The NBA All Star Game MVP Award is Now Named After Kobe Bryant

If there is one thing the NBA is great at, it is building and honoring its star players. Today is no different as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the KIA NBA All-Star Game MVP Award will now permanently be named the Kobe Bryant MVP Award.

The naming of the award is fitting as Bryant won the award a record 4x in his 18 All Star Game appearances. So on the day of the 2020 All star game that will be filled with honors and remembrance of Bryant, its fitting that we look back at some of Bryant’s best All-Star Weekend moments.

Rookie Kobe Bryant Becomes the Youngest Ever to Win the Dunk Contest

Some might say the legend of Kobe Bryant began on February 8th, 1997 when he took over the dunk contest with a demeanor, swagger and flashiness despite being an 18 year old kid with all eyes on him. Watch each of his dunks, including his in between the legs jam to secure the win in the final round, followed up by his post interview with the late great Craig Sager.

Sharing The All-Star Game MVP Award With Shaq

PHOENIX – FEBRUARY 15: (L-R) Shaquille O’Neal #32 and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference hold up the MVP trophy as they were named co-MVP’s at the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend, at US Airways Center on February 15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Five years since the last time these two legends teamed up together, Bryant and O’Neal put on a show for the Western Conference in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game. In many ways this proved to the public that they had put their past feuds behind them. Bryant finished the game with 27 points and 4 steals, while O’Neal contributed 17 points in 11 minutes of action off the bench.

A cool story that came from this night was Bryant giving the award to O’Neal to take home for his kids. In a past interview O’Neal recalled the moment.

 “I was just going to give the trophy to Kobe, and Kobe looks at my little man and says, ‘Here you go, Shareef.’ … I was kind of surprised that he remembered his name. He was like, ‘Here you go, Shareef. Here’s the trophy.’ Then I knew everything that happened (during the Lakers days) was silly.”- Shaquille O’Neal in a 2016 USA Today interview.

If you need any proof, Shaq’s son Shareef’ posted the trophy on social media after the death of Bryant.

Kobe Bryant Wins his 4th and Final All Star Game MVP in Los Angeles 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 20: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference All-Stars holds his MVP trophy presented by KIA after the 2011 NBA All-Star Game on February 20, 2011 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

When it was announced that the 2011 All-Star game was going to be in Los Angeles, you knew Kobe was going to show out in front of his home crowd at Staples Center. He did just that as he dropped 37 points, and put together quite the highlight package while doing so. What most people remember from this night was the Kobe-LeBron James matchup. LeBron was coming for that best player in the world title and Kobe wasn’t quite ready to give up his mantle. Kobe gave everyone a not so subtle reminder when he dunked on the fast break with Lebron James in pursuit of his signature chase down block. By nights end, Bryant was awarded his 4th All-Star game MVP award.

Kobe Bryant’s Final All-Star Game in 2016

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game, in what was smack dead in the middle of a farewell tour for Kobe Bryant, was indeed a celebratory night that did not disappoint. The night started out with an opening speech by Magic Johnson followed with a tribute video Kobe Bryant highlights. Form there, Bryant and James took the opening tip off and the game was off. While the stats were far from Kobe like, his 10 points and 7 assists gave us just enough to remember his last appearance. The most iconic moment that took place that night was when Bryant had an isolation on James, creating arguably the best all star game photo of all time. At the time we all thought Drake ruined it, but in hindsight, he elevated it because of the farewell Kobe jacket he had on. And with Russell Westbrook, the current day example of mamba mentality, taking home the MVP honors, it all just felt like the right way to end his final all star game.



Leave a Reply