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Your 2012 All-Star Game winners and losers

Feb 27, 2012, 12:01 AM EDT

NBA/ Reuters

It’s an exhibition, but it’s still a competition. Someone has to win (the West, 152-149). Someone has to lose.

We’re here to sort it all out for you. The winners. The losers. And even how you can be both.

Winner: Kevin Durant. The game MVP did it all — he had maybe the best dunk of the night (off the backboard from Chris Paul), hit 3 threes, and added to his legacy as one of the game’s elite players. When the game was open he owned it, but he only had two points in the fourth quarter as the East picked up its defensive intensity and focused it on him. But his MVP is well deserved and likely the first of several.

Loser: Dwight Howard. This was supposed to be his night and laughed, joked around, played at one-quarter speed and was a complete non-factor. In a sign of how serious he took everything, he was 0-4 from three. He got dunked on by Kevin Love, made a bad inbounds pass after that which was stolen, then five seconds later Kevin Durant dunked on him. He likely was tired after playing host all weekend, but he was a mess.

LeBron James. He put up 36 points and if the East had succeeded with their comeback he would have deserved the MVP. In the first half he was a dunking machine, then he comes out at the start of the third quarter and knocks down a couple threes, including one from about Daytona. He had eight points in the fourth quarter and was key to the East’s comeback.

Loser: LeBron James. He is never going to hear the end of that pass with 1.9 seconds left that was stolen by Blake Griffin and cost the East a shot to tie or take the lead. Because it was a terrible pass. Kobe was barking at LeBron to take the shot, but LeBron said afterward he saw Wade come open near the basket the first time but hesitated then when he threw the pass it got picked off. And the “LeBron is not clutch” meme gains more fuel. Only a ring will quiet it (and likely a couple are needed).

Winner: Kobe Bryant. Any time you pass Michael Jordan in anything – this time to become the all-time leading scorer in All-Star Game history — you are a winner. Kobe being in 14 All-Star Games is a tribute not only to his skill but also to how well he has taken care of his body and how he has been able to stay relatively healthy. Or at least play through the pain.

Winner: Dwyane Wade. He had an All-Star Game triple-double — 24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists. That’s impressive.

Loser: Andrew Bynum. Finally gets the All-Star nod he has craved thanks to the fans, but a sore knee means he plays just 5:31 and goes 0-3 from the floor.

Winner: Mary J. Blige. She absolutely killed it with an a cappella version of the Star Spangled Banner. Note to young singers: She did it without autotune.

Loser: Nicki Minaj. What was that? And why was there so much of it? She needs to watch Mary J. and see how it’s done.

  1. tcclark - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Agree on Nicki, disagree on Mary J. I didn’t enjoy it. I thought she had pitch issues.

    oh yeah, and your basketball stuff was fine… i agree

    • polegojim - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      The game was fun, loved it….

      But….that was the most ‘forced hype’, pregame show I’ve ever seen. At first, I thought it was a joke or a commercial, like the Kobe counseling Tony Robbins deal.

      Then… I realized it was SERIOUS.

      What happened to the ‘on court’ intro? Hey, fire up the smoke and pyro…but now they’re coming out of leveled stages?

      I gagged on the whole concept.

  2. willardj - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    If LeBron had stepped up and taken the 3 instead of throwing the ball away on the final possession he would have deserved MVP. Once again, LeBron shows his distaste for the final possession of a game. He simply would rather let someone else take the shot. It’s been that way his entire career.

    • redbullenergydrink - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:54 AM

      The glass is always half full, eh?

  3. nonstory - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Nicki Minaj is just terrible. Studio Queen, live jester.

    • trey14jewels - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      No, she’s terrible in the studio too..

      • killerbones - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:19 AM

        trey14jewels FTW!!!!

  4. sinister23 - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:34 AM


    • redbullenergydrink - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      LOL, I completely agree.

  5. kilo0986 - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    And Kurt once again establishes himself as owner, ceo, and president of the lebron fan club. Sorry Kurt you cant be in the winner section and the loser section. He only belongs in the loser section, he put up 36 points in a game that for the most part played no d. Choked away a chance to win the game (surprise!). And did that arrogant tool intro dance. LeFail.

    • tubal22 - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      I thought he was pretty fair with Lebron. Gave him props for the game, and called him out on the last possession.

    • jonathanchingy - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      Yes, i agree there was no defense, but the dude hit 6 3s.
      D or no D, that’s not easy.
      Lebron haters can’t say he can’t shoot anymore,

      this coming from a person who had thought lebron was only good because of his sheer athleticism

    • berbes - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      how many times can kurt vote thumbs down for a comment?

  6. tomtravis76 - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Lebron James a loser after that game… are you kidding? Its an exhibition game. Lebron will be the regular season MVP, win his first ring this year and capture his second gold medal. Sure hope he gets over losing an All Star game, after carrying the entire team of the best players in the Eastern conference.

    You don’t have to like the guy, but to rip his basketball talents is disrespecting the game. He will go down as one of the best ever to play when his career is done, so enjoy watching one of the greats.

    • redbullenergydrink - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM

      I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… The same people who keep bashing Lebron are going to be the same people who are telling their kids or grandkids about how they witnessed Lebron play in his prime. Yes, he is THAT good. You don’t have to like him but you already know his skills are undeniable.

      • somekat - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        More of a chance that I’ll tell my kids and grand kids how I watched a 5 foot 10, 160 lb AI terrorize the league in his prime, then there is I will regail them with stories of LeBron “Hype Machine” James. You aren’t an all timer when you aren’t the best on your team. Yes, he is THAT overhyped

        He is definitely a great player….he is not an all time great

      • georgeanderson2 - Feb 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        If Lebron gets at least two rings in his career (and he has at least 10 years after this season left), he will be a top 15 -20 all-time great player.

  7. asublimeday - Feb 27, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    I’ll take the likely package of Noah, Deng, Boozer, and a first over the sissy loser that is Howard. Thanks for not pulling the trigger, Orlando!

    • rooney24 - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      No way the Bulls would have offered that much.

  8. md23rewlz - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Poor LeBron. Only that guy would get ripped for a bad pass in an All Star Game in which he put up 36 points. And a bad pass that came on a scramble play after the offensive rebound with under five seconds on the clock, to boot. Not like he got the ball out of a timeout and promptly chucked it away. At a certain point, the criticism just becomes absurd. All Star Game criticism. Apparently that is a thing? Dwight Howard took four threes. Doesn’t that void any semblance of reality here? If Dwight Howard is taking four threes in a game, said game didn’t actually occur. That’s science. Can’t argue with science.

  9. losangelasbasketball - Feb 27, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    National anthem was horrendous… The group that did the canadian anthem was kinda gay but at least they were in the right key…

  10. steelerswin6 - Feb 27, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    LeLoser is at it again , not even a real game and he chokes again. Can’t wait for his first game 5…. The weasels running around in his head will get him….choke choke

    • md23rewlz - Feb 27, 2012 at 5:57 AM

      How can he choke if it’s not a real game? By your own definition of what the All Star Game is, LeBron didn’t choke. It’s not a real game, thus no pressure, thus no such thing as a pressure situation (because, as you say, “not even a real game”), thus no choke because it’s not a real game, thus your logic loops around itself for the rest of eternity, etc. I don’t want to defend LeBron, I really don’t. I’d prefer to just go back to indifferent dislike for the guy. But when I see people calling him “LeLoser” or “LeFail,” the parts of me that are easily offended by the collapse of the intelligent and clever use of the English language just start crying. If you want to rip LeBron, by all means do, but please, no more spectacularly horrible names. The English language has been flogged enough by the advent of texting, Twitter, and Facebook. Please just let it rest the next time LeBron fails, rather than rushing to the keyboard to type LeFreethrowmisser or something. Rant on the collapse of society now complete. Carry on…

      • gmsalpha - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

        The killer instinct is a state of mind. Some players like MJ and Kobe have it, and they play their hearts out whether it’s preseason, All-Star game, or playoffs. Some players don’t have it.

        LeBron doesn’t have the mental makeup of a closer. This game doesn’t count, but it was tight at the end, it was a nationally televised game, and he had the ball in his hand– and passed. It’s who he is.

        Thank goodness the Heat have Dwyane Wade. He’s their only chance of getting more rings.

      • tcclark - Feb 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        Thank you so much. I hate the guy more than the entire city of Cleveland, but the stupid names just irritate me. It’s not clever to put Le in front of a word. That’s Skip Bayless type “comedy” right there.

  11. cranespy - Feb 27, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    Lebron did not attempt the final shot for one reason…look who was guarding him! It was the Assassin vs The Clown Prince of Basketball……one has IT the other does NOT. Those two possessions tell us all we need to know…..

  12. cantonbound13 - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:49 AM

    LeBron chokes again! Worst closer in NBA history.

    • canehouse - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      This just in… if he is the worst closer in NBA history… then why is it that all of you Clevland Fans cried with such zest when he left for MIAMI?

      • rooney24 - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        Why? Because they would rather have a guy that can put up stats and win games in the regular season, even if he chokes in the playoffs, than to have a horrible team, which is what they had when he left.

        Maybe the new young nucleus, with Irving, can get them headed back the right way.

      • redbullenergydrink - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM

        LOL, very good question, Cane, and one that cannot be answered.

  13. secdominance - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    So if Lebron choked, didn’t Kobe, Wade & Deron Williams choke before him? And if anyone choked it was Tom Thibedeau or however you spell it last name. Why was he playing Dwight Howard down the stretch when he was providing nothing of benefit? And Kobe might have yelled at Lebron to take the shot but he had Kobe & Durant stepping out to double him. It would have been stupid for him to take the shot

    • metalhead65 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      you think in that or in any game in that situation Kobe,Jordan,Bird,Magic would have done anything other than take the shot?or done something to create one if they had been covered?they cetainly would not have panicked and thrown the ball away. those guys unlike lebron were considered the best because they found ways to win.does not matter if it was an all star game and in fact they would have used that as even more of a reason to show why they were the best and not just hype. the guy has the talent but he is missing someting that the others had that made them the best. and after all the hype and gurantees he needs more than a couple of rings before he will be considered with any of those greats I mentioned.

      • secdominance - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:43 AM

        So you wanted to see him jack up a contested 3 pointer with a 6’6 guy & a 6’9 guy draped over him? I’ll admit, Kobe would jack it up and that situation but lookin for the open man would have been better. And Magic Johnson, a historically bad shooter, is a bad example

      • metalhead65 - Feb 28, 2012 at 7:32 AM

        yea I wanted him to shoot it and to at least prove he is not afraid to try and win a game. the thing is with the other greats they lived for that moment all star game or not,whoever was guarding them or not. they would have found a way to make it or get fouled while doing so. and if they had chosen to pass you can bet the guy would have got the ball! sorry but if you are the “king” or the “chosen one” then I expect you to come thru when it counts. nobody made him accept all the hype that was given to him and nobody made him do a tv show about where he was going to play. cleveland would have been disapointed but the hatred would would not have been there if he just said where he was going without the promotion and then the rock star press conference where he guaranteed dominance and championships. so yea there is a reason non heat fans despise him with arrogance being the #1 reason for me.

  14. gmsingh - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Loser: Dwyane Wade–fumbling the ball out of bounds when the game was on the line and breaking Kobe’s nose were really stupid. Somebody needs to tell Kurt that posting good numbers and making monster dunks aren’t the same as being able to win games in crunch time.

  15. jayzus - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    NOTHING related to the all-star game is crunch time. NOTHING!!

    The NBA should look to put incentives in place so the game is not a mockery of the sport.

    It felt more like an And-1 commercial. What I would give to see all that talent really compete.

  16. jhastrello - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Portions of Mary J. Blige’s National Anthem were fine. Although there were several times she was simply ‘screaming at the top of her lungs’. Overall, simply a ‘C’ performance. I didn’t know who that other person was (now learning that it was Nicki Minaj). No talent and a completely wasted space in time.

    I didn’t watch the game, as it really doesn’t at all represent a ‘basketball game’ and in general is not interesting.

    I did listen to commentary on ESPN this morning regarding LeBron and the end of the game. He simply doesn’t ‘get it’, and likely never will.

  17. roadking81 - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    This “All-Star” game is getting to be one of the biggest jokes in professional sports. Seems like nowdays it’s whole theme is about gangbangers, Hippity Hop, overpaid bunch of spoiled brats with out a education. Tha halftime is pure Hip Hop crap,and bunch of fatties dancing around in lingerie. Next year I’ll pass, they seem to be getting worse everyyear. As far as the National Anthem, sing it like it was mean’t to be sung, there’s no patriotisms in all these different versions trying to make them their own, it’s not theirs it’s ours, I’m proud of it. It represents the country we live in, not the person singing it like cockadoodle bird.

  18. rooney24 - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Why did that halftime last so long? I hated the halftime “entertainment” so much, I turned the channel. I kept turning back to see if it was done, but it kept going on and on and on. It felt longer than the Super Bowl halftime.

  19. atom665 - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Thought the anthem sounded like intestines being ripped from a vietnamese immigrant. Flagrant foul and a busted nose on KB. Stay classy Wade. But the best was Bron cowering away from the last shot even when egged on by Kobe. This is why he will NEVER BE a true elite player. He has unbelievable skill. No heart.

  20. bloyaglock - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    You just can’t stop hating on Lebron lol….He is the best in the league….yes, better than your boy Kobe.

    DEAL WITH IT…..!!!!

  21. livingsacrifice86 - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Haters will hate. East isn’t even in that game if it wasn’t for Lebron. And they would have been up one but DWade fumbled the pass away. Either way, its an All-Star game, and it would be a hard argument to say that Lebron wasn’t the best player on the floor the entire night.

  22. fndrbss - Feb 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Hey, MJB…it’s, “O’ER the land of the free…” not FOR. It may be a small detail but it’s our National Anthem. Terrible rendition too. They should just play the music and let the crowd sing along.

  23. drewdatwit84 - Feb 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    That was totally on-point, right down to the Mary J/Nicki Minaj comparison.

  24. AlohaMrHand - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    not a fan of all star games.And Lebron can’t win,if he does shoot and misses he’s a choke artist,if he makes it it’s”well why can’t he do that in the playoffs”?And of course since he passes in a meaningless game he’s a coward.Fans are never satisfied.

  25. goforthanddie - Feb 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Wade’s triple-double impressive? Only in a real game.

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