Now that the All-Star game is in the books, fans can start looking forward to the second half of the season. Considering this year’s festivities took place in the city of angels, much of the attention was on Blake Griffin and Kobe Bryant. It would certainly be an understatement to say these players had good All-Star weekends.
Most of the buzz going into the weekend was surrounding Griffin’s participation in the dunk contest. Griffin certainly lived up to all of the hype as he went on to win the dunk contest with an array of exciting dunks. His evening was capped off by jumping over the hood of a car to throw down an alley-oop pass from teammate Baron Davis. What makes Griffin’s win even more impressive is the fact he beat out some very stiff competition. Serge Ibaka, JaVale McGee and DeMar DeRozan all had dunks Saturday night that will be seen on YouTube for years to come. It was easily the best overall dunk contest since Vince Carter took the league by storm over a decade ago. In addition, Griffin contributed eight points, five rebounds and five assists to the Western Conference’s victory Sunday night.
Kobe treated his hometown fans to a classic Kobe performance. Kobe ended the night with 37 points and 14 rebounds as the Western Conference best the Eastern Conference 148-143. Kobe collected his fourth All-Star MVP trophy which ties him for the most all-time. I was pleasantly surprised by Kobe’s performance Sunday night. Considering the game was in Los Angeles, I knew there was a strong possibility that Kobe could take home the MVP award. However, what did surprise me was Kobe’s demeanor from the opening tip. It was evident that Kobe was taking the game a little more seriously than his All-Star counterparts. Kobe’s killer instinct mindset is what has always separated Kobe from the other elite players in the game today. In addition, I think I wet myself a little when Kobe finished the dunk over LeBron.
Also, Pau Gasol had a stellar showing for the Western Conference in front of his hometown fans. Gasol finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Check out the All-Star videos of Blake, Kobe and Pau after the jump.
Joshua Sexton is a lifelong basketball fanatic, who watches as many games as possible. In addition, He has played and coached the game at the high school level. He has recently started writing about the game of basketball.