January 26, 2023, marks the three years of the death of NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash with his daughter and seven others.
The 18th-time NBA All star, died at age 41 leaving a remarkable career not just in the NBA, but also in the basketball world and many youngsters who idolized him, used him as a model, and became a dream for many ballers to be like him. His untimely death is still being felt around and leaves a huge wound to many – the Alpha Dog of the entire league vanished in just a blink of an eye.
His luminous professional career highlighted by his five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, 18 All-Star selections, and two league scoring charts in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. The All-Star Game is part of his memorable career as he had some incredible performances playing with and against the brightest stars of the league with him.
Here is his decorated NBA All-Star history.
1997 NBA Slam Dunk Champion
Despite being a rookie, riding the bench, and did not get many votes to qualify for the All-Star Game, he definitely shined in the Dunk Contest. He had an impressive first round with two dunks: a one-handed reverse and a double pump, two-handed reverse to impress the judges. He then finished the contest with a between-the-legs dunk to win the 1997 event. Winning the dunk contest was just the beginning for Bryant’s incredible NBA resume.
1998 – First All-Star appearance
A year after missing out on the All-star game, Bryant did not take long to establish his bona fide All-star caliber career. Bryant averaged 15.4 points per game and was selected to suits in his first All-Star game despite coming off the bench. At the young age of 19, Bryant scored 18 points to lead the West Team that fell to the Jordan-led East team.
2000 All-Star Game – His first million votes
Kobe Bryant continued to dominate the league, becoming the second star player of the Los Angeles Lakers. His hard work resulted in his first All-Star game in which he received 1 million votes. His teammate Shaquille O’Neal won the All-Star MVP, but he scored 15 points in less than 30 minutes of action.
2003 All-Star Game – a popular face of the league
In 2003, Kobe Bryant became the most popular man in the league as he topped the voting with 1,474,386 votes and he did not disappoint and put on a show. The Atlanta crowd witnessed the Black Mamba to score 22 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. It was also his last chance to go head-to-head with Michael Jordan at the All-Star Game. MJ obliged him with a couple of post-ups and gave fans a memorable interaction.
2005 All-Star Game – Without Shaq era
After the Lakers devastating defeat over Piston in the 2004 finals and exit of Shaquille O’Neal from the Lakers, Bryant spent most of the 2004-2005 season proving that he didn’t need Shaq to win. However, things didn’t work out on his first season without his big brother. Kobe scored 16 points, seven assists and three steals but O’Neal got the win for the East side.
2007 All-Star Game – His second MVP
Bryant wasn’t going to stain his All-Star career with another tough loss over the East squad. The Black Mamba dominated 2007 in Las Vegas, blessing the Thomas & Mack Center with a 31-point against the LeBron James/Shaquille O’Neal-led Eastern Conference team – he claimed his second All-Star MVP after helping the West to a 21-point win.
This article features the Kobe Bryant NBA All-Star legacy will be having part two where it will showcase the 2009-2016 All-Star appearance of the great Black Mamba and how he curved the path to the next star’s league which cut the same mentality to his own form.
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