The last time the NBA All-Star Game was in New York City, a young Kobe Bryant squared off against Michael Jordan on the Madison Square Garden floor. I was only five years old at the time and with the game returning back to the city for the first time in 17 years, it brings back pure nostalgia. I remember the awesome montage by the NBA on NBC crew, hosted by Bob Costas with Ahmad Rashad. Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill suited up alongside MJ to take on a stacked West squad that featured Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, David Robinson, and Karl Malone.
While there was no shortage of talent playing in the game, the focus was on the matchup of MJ and Kobe. Being dubbed the next MJ and one of the rising fresh faces of the league, Kobe didn’t lack any confidence as he put on an impressive All-Star Game debut. But at the end it was Mike who let the world know he wasn’t giving up his throne yet, finishing with the game MVP.
Fast forward to 2015. Despite the fact that Kobe won’t play (torn rotator cuff) it is crazy to see how things come full circle with the Mamba almost on his way out. There are a bunch of guys like James Harden and Klay Thompson who are trying to make a name for themselves and take his spot.
There is something special about the atmosphere in NYC, playing under the lights in Madison Square Garden. With the festivities beginning at the Barclays Center and then heading across the pond to the Garden, there is going to be a little bit of something for every NBA fan. Here is Everything You Can’t Miss During NBA All-Star Weekend. You don’t want to miss it.
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image via Günter Hentschel/Flickr Creative Commons