2018 NBA All-Star Game

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

The NBA All-Star game has become an exhibition in the surrealist sense. Gone are the days of hard fouls and defense. Now, it’s all about lob city and 40-footers. But the NBA had an idea. What if they got the highest vote-getters from each conference and had them draft their team? The result is a brand-spanking new format. Now, for the first time and in sunny Los Angeles, Team LeBron vs. Team Curry is here.

Folks, the new format added intrigue to an otherwise stale idea. Ballers were out there playing defense, dropping dimes, and running plays. Things got chippy between Joel Embiid and Russell Westbrook. And down the stretch, it was close, with real, competitive defense played among the NBA’s brightest stars.

A Star-Studded Opener Feat. Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart, Queen Latifah, Ludacris, Adam Devine And Tons Of Awkwardness

Listen, here’s a list of things that surprised from the 2018 NBA All-Star Game opener.

1. Jamie Foxx’s wild west themed opening skit.

2. Ludacris doing anything other than “Move B***h” feat. Mystikal.

3. That joke about Kevin Hart just wanting a jersey. But hey, we all do.

Even Queen Latifah couldn’t save this opener, and she almost saved Just Wright!

Fergie’s “National Anthem”

Lounge singing the “National Anthem” is just not okay unless you’re Sade. If you’re not Sade just sing it straight. Still, nothing was as bad as Carl Lewis’ “National Anthem” at the 1993 NBA Finals. Fergie tried, but this GIF of Draymond Green had us rolling.

Draymond Green Fergie GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Stars Came Out To Play

Surprisingly, the mixed conference, pick-up style teams have been going at it with more fervor than usual. Maybe all the stars needed was a format change to pick up the effort. Just, you know, don’t get hurt, y’all.

N.E.R.D And Migos Rock The Staples Center At Halftime

Playing a medley of new and old, N.E.R.D brought their signature sound to DTLA for the NBA halftime show. The set was complete with neon low-riders, the banger “Lap Dance” off their debut record In Search Of… as well as “Lemon” off their 2017 album No One Ever Really Dies.

While N.E.R.D bookended the performance, the Migos snuck right into the middle with “Stir Fry,” which the NBA featured during ad campaigns for the game.

Team LeBron Steals A Great Game In A Photo Finish

With a final score of 148-145, Team LeBron took home the win with a go-ahead lay-up by ‘Bron Bron himself. A solid defensive stop followed and then a lay-up by Russell Westbrook put the west up three. Then, in a wild finale, Team LeBron smothered team captain Steph Curry, trapping him in the corner and stopping the splash brother from getting his shot off.

But regardless of which team won, The After-School All-Stars and Brotherhood Crusade — two charities — were the real winners. The Brotherhood Crusade took in $150K and The After-School All-Stars took in a whopping $350K. It looks like the new format was a success, and they really need to take this into the future.

LeBron James Wins MVP Of The 2018 NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James took home his third all-star MVP and finished with 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists in the victory. And the NBA needed this. Last year’s All-Star game was so non-competitive it had fans asking what the point was, but it looks like the All-Star game is back with a vengeance.

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