CHICAGO – Kawhi Leonard won the first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP Award after leading Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory over Team Giannis in Sunday’s NBA All-Star game at United Center.
Leonard finished with 30 points while shooting 11-of-18 from the field. He was 8-of-14 from 3-point range.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the league would rename the NBA All-Star MVP in Bryant’s name to honor the recently deceased Los Angeles Lakers luminary. Bryant and Bob Pettit hold the NBA record for most All-Star MVPs (four), while Bryant also holds the league record for most consecutive All-Star selections (18).
As for Leonard, he collected his first All-Star MVP award after already winning two Finals MVPs in 2014 and 2019. Other possible winners included Giannis Antetokounmpo (25 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks), LeBron James (23 points, six assists, five rebounds) and Anthony Davis (20 points, nine rebounds, three blocks). Davis also split a pair of free throws to win the game, which was decided by which team reached 157 points first — determined by the leading team’s total after three quarters plus 24 (a tribute to one of Bryant’s jersey numbers).