Forget about LeBron James and the East taking the NBA All-Star Game seriously for only the last quarter of the game, the real show of the night was Kevin Durant.
Scoring 36 points, dishing out three assists, pulling down seven boards, all while winning his first All-Star Game MVP, Durant proved he was among the greats of the league and continues to show why he is arguably the best in the game today.
Without Durant's competitive fire throughout the entirety of the game, this All-Star game might have fallen into the recurring theme of the All-Star Game being unexciting and simply pointless. Had Durant not played hard and serious the whole game, there is no guaranteeing that LeBron and the East would have made that late game run—which saved the excitement of the game—considering there would have been no reason to.
For the last five or so years, the NBA All-Star game has been something of a joke. It has been the biggest irony of All-Star Weekend in the sense that it is supposed to be the main attraction but instead was the low point of the weekend.
Durant and this year's group of NBA stars proved that there is still worth in watching an NBA All-Star Game, and it was great to see some competitiveness and all the players while making the game a fun event to watch.
This season has been an oddity, to say the least, and with a condensed schedule, no one knows whats in store for the second-half of the season. But there's one thing for sure: the NBA looks to be back on the rise with a wide array of young talent, and this year's All-Star Game served as proof that there is potential for a bright future.
The purpose of All-Star Weekend is to showcase the best the NBA has to offer, and though at times it has been nothing short of dull, this past weekend sparked a new interest in all NBA fans to keep faith that things will turn around in the near future.
The NBA might not be where it wants to be in the sense that the overall level of the league is low, but once the NBA figures out how to bring the talent in the league to reach its full potential, that it is the day the league will be back in full strength.
Durant's performance Sunday night proved a stepping stone for the NBA to continue its path to get back to the level of basketball that was played in the '80s and '90s, and there is still hope to achieve that goal. This 66-game season may be a bad way to start, but it looks like players like Durant are figuring out ways to do so.
Be excited for the future of the NBA, and more importantly, be excited for the up and coming players such as Durant, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin, because the NBA still looks to have some gas left in the tank.