Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James And The Parallels Of All-Star History

The 2012 NBA All-Star Game has came and went. From the pre-game traditional rituals of national anthems (Mary J. Blige is a great entertainer, but her singing skills....yeah) to over-the-top pre-game concert performances from Nikki Minaj and the artist formerly known as Pitbull, it was officially time to get down with the mid-season classic between the Eastern and the Western Conference All-Stars.

Just as Tinsley predicted on this site just two days ago that this game would see over 300 points scored, (301 to be exact) that the point guard Royal Rumble would ensue (which it did, with Chris Paul leading the way with 12 assists, Russell Westbrook going ape in the second quarter and Deron Williams showed everyone that he is still live in New Siberia Jersey) and that LeBron James and Kevin Durant would stage a battle of the ages to decide who would win the game. Durant and LeBron both put up 36 points and carried their teams for large stretches of the game. When the game ended, many fans were left asking one simple question...

....was that one of the best All-Star Games we've ever seen? Was this game on par with 1988 and 2001? History always has a tendency to make us reflect on her past, and here are three things to consider as we matriculate to the second half of the season.

Kobe Bryant's All-Star Lifetime Achievement Award

Craig Sager asked Chris Paul during the game if he knew if Kobe was gunning for Michael Jordan's all-time scoring record of 262 points. Chris Paul said, "I don't know; I doubt it. I didn't even know about it until you told me." Chris, either you are clueless or Kobe had genuinely been mum on the subject with everyone. Kobe passed The Jordan with a dunk in the third quarter and now has 271 for his career. He entered with 244 and passed Oscar Robertson (246 points) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (251) earlier in the game.

Kobe and The Jordan have now played in 14 All-Star games each, and I truly believe that Kobe realizes and relishes the fact that he has one-upped Jordan in something else. Kobe is an ego-driven, slightly insanely selfish assassin and another small victory like this could fuel his ego even more.

Kevin Durant Follows The Leader; Earns His First MVP

Back in 1988, The Jordan was starting to reach the peak of his superpowers. In the spring of '86, MJ dropped 63 on a legendary Celtics squad; in '87, MJ put up a scoring average of 37.1 (5th-highest in NBA history); and in '88, the All-Star game came to his home arena in Chi-town. Not only did MJ have to battle for the lead dog role on his own team with another superstar in Dominique Wilkins (29/5/4), but he also had to overthrow the league's preeminent superstar in Magic Johnson (17/19/6) in the process. MJ took another step in becoming The Jordan, as his 40 points and eight rebounds have become the modern day standard and the MVP was as surely his as Follow The Leader was an all-time hip hop classic.

Durant's journey to the MVP throne was quite similar. Durant's impressive stat line of 36 points and seven rebounds was challenged by the newly minted all-time all-star scoring leader in Kobe Bryant's 27 points. Moreover, the all-world do-everything player on the opposing team put on a masterful performance, as LeBron James' line of 36/7/6 quite possibly trumped KD's. Of course, KD's team won and LeBron's didn't, which brings us to this...

8 Replies to “Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James And The Parallels Of All-Star History”

  1. Yeeeeeeah, I'm a smidge confuddled and maybe it's because I didn't have my morning coffee yet but aside from the fact that this was a good read....I have a question...?
    Why should someone have received the MVP award when they once again failed to ultimately dominate and win the game for his team? That's not very valuable.

    1. LeBron had a better statistical statline and LeBron single-handedly fueled the comeback for the East. I have no problem with KD getting the MVP, but LBJ earned it to me.

      But who am I? I'm just one man. LOL

  2. I had this same conversation with someone last night. They asked if I was mad that he passed the ball to D Will instead of shooting it. That's just ridiculous to me. Derron was wide open and LBJ was being doubled. He had the better shot. The same is true for Melo, the only thing wrong there was the pass was off. If he had taken it and missed the slander would have been just as epic. He just can't win with some people.

  3. You missed the biggest storyline of LeBron's game. LeBron's performance has an inverse relationship with the stakes of the game. His 4th quarter performance in the past two all star games has been the polar opposite of how he played in the Finals last year. The less there is on the line, the harder he plays.

  4. I was happy with the game in general. Lebron can't win in any situation he is put in. He has been a Team first guy when it comes to play. He is more Magic than Michael. However he has to learn to be that Alpha male. His selfishness off the court has to change on the court in the latter stages of the game. Other than that, you can't find a flaw in the mans overall game.

  5. You can certainly see your skills within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.

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