Monday, February 16, 2009

Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant Win The 2009 NBA All Star Game MVP Award

Never in a million years did The Blot expect the 2009 NBA All Star Game to end the way it did last night. I was particularly excited for this year’s exhibition game because it would be the first time Shaq and Kobe have played together on the same team since O’Neal’s departure from the LA Lakers almost five years ago.

2009 NBA All Star Game - NBA All Star Game Co-MVPs Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant
As many of you know Shaq is my all time favorite player and the Lakers are my all time favorite team, so it was pretty awesome for The Blot to watch Shaq and Kobe playing happily together under the tutelage of Lakers head coach Phil Jackson again, if only for one night. I honestly didn’t expect Shaq to play significant minutes in what could be his final All Star Game appearance, but when he came out during player introductions and did that sick dance with The Jabbawockeez, a hip-hop dance group, I knew he had one last great performance in him. And boy did he!

2009 NBA All Star Game - Shaquille O'Neal Dancing With The Jabbawockeez During Player Introductions
2009 NBA All Star Game - Kobe Bryant Dunking on Dwight HowardAfter the West went down 20-10 early in the game, Shaq and Kobe helped spark their team to a 19-0 run, which unknowingly put the West up for the remainder of the night. O’Neal finished the game with more points (17) than minutes played (11) and put on an amazing show that was capped with a pass between Dwight Howards legs to Chris Paul, who then passed the ball back to a cutting Shaq who finished the play with an emphatic dunk. Shaq’s output was also a new All Star Game record for most points scored in under 15 minutes of play. Kobe on the other hand finished with a game high 27 points to lead the Western Conference All Stars in a commanding victory over the Eastern Conference 146-119.

2009 NBA All Star Game - Shaq Backing Down Dwight HowardWhat’s really amazing about last night was how friendly Kobe and Shaq were to each other before and during the game. Shaq even went so far as to call Bryant the hands down best player in the league. Shaq seems to be making a concerted effort to finally let go of the animosity between he and Bryant, and is making some really crazy overtones about a possible return to the Lakers to finish out his career once his contract with the Phoenix Suns expires. This is music to The Blot’s ears, but whether or not Lakers owner Jerry Buss or Bryant would ever let this happen is another question entirely.

2009 NBA All Star Game - Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant Speaking to the Media after Winning the 2009 NBA All Star Game MVP Award
As co-MVPs, Kobe and Shaq have now each won the award three times. This ties them with Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson for the second most All Star MVP Awards received behind Bob Pettit’s four.
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