By: Aiden Rutman
es on, let’s take a look back at the most memorable headlines and events of the season so far. From cancellations due to Covid-19 protocols to electrifying slam-dunks and trade rumors, 2021 has been nothing short of entertaining for NBA fans.
A Rose in The Garden
Fan-favorite point guard Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks back in early February for Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second round draft pick. Since his trade to the Knicks, Rose has averaged 12 points and 5 assists, providing some much-needed reinforcement at the guard position. The Knicks have been on a tear and have further cemented themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The NBA All Star Break, which usually occurs in February every year, had some major modifications to it in 2021. Rather than a full weekend of festivities in the middle of February, the All Star Game, Dunk Contest, Three Point Contest, and Skills Challenge were all moved to one day, March 7. Many players, including LeBron James, voiced their concerns for having an ASG in the middle of a pandemic, but the NBA still held the event in Atlanta. Both New York teams had participants in the festivities. James Harden and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets, along with Julius Randle of the New York Knicks, played in the All Star Game, and Knicks’ rookie Obi Toppin came in second place in a Dunk Contest
that many considered underwhelming. Team LeBron defeated Team Durant 170-150, raising over $1.75 million for charities in the process. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo won the ASG MVP after putting up 35 points with 16-16 shooting. As for the other activities, Golden State Warriors’ point guard Stephen Curry won the Three Point Contest and Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis won the Skills Challenge.
A Murder on February 19
It was a cold Friday night in Minnesota when Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards posterized Toronto Raptors small forward Yuta Watanabe. You may be thinking, “So what, it was just a dunk? It happens all the time!” This dunk was special. Edwards rose up to the rim and absolutely obliterated Watanabe. Within minutes, the play was all over social media. Under Instagram posts, comments like “That man has a family!” and “Poor Yuta” surfaced everywhere. The season is only at the halfway point, but it’s hard to imagine any other player challenging Edwards for “dunk of the year.”
The Brooklyn Nets’ Superteam
The Nets are beginning to look less like a real team and more like an All Star team after signing power forward Blake Griffin. Griffin has certainly fallen off since his all star days in 2019, but there is no doubt he can be a key contributor for the Nets. And just when it seems the Nets are done making moves, they have also shown interest in trading for Cleveland Cavaliers C Andre Drummond, another star. When will it end?