Kawhi Leonard wins the inaugural honor.
Sunday night, Kawhi Leonard took home the first-ever Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP Award after playing a primary role in the victory of Team Lebron in a 157-155 triumph over Team Giannis at the 69h annual game. Leonard finished the match with 30 points, shooting 11-of-18 from the field. As far as three-pointers go, Leonard went 8-of-14 from the 3-point range.
It was Saturday night that commissioner Adam Silver announced the league would be renaming the All-Star MVP award to honor the late Bryant. By the end of his professional career, Kobe Bryant held the league's record for the most consecutive All-Star selections with 18 while also tying with Bob Pettit for the most All-Star MVP wins at four.
The new MVP award now goes alongside Leonard's two Finals MVP awards from 2014 and 2019.
"Words can't even explain," Kawhi expressed upon his receipt of the award. "I want to thank Kobe for everything he's done for me. All the long talks. Thank you. This one is for him."
Elsewhere, team caption Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a strong 25 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks while LeBron James logged 23 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Anthony Davis also sported a strong performance with 20 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks.