The Dunk competition can be summarized as: Ibaka and DeRozan got screwed, McGee dunked three balls and Blake Griffin jumped over a car in front of a choir. It was freakin awesome!
The game itself was A-List only. The stars were definitely out in attendance as Los Angeles played host to the 60th edition of NBA All Star Game. Both teams were loaded with the best players in the league, but there could only be one MVP. As I said before the game started, anytime it is in dispute as to who the best player in the world is, that’s when Kobe Bryant makes statements. Sunday was no different. From the beginning of the game, Kobe Bryant was on a mission with his entire repertoire on display.
It looked as though the Western Conference was going to run away with the game and the Eastern Conference All Stars looked like they were more interested in the after parties with the celebrities than they were with winning. Then, all of a sudden, LeBron James started playing for real.
It was a seemingly innocent play, something LeBron does regularly during the season, but when he chased down Kobe Bryant on a breakaway in an All Star game in Kobe’s building on what was supposed to be Kobe’s night, it sent a message, LeBron was going for the win and the MVP. But it was Kobe’s night, not the King’s. Kobe saw LeBron coming both figuratively and literally and then proceeded to dunk on him and then pat him on the back “nice try” before running back on D with his swag on 20 million.
After being down as many as 17 points, LeBron James lead the East in a late charge in the fourth quarter to make a game of it, but Durant and Kobe held them off as the West took it 148-143.
LeBron would finish with a monster triple double of 29 pts 12 rebounds and 10 assists, becoming just the second man in history to accomplish the feat in an All Star game. The only other “man” to do it was Michael Jordan (14 pts, 11 rebs, 11 assists).
Kobe finished with 37, just three less than Jordan’s All Star mark of 40, but not quite in Chamberlain’s domain, Wilt scored a record 48 points in an All Star Game. But Bryant took the points and the game and the MVP win over LeBron. You almost can’t wait for the next allstar game in Orlando next year just to see these two battle again, unless you actually think the Heat will come out of the East this year.
As a side-note to the show Kobe and LeBron put on for the stars in LA, Kevin Durant quietly scored 34 points and leads the league in scoring…again. My guess, this will all be the Durant show very soon.