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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Kobe Bryant All-Star Weekend Picture Gallery

"It's about having fun, but the fun is in the competition." Kobe Bryant, describing the NBA All-Star Game

NBA All-Star Weekend is set to begin in Chicago, returning to the Windy City for the first time since 1988. The 1980s was the golden age for the event, when all-time greats like Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and Michael Jordan not only put on a show but also showcased their skills/competitive greatness.

I enjoyed the privilege of covering each NBA All-Star Weekend from 2005-10, gathering precious memories and stories. Kobe Bryant was selected as an All-Star during each of those seasons, but due to injuries he only made a cameo appearance in 2008, and he did not play in 2010. However, during that six year span he also won two of his four All-Star Game MVPs. Bob Pettit is the only other four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP. Bryant was selected as an All-Star 18 times overall, second all-time behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19).

Here are some pictures that I took of Bryant at various All-Star Weekends.
2005 Western Conference All-Star Practice

2007 All-Star Game Running the Offense
2007 All-Star Game On Court Interview with Ernie Johnson
2007 All-Star Game MVP Press Conference
2009 All-Star Game Introduction

2009 All-Star Game Co-MVPs: Shaq and Kobe

During the postgame press conference for the 2009 All-Star Game, I asked West Coach Phil Jackson to share his thoughts about Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant evolving from their rivalry as Lakers' teammates just a few years earlier to sharing the All-Star MVP while enjoying each other's company. Jackson gave a very thoughtful reply: 
I think it is a great life lesson for people. This is something that the people work together, people find a way to get through situations, find harmony in their life, find co-habitation. I hope this speaks volumes not just for our community in basketball but our world community too and I like the idea that we even brought that to the All-Star Game and brought the international flavor in. Basketball is a thing that is a game. It is played as a game but it is serious business to these players and it is wonderful to see them have fun at it in a game like this. Now it is great to get back to the business of finishing this season off. 

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posted by David Friedman @ 7:34 PM