The NBA All-Star Game is always an entertaining display of top players together for one night to show the audience what they are capable of.  But the date February 8th, 1998, will be a one for the ages because this game was more special than others. Was it special because it was located in the Mecca of Basketball, New York City? Was it because it was played at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden? Spike Lee (nah…)? Or was it because it would be the last time we see Michael Jordan in an All-Star game…or so we thought (Or it could be the shoes…it’s gotta be the shoes).

1998 NBA All-Star – East – (photo cred: Andy Hayt /NBAE via Getty Images)

Not to say the East Squad wasn’t loaded with talent with MJ leading the way including Tim Hardaway (Nike), Penny Hardaway (Nike Penny 4), Steve Smith (Reebok), Reggie Miller (Nike) to the front line of Shawn “Reignman” Kemp (Reebok The Shroud), Rik “The Dunking Dutchman” Smitts (Nike), Grant Hill (Fila GHill 4), Glenn Rice (Nautica Compeition), Jayson Williams (Nike), Antoine Walker (Adidas Top Ten), and Dikembe Mutumbo (Nike Air Team Zoom Max). A major moment of the game, as the media focused on, was Air Jordan passing the torch to Kobe. It’s somewhat true, especially when you see Kobe (first time All-Star) constantly picking the brain of man himself and going at MJ every chance he had. But the GOAT himself wasn’t ready to give up his spot without shining in the brightest of spotlights. Playing a total of 32 minutes,  Michael Jordan finished the game 23 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals, while being coached by his former peer, Larry “Legend” Bird (former coach and current General Manager of the Indiana Pacers).

Mike vs Kobe – 1998 NBA All-Star Game (Photo cred: Henny Ray Abrams via Getty Images)
Kobe vs Mike – 1998 NBA All-Star Game (Photo cred: HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Jordan & the East All-Stars being coached by Larry Bird (Photo cred: Andrew D Bertstein/NBAE via Getty Images)


  1. How fitting on that photo you have Kobe honoring Mike with his tongue wag. Also glad to see Kobe talking more about copying MJ in recent months stating he basically patterned his turnaround off of Jordan’s shot. – NBA GOAT and NBA History Discussion

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