Chicago, USA–Los Angeles Clippers Kawhi Leonard became the first player in the All-Star Game to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, Kobe Bryant, after earning 30 points for Team LeBron in the 69th edition of the All-Star.
In his 20 minutes on the court at the United Center, where the match was played, Leonard led his team’s attack, scoring 11 of 18 field shots, including 8 out of 14 three-pointers, adding seven rebounds and four assists. Leonard topped a list of six players who had double-digit numbers, four of them headlines.
Leonard’s eight triples left him just one of equaling the All-Star Game all-time record.» This appointment means a lot to me,» Leonard said at the conclusion of the match.
Kawhi Leonard during the NBA/AFP All-Star Game
He added that «words can’t even explain it. It’s extraordinary to have won the first Kobe Bryant MVP trophy.»
I want to thank Kobe for everything he did for me. All the long conversations and workouts we had. Thank you. This is for him.»
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced during his press conference Saturday night that, starting Sunday night, the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player trophy would be permanently named Bryant, who won the award during his legendary 20-year career, a four-time record.