NBA All-Star Game: Looking Back At 1998, The Last One In New York City

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Feb 12, 2015; New York, NY, USA; An interior view at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

-NBA All-Star Game

The crown jewel of All-Star Weekend is the actual game on Sunday night. The 1998 version was especially special, because it was the last one that featured Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan. The Eastern Conference would win the game on this night, in large part because of Jordan.

In what was thought to be his last hurrah, Jordan put on a show at Madison Square Garden. He took home MVP honors, scoring 23 points to go with six rebounds and eight assists, despite playing sick. This was Jordan’s second flu game, albeit this one had a little less pressure and ramifications.

The game was also the firsts for Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan, who have become mainstays of the game since. Bryant became the youngest player to take part in the game at the ripe age of 19, while Duncan was in his rookie year.

In what will give Los Angeles Lakers fans nostalgia, they led the way in All-Star representatives with four; which is four more than they will have this season with Bryant unable to participate because of injury. Along with Bryant, the Lakers also sent Shaquille O’Neal, Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel to the Big Apple.

The San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Supersonics and Indiana Pacers all sent multiple representatives as well. The Supersonics head coach, George Karl, was also the coach for the Western Conference, while the Eastern Conference was coached by the Pacers’ Larry Bird.

Looking at the rosters, outside of Jordan, it is a surprise that the Eastern Conference had their way with the Western Conference in the fashion that they did. Obviously all the players were All-Stars, but the Western Conference team took it a step further with multiple Hall of Famers. Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone, David Robinson and Jason Kidd were all apart of that team. The Eastern Conference wasn’t lacking for stars, but they didn’t have the firepower that the West did, making the 135-114 shellacking handed out by the East that much more of a head scratcher.

Next: Should Carmelo Anthony play in the All-Star Game?