From DanWoike, OC Register: When you’re trying to figure out who the best player in the NBA is right now, you have to, at one point or the other, figure out if Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James. Sunday night during the All-Star Game, I got a chance to see those two guys do what they do, both trying their best to get their team the win. Kobe was scoring in a ton of different ways, dunking like a player with way less mileage on his legs. James was bullying whoever was silly enough to get in his way. I’ll never think about the West winning the game. I will, however, think about Kobe going for 37 and Bron’s triple double. Those two players were the best in their respective uniforms Sunday night, and I had an awesome time watching them battle.
From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: I have to say, that game was respectably fun. It wasn’t that dunk-heavy, really, not to the extent we’re used to seeing in the ASG, and the East spent a good portion of the night throwing terrible outlet passes. But by the standards of All-Star contests, which we know ahead of time are not going to be played with textbook precision, this one wasn’t bad. There was a strong individual performance from Kobe Bryant, who captured MVP honors with 37 points, 14 boards, three assists and three steals. There was a nice LeBron James-led comeback by the East to make the final six minutes close. And I actually found the Rihanna-Kanye halftime set to be damn entertaining. Am I crazy for thinking that? I know Rihanna missed a few notes, but we mustn’t nitpick after the dual travesties that were the Super Bowl halftime show and today’s Lenny Kravitz pregame lip-sync-athon.
From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: On what was clearly Kobe Bryant’s night, it would be impossible to accuse Pau Gasol of trying to steal his thunder. When the pair met the media together following the Western Conference’s 148-143 win Sunday night, punctuated by the fourth MVP performance of Kobe’s career in the NBA’s almost-mid-season classic, Gasol sat to Kobe’s left and didn’t say a word. Not a peep. Nobody asked him a question. (Not in English, at least– outside the interview room, Gasol was mobbed by the international media.) Nor is it the first time this sort of thing has happened. In the postseason, when players are commonly sent to the podium in pairs, Gasol frequently plays the role of Harpo to Kobe’s rest-of-the-Marx Brothers. Not that he necessarily cares. When it was over, Gasol stood, smiled, and waved. “Thanks guys!”
From Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald: In Paul Pierce dreams, perhaps the Staples Center fans are drawing out the vowel as they bellow, “Tru-u-u-u-th.” But the Celtics captain was awake last night, and he’s well aware that he was being hooted on by his hometown because he is, well, the Celtics captain. He also had the temerity to beat the Lakers in the 2008 Finals — the nerve of the guy. If Pierce had any notion that the All-Star weekend crowd would be more transient, that was rectified during Saturday’s 3-point contest and again last night when he was verbally drilled during the pregame introductions that lasted longer than some Third World regimes. “Tru-u-u-u-th” or consequences? “No,” said Pierce through a laugh, “those were boos.”
From Eddie Maisonet, Ed The Sports Fan: What we saw in last night’s NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles was what I expect to see in every all-star contest: breath-taking plays, uptempo action, and in the fourth quarter an attempt to have a competitive game. We went 3-for-3 last night, and although the Kobe dunk over LeBron was dope but overrated, (look, he had to dunk it fast or Bron was sending that ball over to Bieber) LeBron fullbacking to the lane, Durant redeeming himself from that lackluster performance in the three-point shootout, (a 6 KD? Damn….even Boobie got 7!) almost 300 points scored, and the East comeback that made the 4th-quarter quite compelling. However, there will never be anything close to the 2001 NBA All-Star game, also known as the greatest All-Star game ever played.