Photo from Action Network
The 2020 All-Star Game was one to remember. It was different, unusual. The association declared that they will be changing the format for the All-Star Game to respect recently passed Legend Kobe Bryant. Every basketball fan knows that no one quite cared about the All-Star Game like Kobe. Each of the four quarters will stand on their own and the fourth quarter won’t even have a clock. Team Lebron snagged the win over Team Giannis 157-155, donating approximately $500,000 to local charities. Throughout the game, most definitely the fourth quarter, you could easily distinguish the competitive spirit in every player, a type of competitive spirit that we've seen in Kobe. The new format brought a whole new wave of competitiveness to the game, the fourth quarter displayed some of the most intense play we've ever seen in an All-Star Game. The two Captains, Lebron James, and Giannis Antetokounmpo did a great job of selecting their teams and bringing the heat to the game as they were furiously going at each other. “You could definitely feel [Bryant’s] presence…” James said after completing one of the most enticing All-Star Games. There were many tributes during the weekend honoring Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi Bryant, such as the jerseys they wore, the performances, game layout, but the most honorable tribute would have to be the name change of the MVP Award to the Kobe Bryant MVP Award. It was obvious that everyone was playing their hardest to win the first-ever Kobe Bryant MVP Award, but one stood out above the others. Kawhi Leonard won the first-ever Kobe Bryant MVP Award as he embodied the heart of Kobe more than anyone on the court. Kobe was a mentor for Leonard, he helped with his workouts, training, game, and just being there to help him mentally along the way. "I came in, and I made my first two shots. ... That's when I told myself, 'I'm going to go try to get [MVP],'" Leonard said after the game. He continued by saying how "It's very special. I had a relationship with him. Words can't explain how happy I am for it. Able to put that trophy in my room, 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." With Kobes death still being surreal to all of us, this All-Star game was the finest way for the players to express their grief and play for the one and only, Kobe Bryant. "Anything else would be uncivilized," James said. "It's a beautiful time, it's a beautiful day, and his presence was felt here in Chicago. So appreciate it."