Last DBB star eliminated
LeBron James is reaching for a $500,000 Christmas bonus
December 6, 2023, 11:59 a.m
The NBA’s in-season tournament is intended to make the early stages of the season more interesting. The best basketball league in the world is generous in return. Superstar LeBron James sees things pragmatically after his trembling victory in the quarterfinals. When the best players are fighting for something, he wants to be there.
For national basketball player Isaiah Hartenstein, the dream of his first title in the NBA is over. The 25-year-old center clearly lost the quarterfinals of the in-season tournament with the New York Knicks against the Milwaukee Bucks with the strong top star Giannis Antetokounmpo 122:146. Hartenstein contributed four points, the Knicks’ top scorer was Julius Randle (41 points).
That wasn’t enough against the Bucks. The two-time NBA champion was able to rely on his new top duo Antetokounmpo (35) and Damian Lillard (28), who combined for 63 points. “We feel more comfortable every game,” Antetokounmpo said about working with newcomer Lillard.
The Los Angeles Lakers are also in the semifinals. The team around superstar LeBron James defeated the Phoenix Suns 106:103. The decision was only made at the last second. Suns leader Kevin Durant missed a three-point shot to equalize with the clock running out. The NBA record champion led by basketball superstar LeBron James previously lost a 12-point lead at halftime right at the start of the second half. In the end, the teams had taken turns taking the lead 14 times.
Teams compete for $500,000 per head
James scored 15 of his 31 points in the final quarter. The 38-year-old now has another chance of winning a title that he has not yet won in his career. “I’ve been in this situation many times in my career and I know what my mission is. But the important shot came from AR,” he said, referring to a three-pointer by Austin Reaves with 15 seconds left that increased the Lakers’ lead to 105 :101 brought it to four points. When asked what the title would mean to him, James replied: “It is what it is: the first time and we have a chance. So why not? The best basketball players in the world are fighting for it, so we’re fighting.”
The Lakers will face the New Orleans Pelicans in the semifinals in Las Vegas on Thursday, while the Bucks will face the Indiana Pacers. The final on Saturday will also take place in the gambling metropolis. In addition to a trophy, the basketball professionals are also looking for prize money of 500,000 US dollars (around 461,000 euros) per head in the competition, which is being held for the first time. With the tournament, the NBA wants to give greater importance to the early phase of the season. All results apart from the final are also included in the regular season table.
In the in-season tournament, as in the playoffs, the best teams from the East and West play in the final at the end of the season. In the first phase of the tournament, both conferences initially played the quarter-finalists in three groups of five. It has already been the final destination for world champions Daniel Theis (Los Angeles Clippers), Dennis Schröder (Toronto Raptors), Franz and Moritz Wagner (both Orlando Magic), as well as for Maximilian Kleber (Dallas Mavericks).