Duke basketball: Jayson Tatum steals spotlight with All-Star Game history

Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was a historic Sunday night for the Duke basketball program in the NBA All-Star Game. 

Like always, the NBA All-Star Game provided offensive fireworks and leading the way in the exhibition was Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum.

Tatum was the first pick from the pool of starters for All-Star captain Giannis Antetokounmpo and the former Blue Devil might have proved that the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player could have a future as an executive.

Jayson Tatum dropped an All-Star record 55 points en route to being named as the Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player as Team Giannis defeated Team LeBron, 184-175.

Anthony Davis previously held the All-Star Game scoring record with 52 points.

The Boston Celtics superstar was 22-of-31 from the floor and 10-of-18 from 3-point range while adding 10 rebounds and six assists to his stat line while becoming the first player in league history to score at least 50 points in a regular season game, playoff game, and All-Star Game.

Only Steph Curry has made more 3-pointers in an All-Star Game than Tatum did on Sunday night.

Tatum really catapulted his quest for the MVP in third quarter when he scored 27 points, also an All-Star record.

Kyrie Irving, another former Blue Devil starting in the game, quietly went for 32 points and 15 assists for Team LeBron while Zion Williamson was also named as a starter but did not play due to a hamstring injury.

Most Valuable Player Award means a lot to Duke basketball star

Being named as the Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player meant a lot to Jayson Tatum as the forward has been very open about how he idolized Bryant as a young basketball player.

“It’s extremely special for me,” Tatum said after the game.

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The former Blue Devil recalled when he was named to the All-Star Game for the first time in 2020, the same year the NBA renamed the Most Valuable Player trophy in honor of Kobe Bryant, and told himself he needed to win the award.

“It’s a hell of a day,” the NBA MVP candidate continued.

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