The game’s MVP, Zach LaVine, had just celebrated his first birthday when Bryant was drafted in the 1996 draft. Devin Booker, who scored 23 points in the defense-less game, wasn’t born. In fact, none of the players were more than five years old when he was drafted. Their first memories of him came when they were just beginning elementary school. “(My) earliest memory of Kobe Bryant, probably when he won the Dunk Contest when he was 18, 19, and then probably after that just him in the playoffs hitting those shots, like Portland and Indiana in the playoffs in early 2000,” said LaVine. “So that probably is the earliest ones. I was really young, like six, five.”
Yet, Bryant did not sound thrilled on the idea that his Western Conference teammates could hep him. Bryant reported dismissively questioning Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry after the NBA’s reigning MVP told him, “I have a lot of assists for you.” “I said, ‘No. What are you doing? You’re a shooter. You grew up watching me. What the hell are you talking about that you want to pass me the ball at an All-Star game. Are you crazy?”