Sports Contributor : Q. Stovall
Sunday, February 9th, 2003 was a historic day in NBA History. It was the day the GOAT, Michael Jordan, played his last NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Georgia. He was selected as a Eastern conference reserve, but Vince Carter respectfully gave up his starting spot so Jordan could start his last All-Star game. However, very fittingly, starting across from him was none other than Kobe Bryant.
Kobe lead the All-Star players in votes that year, with 1.47 million votes. Fresh off his 3rd championship ring the season before and he was in the midst of average 40.6 points in the month of February. No Seriously he averaged FORTY . At one point, he scored 40 in 9 straight games.
As Kobe Bryant was in his prime, MJ was in his last season. 2003’s All-Star game served as a proverbial passing of the torch. Nevertheless, the then 39 year-old Jordan still dropped 20 points on 27 shots in 36 minutes played. With those 20 points, Jordan became the all-time leader in scoring in All-Star game history. A record since broke by, you guessed it, Kobe Bryant.
Present day he has been selected by the fans as an All-Star for the 18th time in his career, one shy of all-time record 19 selections by Kareem.
Kobe’s last All-Star game will be played in Toronto on February 14th, 2016. One thing for sure he will be honored like no other in our present day of watching basketball
As the no-brainer 2nd best shooting guard of all-time, Kobe has passed Jordan in career scoring, rebounds and assists, and even his jersey number is 1-up on Jordan. If only he could have got one more championship, and maybe he would be considered the GOAT.
No matter how you slice it though, it has been a privilege to watch Kobe Bean Bryant play basketball for the past 20 seasons, especially the 81-point game against…..Toronto. Go-figure.
Not even the “Jumpman” himself reached that point total. So check out the All-Star game on Valentine’s Day people; The Black Mamba may be “up to something” when he visits, as rapper Drake would say, the 6.