NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player Award
The NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given to the player(s) voted best of the annual All-Star Game. The award was established in 1953 when NBA officials decided to designate an MVP for each year's game. The league also re-honored players from the previous two All-Star Games. Ed Macauley and Paul Arizin were selected as the 1951 and 1952 MVP winners respectively. The winner is voted upon by a panel of media members, who cast their vote after the conclusion of the game. The player(s) with the most votes or ties for the most votes wins the award. In February 2020, Commissioner Adam Silver renamed the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in memory of four-time winner Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash a few weeks earlier.
As of 2020[update], the most recent recipient is Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard. Bryant and Bob Pettit are the only two players to win the All-Star Game MVP four times. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron James have each won the award three times, while Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant have all won the award twice. James' first All-Star MVP in 2006 made him the youngest to have ever won the award at the age of 21 years, 1 month. Kyrie Irving, winner of the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, is the second-youngest at 21 years, 10 months. They are notable as being the two youngest to win the award, both as Cleveland Cavaliers. No All-Star Game MVP was named in 1999 since the game was canceled due to the league's lockout. Four of the games had joint winners—Elgin Baylor and Pettit in 1959, John Stockton and Malone in 1993, O'Neal and Tim Duncan in 2000, and O'Neal and Bryant in 2009. O'Neal became the first player in All-Star history to share two MVP awards as well as the first player to win the award with multiple teams. The Los Angeles Lakers have had eleven winners while the Boston Celtics have had eight. Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Irving of Australia are the only winners not born in the United States. Both Duncan and Irving[a] are American citizens, but are considered "international" players by the NBA because they were not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C. No player trained entirely outside the U.S. has won the award; Irving lived in the U.S. since age two, and Duncan played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest.
Bob Pettit (1958, 1959) and Russell Westbrook (2015, 2016) are the only players to win consecutive awards. Pettit (1956), Bob Cousy (1957), Wilt Chamberlain (1960), Bill Russell (1963), Oscar Robertson (1964), Willis Reed (1970), Dave Cowens (1973), Michael Jordan (1988, 1996, 1998), Magic Johnson (1990), Shaquille O'Neal (2000), and Allen Iverson (2001) all won the All-Star Game MVP and the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in the same season; Jordan is the only player to do this multiple times. Fourteen players have won the award playing for the team that hosted the All-Star Game: Macauley (1951), Cousy (1957), Pettit (1958, 1962), Chamberlain (1960), Adrian Smith (1966), Rick Barry (1967), Jerry West (1972), Tom Chambers (1987), Michael Jordan (1988), Karl Malone (1993), John Stockton (1993), O'Neal (2004, 2009), Bryant (2011) and Davis (2017); Pettit and O'Neal did this multiple times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the distinction of playing in the most All-Star Games (18) without winning the All-Star Game MVP, while Adrian Smith won the MVP in his only All-Star Game.
|^||Denotes player who is still active in the NBA|
|*||Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame|
|Player (X)||Denotes the number of times the player has been awarded the MVP award|
|Team (X)||Denotes the number of times a player from this team has won|
|Bob Pettit||St. Louis Hawks||4||1956, 1958, 1959, 1962|
|Kobe Bryant||Los Angeles Lakers||2002, 2007, 2009, 2011|
|Oscar Robertson||Cincinnati Royals||3||1961, 1964, 1969|
|Michael Jordan||Chicago Bulls||1988, 1996, 1998|
|Shaquille O'Neal||Los Angeles Lakers
|2000, 2004, 2009|
|LeBron James||Cleveland Cavaliers||2006, 2008, 2018|
|Bob Cousy||Boston Celtics||2||1954, 1957|
|Julius Erving||Philadelphia 76ers||1977, 1983|
|Isiah Thomas||Detroit Pistons||1984, 1986|
|Karl Malone||Utah Jazz||1989, 1993|
|Magic Johnson||Los Angeles Lakers||1990, 1992|
|Allen Iverson||Philadelphia 76ers||2001, 2005|
|Russell Westbrook||Oklahoma City Thunder||2015, 2016|
|Kevin Durant||Oklahoma City Thunder
Golden State Warriors
- Kyrie Irving was born in Australia to American parents who returned to the U.S. when he was two years old. He has dual U.S. and Australian citizenship, but has represented the United States internationally.
- Denotes All-Star Games in which joint winners were named
- Because Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands, he was able to play for the U.S. internationally.
- James, at 21 years and 51 days old, is the youngest All-Star Game MVP in NBA history.
- O'Neal, at 36 years and 346 days old, is the oldest All-Star Game MVP in NBA history.
- "Kia NBA All-Star Game MVP Award named for Kobe Bryant" (Press release). National Basketball Association. February 15, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
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- NBA All-Star Game Career Leaders | Basketball-Reference.com
- "Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- "All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster: D". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
- Ward, Roy (July 3, 2013). "Irving a must for Boomers in Rio: Bogut". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on February 17, 2014.