All-Star Games are always attractive showdowns with a bunch of star players that mostly turn into an easy going exhibition with a bunch of dunks and flashy plays. Although it’s great to see all the moves the best players in the game got, it becomes interesting when the game becomes tight and all the players start to play to win and not to make a show. And the 2003 Game was the perfect example.
The All-Star Weekend was being held in Atlanta, as The West and The East were set to face in the Philips Arena on Sunday Night. The storyline of the night was Michael Jordan playing in his last ever All-Star Game, as Vince Carter who was voted to be a starter, handed him a spot in the lineup as a tribute to MJ.
Besides MJ, the East was headlined with names like Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, and Jason Kidd, while on the other side they were facing Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnet and etc.
It was a tight game, but it seemed like The East would take the win when symbolically Michael Jordan took the ball and scored a tough fadeaway midrange jumper over Shawn Marion to give the East a 2-point lead with 4.8 seconds remaining in the first overtime.
But then Jermaine O’Neal fouled Kobe on a three-point attempt, as Kobe sent into double overtime with 2 made free throws. The West prevailed in the second overtime as they won 155-145. The storybook ending for MJ was ruined, but it was a pretty dramatic end still.
Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves would end up winning the Most Valuable Player, as he scored 37 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and had 5 steals. On the other side, Allen Iverson led the East with 35 points, while Jordan had 20 points in his 14thand final All-Star Game.