Kawhi Leonard Named The First Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP
The 2020 NBA All-Star weekend has come to an end with Los Angeles Clipper's star player, Kawhi Leonard taking home the All-Star game MVP award. Kawhi Leonard led Team LeBron to a thrilling victory over Team Giannis in the 69th NBA All-Star game for a final score of 157-155. Leonard led all players in scoring with 30 points. He contributed seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
The NBA introduced a new format to the All-Star game to make more of a competitive pick-up game instead of a glorified dunk contest like it has been in years past. The first three quarters of the game were timed and the scores from those quarters were tallied up into one score. In the fourth quarter, whichever team scored 24 points first won the the game. Chris Paul thought of this idea to commemorate the legacy of Kobe Bryant who wore number 24 through out his career.
This year's award was very special, because it was officially named after the great Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant always brought great intensity and competed hard during the All-Star game. Kobe has been to the All- Star game a record 18-times all with the Los Angeles Lakers and he won the All-Star game MVP award four times 2002, 2007, 2009 (co-MVP with Shaquille O'Neal) and 2011. The new format to the game really brought the "Mamba Mentality" out of the players. Kyle Lowry took a charge in the fourth quarter against James Harden. Team LeBron was arguing with referees in crucial moments down the stretch of the fourth quarter. It made the All-Star game competitive and fun to watch. Kawhi Leonard spoke on his relationship with Kobe after winning the very first Kobe Bryant All-Star Game Award. “It’s very special. Like I said, I had a relationship with him. Words can’t explain how happy I am for it. Able to put that trophy in my room, in my trophy room, and just be able to see Kobe’s name on there, it just means a lot to me. He’s a big inspiration in my life. He did a lot for me,” he said.
Kobe Bryant was well represented during this All-Star weekend and the new All-Star game format is great for the game of basketball.
What are your thoughts on the new format of the NBA All-Star game? Let me know in the comment section below!