Tonight marks the 62nd NBA All Star Game.
It’s the main event of the ever-exciting NBA All-Star Weekend.
It’s the game that gives this weekend its name and is the reason fans travel near and far to come join the festivities.
It gives the players the fuel to play at the highest-level throughout the first-half of the season, as they hope to earn the prestigious honor of representing their respective conference in this big game.
This season’s event welcomes a host of new stars playing in their first ever All-Star Game, along with the perennial powers who’ve become familiar and expected faces. It’s shaping up to be a fun game, featuring one of the most refreshing lineups in recent memory.
The biggest discussions prior to the game revolve around which team will win and who will be the game’s MVP. However, because of it being a fun event and the game having a care-free aura surrounding it, few conversations ever discuss who needs it more.
That changes now.
As far as an entire team goes, one might suggest that the Eastern Conference needs the win more. With the newly implemented All-Star Weekend scoring system, the West took the victory over the East on Saturday with a score of 140-125. Having the East win tonight would even the score and prevent the West from securing further bragging rights.
Beyond that, there are a few individual players that need this win.
My first choice is Kevin Durant.
The Oklahoma City Thunder came into this weekend off a loss to the Miami Heat. That makes them 0-2 versus Miami thus far this season.
Both teams are looking strong this season and could potentially have a rematch in the NBA Finals should their success keep up. If that were to happen, the Thunder would have to even the playing field in order to keep some momentum on their side. A win for the Western Conference, with Durant playing a key role (MVP?) could not only give him and the Thunder momentum heading into the second half of the season, but also momentum in a possible eventual rematch against the defending NBA Champions.
A win for the West could do a lot of good for Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, as well.
Since the acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the Lakers have been making a lot of noise, though not for their success. They’ve fallen considerably short of their expectations and display what seems to be internal tension. Perhaps a win for the Western Conference can help Kobe Bryant and teammate Dwight Howard relax, reduce their stress level, and bond while their guard is down, so that they can regroup and help their Lakers push forward towards playoff contention during the second half of the season, if at all possible.
LeBron James could use a “W” in the All-Star game tonight. As a matter of fact, he needs more than just a victory;
He needs to be the All Star MVP … again.
It’s a certain “Greatest Player of All Time”’s birthday today.
For those who weren’t already aware, today is Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday.
The sports world has been on fire this week with LeBron James-Michael Jordan comparison stories. Things got even spicier when Jordan himself said he’d pick Kobe Bryant over LeBron James because five rings are worth more than one.
LeBron dismissed the comments, but rather than just ignoring them, maybe he can quiet them somehow, some way. Should he win tonight, and earn the MVP honors, he can carry with him that momentum when the season picks back up and continue his ridiculous hot streak past seven games with 30+ points per game and a 60% field goal percentage. While All Star MVP isn’t a championship ring, it still holds some prestigious weight in the NBA, and it would look great on James’ already bulky resume.