James took home his third career NBA All-Star Game MVP award on Sunday night by notching a near triple double and leading Team LeBron to a victory over Team Stephen in the first All-Star Game of its kind.
Instead (and rightfully so), they chose James, who finished 29 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.
"Best because I've been through so much, coming from the Cameroon, playing JV [at Montverde Academy in Florida] my junior year [of high school], and then transferring to another school [The Rock School in Florida] and then going to Kansas", the 76ers center said Sunday after the NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center.
"The great thing about our commissioner, he's absolutely okay with trying something new, to change the format, and it definitely worked out for everybody".
While a plethora of original All-Star players were injured and out of this game, the replacements stepped in and helped provide a fresh twist on the All-Star experience.
Some more of those moments were created this weekend, as we were reminded what James and Irving are capable of as teammates - and perhaps even why it was Irving felt like he was ready to be the alpha dog of his own team.
In contrast, Curry struggled from the field for most of the night, hitting just 4/14 shots for 11 points and failing to get a shot off during the final possession when his team had a chance to tie the game.
While the old format set Eastern versus Western conference players for 66 years, the new format had two team captains selected by combined votes of fans, media members and coaches. Throw in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Draymond Green, who are basically guards disguised as big men, as well as Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid, who are centers who stretch the floor and don't play like traditional centers, and essentially every single player on this team (sorry, Al Horford) is a candidate to take the ball up the floor.
"The game was so good", said a grinning Durant, who scored 19 points in his ninth All-Star Game. Steph Curry only scored 11 points, but he grabbed six rebounds and had five assists. Team LeBron also rallied from a double-digit deficit in the final minutes, tying it at 144 on James' 3-pointer with 1:31 to play.
After 17 minutes of flat out weirdness, we finally made it to player introductions.
Safe to say Mike D'Antoni's All-Star team played more defense than any of his Lakers teams ever did. The winning team got $50,000 dollars, and the losing team got $25,000 dollars. The first four picks had to come from the list of all-star starters. As James continues to be outspoken on social issues, on setting the bar for future players to get paid, and on how to make sure players have control over their careers, he simply adds to his legacy in the National Basketball Association.
Curry was forced to pass it off to DeMar DeRozan, who could not convert a hurried, last-ditch three-point attempt.
The All-Star weekend began with strong statements by James, Curry and other superstars about their determination to keep speaking out on issues of social injustice and racial tension despite criticism. How the Clippers could make it work If DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers and Wes Johnson all declined their player options and LA let them all walk, the Clippers could get in the neighborhood of having enough cap space to sign James outright.