniforms and took its inspiration from the Chicago transit line. Here’s the explanation, straight from the press release (because you don’t want me trying to describe fashion, trust me):
Jordan Brand and Nike designers incorporated the color of each track into the uniforms as a base: blue and red for the NBA All-Star Game; purple and orange for NBA Rising Stars; green and pink for the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles; and brown and yellow for the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game. The Jordan Brand official NBA All-Star game uniforms add the six-pointed star from the Chicago flag as the symbolic refrain while inviting the attitude of the ‘90s-era alternate uniforms worn by the hometown Bulls.
Take a look at them yourself:
The red and blue will be worn by Team LeBron and Team Giannis during the All-Star Game, with other colors for the Rising Star and Celebrity games.
While that was not a total surprise — he had led the fan voting in the East among guards since the start — it still was an emotional moment for Young when it was announced (as filmed by his teammate Brandon Goodwin for IG).
Trae got emotional when he heard he was an All-Star starter. (via toughlay/IG) pic.twitter.com/vLt3dajOBp
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) January 24, 2020
Young and Kemba Walker were named the backcourt starters for the Eastern Conference (although both will go into a pool of players picked playground-style by the captains to form teams).
There are two 21-and-under starters in this All-Star Game, Young and Luka Doncic of Dallas. The last time there were two starters under age 21 was 1998 with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.
They weren’t acting autonomously.
I wanted to go to New York and thought I was going to New York. I was in the draft in the green room like, oh, get to the eight spot, and New York can get me.
Instead, the Warriors picked Curry No. 7. The Knicks took Jordan Hill at No. 8.
Curry’s sentiment was understandable. Golden State had made the playoffs only once in the previous 15 years. The Knicks hadn’t been much better lately, but at least they offered the glamorous New York market.
It worked out well for Curry, whose agency even made last-ditch efforts to convince the Warriors to pass on him. He blossomed into an all-time great player on a team that gave him an incredible supporting cast. Curry has won three championships in Golden State and says he wants to retire there.
The Knicks, on the other hand, have largely struggled since. They were above average for a few years, but that’s it. Hill washed out after eight unremarkable NBA seasons.
Curry in New York is an interesting “what if?” Would he have overcome that franchise’s deep-seated problems?
Fortunately for him – and contrary to his initial hopes – he never had to find out.