This Day In History: Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan and the 1998 NBA All-Star Game

NBA Basketball

Kobe Bryant will make his last appearance in an NBA All-Star game this Sunday.

It will be his 18th appearance in the league’s showcase game. And while he’s had some great moments over the years, his first one may be among the most memorable.

MORE: Classic photos of Kobe Bryant

The afro’d 19-year-old wasn’t even a starter on his Lakers team when he was voted in by the fans to the 1998 All-Star game. On the opposite end of the spectrum was a soon-to-be 35-year-old Michael Jordan, who many suspected would be playing his last All-Star game. Add in that the game was being played in New York’s Madison Square Garden, and there was plenty of electricity in the air on Feb. 8, 1998.

Here are some of the highlights: 

0:33 Bryant gets his first NBA All-Star game bucket. Bryant now holds the record for points in the All-Star game with 280 in his career.

0:45 There was no slam-dunk contest that year, so Bryant had to turn up in the game.

1:20 And another one.

1:55 Jordan shows that, even on the downside of his career, he can still fly a little.

2:23 Post-retirement MJ at his finest, taking young Kobe to school.

3:10 Jason Kidd (in the classic '90s Suns jersey) tosses it

up to the man who kept Kobe Bryant on the bench — Eddie Jones.

5:06 Another guy Kobe Bryant played with makes a sweet spin move. Wonder whatever happened to him?

5:30 Kobe reaches, Jordan teaches and Shaq goaltends.

The Eastern Conference would go on to win 135-114 and Jordan won MVP honors after putting up 23 points, six assists and eight rebounds. Bryant finished with a team-high 18 points, getting off to a solid start of what was to be many great All-Star games to come.