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).
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).