Kawhi Leonard has won his first NBA All-Star Game MVP award. Leonard deemed the award as ‘very special.’
It was the first highlight of the night. The second highlight was renaming the award into the Kobe Bryant MVP award. This is only fitting because he was one in only two NBA players with the most All-Star MVP awards presently at four.
Would you want to know who the other NBA player who has the most All-Star Game MVP award is? Read on.
Kobe Bryant (4)
Bryant won the award in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011 while playing for Los Angeles Lakers.
He played for a total of 18 All-Star Games, appearing for the first time on his third season in the NBA. Bryant’s debut to the game was a memorable one as he came face to face against his idol, Michael Jordan. It was also his first time to do the 360 dunk Bryant was famous for.
Bryant was the youngest player ever voted to appear in the games.
Bob Pettit (4)
Pettit won all his MVP awards while playing for St. Louis Hawks. He got the award in 1956, 1958, 1959, and 1962.
Pettit played for 11 consecutive All-Star Games.
Before that, however, the world was sceptic whether he would survive the challenges of playing in the NBA. He proved everyone wrong as he went on to become the greatest forward of his era.
All thanks to his willingness to learn what he had to. Pettit gave birth to the phrase ‘second effort.’
Oscar Robertson (3)
While playing for Cincinnati Royals, Robertson won the award in 1961, 1964, and 1969.
Robertson, who is also known as the Big O, is the definition of ‘versatile.’ He was averaging a triple-double on his second NBA season. He held this record until Russell Westbrook matched such feat in the 2016-17 season.
He also played in 12 consecutive All-Star Games.
Michael Jordan (3)
Jordan won his MVP award in 1988, 1996, and 1998. He was with Chicago Bulls.
Selected to appear in the games 14 times, Jordan once said that “[he’d] like to play in at least one All-Star Game.” In his first season, he was voted as a starter in the All-Star East squad.
During the All-Star Weekend, Jordan won the first two Slam Dunk competitions.
Shaquille O’Neal (3)
O’Neal won his MVP awards in 2000, 2004, and 2009 when he played for Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.
In 2009, O’Neal was named one of the two MVPs along with Bryant. Winning as co-MVPs ended their long-standing beef.
LeBron James (3)
James won the award in 2006, 2008, and then ten years after in 2018.
James appeared in the All-Star Games for 16 times, debuting on his first game during his sophomore year.
By 2015, he was already considered as the “face of the NBA” with growing influence among decision-makers. In 2014, he suggested increasing the game’s break duration. His request was granted the following season.
Other NBA players who won two All-Star Game MVP awards include Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook.