By Joseph Phillips
After several show boating dunks and long ranged three-pointers by both teams, Team USA defeated Team World 151-131 in the 2020 NBA Rising Stars Game on Friday, February 14, at the United Center.
Although eight players finished in double-figures scoring for Team USA, forward Miles Bridges of the Michael Jordan owned Charlotte Hornets would take home the 2020 game Most Valuable Player trophy.
During the press conference, the question was asked to Bridges was Jordan his employer the motivation behind him winning Rising Stars game MVP, Bridges paused and responded…
“I mean, us coming from the Charlotte Hornets, we haven’t been having the best season,” said Bridges. “So we wanted to come out and play hard in the Rising Stars game and show what Charlotte is all about.”
Bridges said him, along with his teammates Devonte’ Graham and P.J. Washington, represented the organization well.
Bridges finished with 20 points and game MVP honors, Graham finished with 9 points on 3 of 7 shooting from beyond the arc, and Washington added a team high 23 points, eerily similar to Jordan’s old number (LOL).
The three combined to score 52 of Team USA’s 151 points in the game. The most from either team.
In addition to Jordan’s three Hornets players scoring high and stealing the show, another Jordan Brand representative in the likes of Zion Williamson, would dazzle fans with an half court alley oop dunk from former AAU teammate and Rookie of The Year contender Ja Morant.
The Memphis Grizzlies guard had several show stopping plays during the game, including the half court alley oop pass to Williamson, a one hand buggy whip extension dunk and a Harlem Globetrotter between the legs alley oop pass again to Williamson .
Williamson finished with 14 points and several dunks while Morant scored double figures with 10 points.
Rookie Luka Doncic scored 16 points in 23 minutes of play, including a half court shot over Trae Young to end the half. Doncic and Young exchange hugs after the shot, when Young told Doncic to “make the shot.”
Young also had an highlight of his own after scoring 18 points, as he would nutmeg (bounce the ball between the legs of a defender) of the World Team on his way to the basket for an easy layup in the first half.
For the World Team, Canadian citizen and New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett led all scorers with 27 points.
In addition to Barrett’s game high 27 points, Japan’s first ever NBA player and Washington rookie Rui Hachimura added 14 points for the World Team.
A Tribute To The Chicago Transit Authority Train Systems:
In addition to both teams scoring over 100 plus points, last night’s uniforms were made and designed by the Jordan Brand company. The uniforms stood out throughout the night, as Team World dawned the purple jerseys in honor of Evanston’s Purple Line Train and Team USA dawned the orange jerseys in honor of the Orange Line Trains.
Prior to the Rising Stars game, the Celebrity Game took place at Wintrust Arena. Team Michael Wilbon defeated Team Stephen A. Smith 62-47, in front of a packed house that featured several celebrities from the entertainment industry.
Chicago rapper Common was named the 2020 Celebrity All Star Game MVP with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assist.