Kobe Bryant won his record-tying fourth All Star MVP as the Western Conference outlasted the Eastern Conference 148-143 at the Staples Center last night. Even if LeBron James had a quadruple double last night, Bryant was going to win the MVP either way.
Bryant was unbelievable as he scored an All Star game career-high 37 points, which was tied as the fourth highest total in All Star game history as Wilt Chamberlain scored 42 points in 1962 (who didn’t even win the MVP). Bryant also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. He wanted that MVP more than ever as this will be most likely be his last All Star game playing in Los Angeles.
James could have been co-MVP as he recorded a triple-double scoring 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. With the East was down by 17 after three quarters, James propelled the team to a furious comeback and brought the deficit to two with 2:34 left to play. The East were down by three within the final seconds but Kevin Durant (who scored 34 points) made two free throws to ice the game. James and Michael Jordan are the only two players in All Star game history to record a triple-double and neither of them won the MVP, which is just unfair. Don’t worry LeBron, you’ll have plenty of time to win one.
As great as Bryant was, if there was actually any defense played there would be no way that he would have scored even a quarter of his points. That play when he did the up and under dunk, he defender gave him all of the freedom in the world in the baseline. Kobe’s peers knew that this could his last hurrah as the man of the night, so they let him have the game of his life in front of the celebrities. Besides, the All Star game is nothing but a friendly pick up game anyway.
With the likes of Blake Griffin, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant getting ready to take over the league, Bryant knew that this was his last stand as the true NBA superstar so he wanted to be the center of attention one last time. Give it up Kobe, you have been a superstar for 14 years, it’s time for the young guys to have their turn as the leading men of the league. Why else would you have taken 26 shots and only have three assists?
Even though it’s supposedly great for the NBA if Kobe does anything, it was inevitable that he was going to win the MVP. If only Kobe could actually play like this all season, no one would have doubts about the Los Angeles Lakers defending their title. Whatever, time to move on and see how the Lakers fail to defend their title.