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Thunder All-Star Chris Paul posts epic Kobe Bryant video after thrilling All-Star Game

Thunder, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul has long been amongst the league’s most competitive players in the basketball — qualities he shared with fellow future Hall of Famer and late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

Both stars are from the same cloth, and like Kobe, Paul brings that intensity to the All Star game, understanding the opportunity to compete against the game’s best. On Saturday, Adam Silver announced the game’s MVP award would be renamed after Kobe who won it four times, a fitting tribute considering his admirable effort in the game.

A day after Team LeBron’s thrilling 157-155 victory over Team Giannis in Sunday night’s All Star game, the Thunder guard expressed his gratitude for Kobe and tweeted out a clip of Bryant on the Knuckleheads podcast in September 2019. In the said video, the Black Mamba recalled him and CP3 lamenting the lack of competitiveness that plagued the game in recent years.

“The All Star Game in general needs a little revamping, because it used to be competitive. Fans want to see the best pick-up game in the world…Me and CP used to talk all the time—I don’t think me and CP ever lost a game. And we used to look at each other and say OK, ‘Let’s go. 4th quarter, let’s go get em,” the late Lakers great said in the video shared by Paul.

Kobe’s vision for an ideal All-Star game came to fruition on Sunday, and Paul deserves much of the credit for that. The new format successfully incentivized the players to play hard down the stretch, and the spirit of Kobe that weighed heavily over the weekend seemed to genuinely inspire the players by competing as he surely would have in that atmosphere.

The 34-year-old Thunder All-Star also acknowledged that in his postgame tweet:

Unsurprisingly, Paul was in the center of the action. He brought his pesky, signature fire in crunch time and made a case for the Kobe Bryant MVP Award. In his 10th All Star game, the 34-year old had 23 points (7-of-11 field goals, nine points in the fourth quarter) and six assists, almost got T’d up, and generated the most surprising highlight of the night.

Bryant is second behind LeBron James in total points in All Star game history, while Paul is the all-time leader in All Star assists(12.4)  per game.

Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul were teammates on the 2008 and 2012 gold-medal winning Olympic teams.