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Today in Sports History: 2/20 – Kobe Bryant Named 2011 NBA All-Star Game MVP

Today in sports history (2011), the 60th annual NBA All-Star Game was held at Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was Kobe Bryant’s 13th All-Star selection and his fourth and final All-Star Game MVP award.

Kobe Bryant’s Early Season Success

Even as back-to-back NBA Champions, the 2010-2011 Los Angeles Lakers team was not as stacked as many remember. Outside of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers had little talent. The next best players were Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace. Kobe was so dominant that season, however, that his supporting cast didn’t matter much at all. The Lakers were cruising heading into the NBA All-Star break with a 38-19 record.

In those first 57 games, Bryant was a scoring machine. He scored 30+ points in 17 games and scored over 40 points in two games. His play was a large reason the Lakers would finish the season in the top 10 in both points per game and points allowed per game. Kobe’s play was also a big reason why he was the leader in All-Star voting. With over 2.3 million votes, Kobe had almost 300 thousand votes more than the next highest in LeBron James.

Kobe Bryant 2011 NBA All-Star Game MVP today in sports history
Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Performance for the Ages | Kobe Bryant NBA All-Star Game MVP

Anyone who has ever heard Kobe Bryant speak or have seen him play knows the perfectionist mentality he brings every night. With All-Star Weekend being held in Los Angeles, everybody knew that Bryant was going to show out. In a 148-143 victory for the Western Conference, Kobe Bryant needed just 29 minutes to prove why he was one of the greatest players of all time.

Kobe finished with 37 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals. His 10 offensive rebounds still stands as the record for most offensive rebounds in an NBA All-Star Game. Not only did Bryant rack up the points, but he did it efficiently as well. Bryant knocked down 14-of-26 shots (53.8%) from the field. The MVP award gave Kobe Bryant his fourth All-Star Game MVP. That tied him with Hall of Famer Bob Pettit for the most in NBA history.

Kobe Bryant All-Star Legacy

In February 2020, after Bryant’s tragic passing in a helicopter accident, NBA commissioner Adam Silver renamed the All-Star game MVP award after Kobe Bryant. This year, the NBA redesigned the All-Star MVP trophy to remark Kobe’s legendary accomplishments in the All-Star Game.

While Kobe Bryant has tragically passed away, he will always be remembered for his greatness in the NBA All-Star Game until the end of time.

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