LeBron James, 38, turns back the clock at the NBA All-Star Game with a pair of show-stopping dunks… but injures his hand on the RIM, sidelining himself for the rest of the night in Salt Lake City
LeBron James turned back the clock at Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City with a pair of thunderous early dunks, before showing his 38 years and sitting out with a hand injury.
After LeBron and fellow team captain Giannis Antetokounmpo drafted their teams, the crowd was treated to a brief show by rapper Post Malone.
But James showed what everyone was really here for – with two monster dunks in the first quarter.
In one instance, James caught a beautiful alley-oop pass from Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic for a highlight reel finish. Just a few minutes later, King James tossed an alley-oop to himself off the backboard and rose up for another great slam.
Unfortunately for Lakers fans, James injured his hand on the rim, prompting him to sit for the second half.
LeBron James showed he could still deliver highlight-reel moments at the NBA All-Star game
Team LeBron was not the only one throwing down insane dunks in the first half of the game.
Team Giannis had a pair of spectacular slams of their own courtesy of Antetokounmpo, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, and Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen.
Antetokounmpo opened things with a dunk and then immediately committed a foul – allowing him to leave the game due to a nagging wrist injury.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell decided to let a lob fly from half-court, which Markkanen caught and delivered with authority.
Later, Morant delivered a picture perfect 360 slam in the paint during the second quarter.
James showed out once again with an alley-oop off the backboard leading to a dunk
In attendance was NBA royalty like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L) and Dominique Wilkins (R)
After the draft, Post Malone showed out for the crowd – a great appetizer before the game
Other stars – like celebrity chef Guy Fieri – were in attendance in Salt Lake City for the game
Hometown hero Lauri Markkanen brought the house down with a great alley-oop slam too
The draft itself was full of surprises as well. After being initially left out as a starter in this year’s voting for the All-Star game, Joel Embiid was the first name selected by LeBron James along with ex-teammate Kyrie Irving, as Utah‘s Lauri Markkanen was the last among starters to be chosen by Team Giannis.
This selection process featured several entertaining bits, including Antetokounmpo trying to select Ja Morant, of the Memphis Grizzlies, with a reserve pick before being reminded that the point guard was actually voted as a starter.
‘The Greek Freak’ was eventually able to draft Morant as his second pick from the starters pool.
For the first time in the All-Star Game’s 71-year history (the first taking place in 1951), the draft took place immediately prior to the renowned five-aside contest. Giannis got to choose from the pool of players voted as reserves first.