MJ won All-Star weekend; who lost it?
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
Michael Jordan turned 50 Sunday. You may have heard about it.
That is, you may have heard of it if you’ve read any sports-related website or publication the past three days.
Michael Jordan hasn’t played in an NBA All-Star Game in a decade. He hasn’t formally participated in All-Star weekend in a decade. He hasn’t played basketball professionally in a decade. But he won the 2013 NBA All-Star weekend by a large margin.
Jordan’s name was everywhere, and his brand status skyrocketed. His quotes on all sorts of matters — primarily Kobe Bryant and LeBron James — were ubiquitus fodder for conversation. His image was everywhere. Seemingly every website on the Internet, including this one, paid tribute to him. His newest shoe, the Air Jordan XX8, launched. AARP even gave him a shoutout.
The Charlotte Bobcats didn’t have an All-Star this year, but their owner made up for it.
Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever, so it makes sense that he led the winners. Here’s who else won and lost this All-Star weekend:
Winner: Chris Paul
The Los Angeles Clippers point guard is one of the coolest, most popular guys in the NBA. But never before has he shone like this. Paul had 20 points and 15 assists to win All-Star Game MVP one day after captaining the victorious Western Conference Saturday contest team. And he stayed at the center of the conversation throughout the weekend, talking up his Clippers teammates and shooting down trade rumors.
Loser: LeBron James
This is the kind of weekend James might like to forget. He entered the All-Star break as the hottest player in the NBA, on a streak of seven 30-point games, all in Heat wins. Then Jordan started talking about how James is predictable and he’d rather have 34-year-old Bryant. Then James continued his string of refusing to participate in the dunk contest even though pretty much everyone wants him to. Then Bryant blocked his shots twice in the All-Star Game as the West beat his Eastern Conference squad. James finished with 19 points, but he did it on 7-for-18 shooting and committed four turnovers, and the … [For more on Michael Jordan won NBA All-Star weekend; who lost it?, click here.]