One is an explosively talented rookie. The other is a living legend. Put them together and you have a devastating combination.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant is set to team up with in-town rival Clippers’ Blake Griffin at the Staples Center tonight for the 2011 NBA All-Star game. Kobe, Blake and the rest of the Western Conference squad should have a stiff test waiting for them in the Eastern Conference, who are stacked with the Miami Heat’s big three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, as well as the Boston Celtics’ big four of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo. The Western All-Stars will be up to the task though, with the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul, and another hometown boy in the Lakers’ Pau Gasol.
I’m predicting that the Eastern Conference will hear it’s fair share of boos tonight in the mostly pro-L.A. crowd, especially if Doc Rivers puts groups of Celtics or Heat on the floor at the same time (which I’m sure he will). Even though it is technically an exhibition game, the All-Star game matters to players and fans alike.
This is the fifth time the All-Star game has be held in Los Angeles, the last time being 2004.