Mark Ralston / Getty Images

This season’s All-Stars were treated to a rock-‘n-roller’s welcome by Lenny Kravitz; each player’s name announced with a blare of electronic guitars and drums pounding in the background. After some opening words from the L.A. All-Stars Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Pau Gasol (said in both Spanish and in English), the NBA’s best took to the floor to put on an unforgettable show.

It’s usually a tough call, guessing which team is more stacked over the other. The East All-Stars were comprised mostly of veterans, with Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo making up the team’s youth. The West All-Stars were filled with young guns Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and rookie and Slam Dunk Champ, Blake Griffin. With a slew of future multiple All-Stars, the pace of this year’s game was a quick one, with the West scoring 37 points in the first quarter to the East’s 27. The second quarter put on another offensive display, with the West scoring 39 points and the East putting in 37.

There weren’t a lot of familiar offensive systems or defensive schemes to be seen in a game with this myriad of players from a myriad of teams, but there were no shortages of fantastic play. There was Kobe Bryant stripping Dwyane Wade and throwing it to a running Kevin Durant for an uncontested dunk. There was Amar’e Stoudemire lobbing to Dwight Howard for a slam. Deron Williams sending a long bouncepass to a sprinting Blake Griffin for a signature dunk. Bryant rebounding his own missed free throw and hitting a jumper. Pau Gasol running a little triangle, passing to Manu Ginobli who passed to Bryant for yet another dunk. For a game filled with gifted scorers, every player seemed happy to share the ball. The East finished with 38 assists on 57 made field goals, and the West had 34 assists on 59 made shots.

In a game filled with the NBA’s top players, guided by Championship coaches Greg Popovich and Doc Rivers, there were still those who stood above the rest.

For the East, it was LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire leading the way. For all the grief that LeBron James endured upon getting introduced to L.A.’s home crowd, the East would not have been able to close the double-digit lead had it not been for his play. He finished with a triple double 29 points on 10-18, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Stoudemire also finished with 29 points on 11-20. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the clutchness of the West.

Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant were clearly the leaders on the West, with Pau Gasol helping right along. Gasol had 17 points on 8-13, adding 7 rebounds. Durant had 34 points on 11-23, scoring a short jumper, followed by a three pointer late in the fourth quarter to transform the West’s 2-point lead back to a comfortable seven points. He could have easily been the MVP for today’s game, but that honor, for the fourth time in his career, belonged to Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant said after the game that he wanted to help put on a good show for an arena filled with L.A.’s basketball fans, and he didn’t disappoint. After the first half, he led all scores with 21 points on 8-14; finishing with 37 points on 14-26, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. He hit four three pointers, went baseline for a two-handed dunk, and in the end, he just appeared to be having the time of his life. He joked around with his colleagues on both teams, tapped LeBron James on the bottom after dunking on him, interrupting Carmelo Anthony’s interview with Craig Sager, saying that Anthony would no longer be answering anymore questions. “Big brother has spoken,” he said, his arms around Anthony. After being presented with his MVP award, Bryant said the he wanted to play his best and put on a good show for the fans of Los Angeles, who may be seeing him for the last time as an All-Star in this city. It was a bittersweet acceptance speech for the 4-time All-Star MVP, and even moreso for his loyal fans, who are honored and proud to have been true witnesses to Bryant’s greatness, but who are saddened to even consider an NBA could exist without him.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:
Showtime in the show business capital. East at West – It’s always difficult to gage what the All-Star game will bring, but judging from the roster of younger generation players like Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, it should be an exciting contest.
Half-time Thoughts: 64-76 – The West is running this game, literally, collecting 9 steals and scoring on the fast break. Kobe Bryant leads all scores with 21 points on 8-14, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Kevin Durant has 15 points himself with Pau Gasol not far behind with 12. Chris Bosh leads the East with 12 points on 6-6. Chris Paul’s buzzer-beating floater may provide the West with some momentum going into the second half, but the East made runs in the first to cut the deficit, which probably won’t change in the second.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: It was an almost-blowout that turned into an exciting game until the very last second. No thoughtlessness tonight.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Kobe Bryant got the MVP and it was truly deserved, but Kevin Durant wasn’t too shabby either. If not for his jumper and three late in the fourth, it would have been a different game in the end.

  • LakerMarc

    I was there. AWESOME Congrats Kobe. You are THEE Warrior!! Lenny Kravitz Rocks!!! Awesome time. Now to go to some of the parties. Let’s Go Lakers! The rest is almost over. No more excuses.

  • Sir

    ALRIGHT KOBE NOW GET 37 & 14 IN THE REST OF THE LAKERS GAMES OK

    • Lakers can’t shoot

      Yes, I wish he would perform like that in games that count lol.

    • Sir

      Exactly lol. Watching the ASG I was like wtf man he looks young again? Why can’t he look and play young during Lakers games??

  • 1234567

    great game. and congrats kobe. now its back to business tomorrow and gettin focused for a nba title. i know this isnt a laker game, but this win and mvp trophy had to center kobe back to a winning-competitive-relaxing-drive again. hopefully he can take this to get everyone else motivated.

    • uhh_jjyyeeaahh

      AGREED

  • trippleoccho

    That pic says a lot doesn’t it? Lol

  • lakers

    KOBBEEEE!!!!!!!! that was a greattt gameee!!!! everyone is saying that kobe didnt dunk on lebron because it wasnt over him but i think that he did, what do u guys think?

    • Eidraq

      He dunked on him alright. LBJ’s just maaad.

      • lakersallthewayy

        haha yeah everyone saying it was suppose to be a block shot not a dunk! there just mad! at first when kobe was running i didnt think was gonna get it, and than he hit a 3 right after! it was amazingggg!

    • LakerMarc

      LBJ is the biggest EGO MANIAC and he is so insincere. Notice how he always makes comments in his interviews and always has to say that its ‘humbling’ and he is ‘very humbled by….’ WTF does that arrogant asshole know about being humble and not accepting the spotlight and the notoriety and the fame and fortune…he’s the biggest douchebag in the NBA aside from KG!!!!!

    • CelticsSuck4Ever

      LeDuoche is a douche.

  • MECKA

    i hope Kobe getting the MVP and leading the WEST to a win gets the Lakers motivated.

  • Nick

    What a fucking ego-maniac Kobe is. That puke has 2 try and hog the spot-light even in an All-Star game… what is his issue?? Well I know 1 thing and that is this…. The King of L.A Paul Pierce will be hoisting his 2nd Finals MVP Trophy in about 4 months…. so get ready 4 a long summer all u scumbags

    • LakerMarc

      Dude, you need to get a life…I’ll humour you and say that what you are saying is true…then why not get on a Celtics site and blog away there…..FUCK OFF!!!! WE DON”T WANT YOU HERE!!!

    • CelticsSuck4Ever

      LMAO@Nick. Kobe at least played like an All-Star. What happened to your green team from Boston? They sucked and shouldn’t even have made the East team.

      The East is so weak they had four Celtics and three Heat. LeDouche and his green bugger band. Hahahahaha.

      • LakerMarc

        and seriously WTF with 4 reps from Boston? and Lamar couldn’t make it?????….I think the powers that be just love the celdicks. I mean all the way around, they sucked…in the all-star game….in the 3 point shot challenge…..they sucked…. green with envy Celdicks?

    • I SHIT ON REDS GRAVE

      Four piece a shit celtics and three dipshit heat could not I repeat COULD NOT handle ONE Kobe Bryant.

      • SHOWTIME4EVA

        True, so true four bitch ass celtics and three punks could not equal one Black Mamba! He’s got as many rings as all of them put together. haha

  • Chi-Town Walt

    @nick you’re such a hater give a person credit when credit is due don’t b a Hater all your life. Seek some counseling! He deserved M.V.P.! We’ll c n June!!!!!!

    • LakerMarc

      well put

  • CelticsSuck4Ever

    Nick even the clowns over at Redsarmy don’t like you. I guess Celtic fans have some taste. Not much but some….

    • LakerMarc

      LOL good one…..Nick the dick….get lost

      go watch the new Snoop video ‘purp and yellow’ maybe Matt Damon can make you guys a video….”you like Green Apples? How ’bout them apples”

  • laughoutloud

    lebrons a tool. See how hard he was trying. He played harder in a allstar game than he does in real games! He wasnt even joking or smiling either. The dumbass needs to learn that this is an ALL STAR game where players can enjoy have fun. He wanted the mvp so bad, going like 100x harder than everyone else!

  • daboss1848

    No thoughtless moment? How about Stoudemire’s (I believe, someone else was there too) foul on Durant’s dunk (hard fall on his back) which could have ended his season, if not worse.
    .
    LBJ saw the opportunity to dethorne KB on that dunk attempt. Imagine LBJ blocking the true King of the NBA on the true King’s court in the NBA’s most watched event of the year – ahhh what couldve been for the self-proclaimed King . . . live to dream another year, your lowness. Punk move by a punk kid!
    .
    In the All-Star Game SHOW, while the West was having fun and not taking a physical approach to denying dunks and otherwise vertical plays, the East seemed like little brother out there – scratching, clawing, pushing, contesting, fighting as hard as they could.

  • RanijaKeener

    Yall needa quit tawkin bout’ Celtics cuz they play betta den Lakers!!(:-All the wayy babayy!

  • CelticAllDheWayy

    First of all Celtics can play so to all you bull***** people who talkin’ bout Celtics needa back the f*** off!