The 2013 NBA All-Star Game is coming up fast, set to take place. February 17. Each year, the event showcases the talent of future Hall of Famers, putting an end to the debate about who the best players in the NBA, if only for that offseason.
It's the only time that nearly every superstar player is assembled, each with the chance to play against his peers to prove he is worthy of NBA MVP. Is the MVP of the All-Star game guaranteed to win MVP of the league? Of course not but, historically, the game's MVPs have had an edge come voting time.
This column is my pick on who will come out on top.
Stats: 29.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 4.4 APG
All-Star votes: 1,504,047
KD is one heck of a ball player and has the best scoring average in the league. He's a 6'9" small forward with the game of a shooting guard (making him a matchup nightmare for slower forwards trying to check him) with his arms long enough (7'5" wingspan) for guards to struggle trying to contest his shot or attacks to the rim.
What we have seen this season is that KD is definitely not afraid to step up in big games against big names. Durant scored 32 in the Clippers' house on January 22nd and 42 points against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on January 11th.
Will he win MVP for the second straight season?
There hasn't been a repeat champion since Bob Pettit in the 1958 and 1959 All-Star games. I believe KD will break a lot of records in his career, but this particular one will remain intact.
Stats: 26.9 PPG, 6.9 APG and 8.1 RPG
All-Star votes: 1,583,646
LeBron James has received the second-most votes in this year's contest and has generally been a fan favorite. I know a lot of people would rather see him in the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, but that dream has been flushed down the toilet.
Bron Bron has won MVP of the All-Star game twice (2006 and 2008) and it has been five years since he's taken home the trophy. I think he has a great chance of getting MVP again due to the great year he has had last year, adding the NBA Championship, adding Finals MVP, NBA MVP and an Olympic gold medal to his trophy case.
Everything has been going his way lately so I won't put it past him, but can he win it again after a five-year absence from the award?
Stats: 27.4 PPG, 5.3 APG and 5.3 RPG
All-Star votes: 1,591,437
Kobe Bryant received the most votes in the All-Star game this year so that makes him a crowd favorite to win MVP of the All-Star game. In some cases, the least favorite for those who dislike the longtime superstar.
He has received MVP four times in his illustrious career, as this year is his 15th consecutive start in the All-Star game.
This great feat is as much a testament to his age as his greatness. Nothing against his talents because every great player needs a great team, but at this day and age, Kobe needs a lot more help in order to reach his goals. Dwight Howard isn't helping him in the regular season and he sure isn't going to get help in the All-Star game.
Can he score at will? Sure. Will he put up gaudy numbers against the East, with LeBron or Dwyane Wade defending him and Kevin Durant on the same team lighting up the net? Not so sure.
Stats: 20.9 PPG, 4.7 APG and 4.8 RPG
All-Star votes: 1,052,310
Dwyane Wade is a dynamic player and he has proven himself to be a champion. He won the NBA Title last year, an Olympic gold medal and he has one All-Star MVP under his belt from 2010.
But the last two seasons have proved that Wade is in a comfort zone: riding shotgun, with LeBron James at the wheel. That's not a bad thing if it wins you championships, but we're talking about MVP. He's going to have to step it up big time in order to come from under James' shadow. Wade is a great player, but pales in comparison to teammate LeBron.
LeBron has a far better chance of getting MVP than Dwyane does.
Stats: 28.7 PPG, 2.8 APG and 6.3 RPG
All-Star votes: 1,460,950
Carmelo Anthony is unsurprisingly the second-leading scorer in the NBA behind Durant this year, as scoring has never really been a problem for him. He's hard to guard with his body type which is a lot like LeBron's. He's quick and a great shooter on the outside, but built so solid that guards struggle defending him in the post.
Melo and Lebron are my two leading choices for NBA MVP and I'm leaning more in the favor of Melo because Melo is not much of a passer (averaging just below three assists a game) and James is more of a team player. Sometimes too much of a team player.
Melo is due for some reward for his play now a days. He's been playing like a champion, but has failed to win one and never named MVP of the All-Star game or NBA. If he wants it, the All-Star MVP is his for the taking.