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West downs East 196-173 in Kobe Bryant's final NBA All-Star Game

Adam Silver Puts Kobe's NBA Legacy in Perspective


Kobe Bryant made the biggest stop of his farewell tour on Sunday as he played the last NBA All-Star Game of a remarkable career in which he established himself as arguably the best player of his generation.

Bryant, who said all week he did not want his fellow players to go easy on him in his final All-Star Game, was a shadow of the player who dominated the NBA's midseason showcase many times before, but was still the man of the hour.

Prior to the game's opening tip, NBA great Magic Johnson lauded the 37-year-old in between a pair of tribute videos featuring some career highlights interspersed with messages of thanks from a handful of fellow NBA players.

Bryant announced last November that this would be his final season and was made the leading vote-getter for his 18th and final All-Star appearance by fans.

"I just want to thank you guys for all of your support for all these years," Bryant told the Toronto crowd and a global television audience.

STARS CAME OUT TO CELEBRATE KOBE IN TORONTO:

26 PHOTOS
NBA All-Star Game 2016
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West downs East 196-173 in Kobe Bryant's final NBA All-Star Game
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference speaks to the fans at the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Canadian rapper Drake talks to Eastern Conference Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan (10) during half time in the NBA all-star game in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto Star/Todd Korol (Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: NBA legend Magic Johnson hugs Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference at the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: LeBron James #23 of the Eastern Conference shakes hands with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference before the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Steve Nash and Gregg Popovich before the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- FEBRUARY 14: Justin Verlander and Kate Upton during the 65th NBA All-Star Game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. February 14, 2016. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Sting and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Eastern Conference are seen before the game the 2016 NBA All-Star Game on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference during the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Ne-Yo sings the US national anthem the 2016 NBA All-Star Game on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Eastern Conference Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan (10) goes for the jam in their game against the Western Conference during the NBA all-star game in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto Star/Todd Korol (Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Eastern Conference Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James (23) talks to Olivia Wilde (C) with Western Conference Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant (24) during the NBA all-star game in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto Star/Todd Korol (Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Chris Paul #3 of the Western Conference dribbles the ball during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Kevin Durant #35 of the Western Conference dribbles the ball during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference and Paul George #13 of the Eastern Conference smile as they wait to get in the game during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference celebrate after a play in the second half against the Eastern Conference during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Pau Gasol #16 of the Eastern Conference dunks the ball during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Paul George #13 of the Eastern Conference shoots the ball during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Eastern Conference shoots the ball during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference and Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference celebrate after a play in the second half against the Eastern Conference during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Eastern Conference takes a drink from actor Kevin Hart and hands it to rapper Drake in the second half against the Western Conference during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Eastern Conference takes a drink from actor Kevin Hart and hands it to rapper Drake in the second half against the Western Conference during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- FEBRUARY 14: Isaiah Thomas out sprints Kobe Bryant to a loose ball during the 65th NBA All-Star Game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. February 14, 2016. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference walks off the court after defeating the Eastern Conference during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference celebrate after a play in the second half against the Eastern Conference during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Western Conference celebrates winning the 2016 NBA All-Star MVP after the 2016 NBA All-Star Game on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
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"I've been extremely fortunate to be able to play the game that I love and be in the NBA for more than half my life.

"It's a thrill to be here in this All-Star Game so thank you for voting me in. I get a chance to be around these young players here, who when I first started playing most of them were my kids' age now.

"It feels so good to be able to speak to them about the game and to be able to share some of the knowledge that I have learned throughout my career to them so that they can carry on the tradition of the NBA and hopefully play 20 years themselves."

When the first NBA All-Star Game to be held outside of the United States finally got underway, it was Bryant who went up against LeBron James for the opening tip. James won the tip but appeared to send it over to Bryant's Western Conference team.

Bryant played nearly 15 minutes in the first half and scored 10 points, including a patented fadeaway late in the opening quarter that drew loud cheers from a celebrity-dotted crowd that included director Spike Lee and supermodel Kate Upton.

The 20-year NBA veteran, who by his own admission this week is "old as hell," was held without a point the rest of the way.

When Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, one-time league MVP and four-time All-Star Game MVP during a career spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers, checked out of the game with 66 seconds left, he received a standing ovation from both team benches while the crowd chanted "Kobe, Kobe."

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder was named the game's Most Valuable Player for a second consecutive year after leading the Western Conference with 31 points in a 196-173 win that set a record for combined points in an NBA All-Star Game.

KOBE BRYANT THROUGH THE YEARS:

12 PHOTOS
Kobe Bryant's career
See Gallery
West downs East 196-173 in Kobe Bryant's final NBA All-Star Game
CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 8: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers soars for a dunk during the 1997 Nestle Crunch Slam Dunk Contest on February 8, 1997 at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1997 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant(L) and Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan(R) talk during a free-throw attempt during the fourth quarter 17 December at the United Center in Chicago. Bryant, who is 19 and bypassed college basketball to play in the NBA, scored a team-high 33 points off the bench, and Jordan scored a team-high 36 points. The Bulls defeated the Lakers 104-83. AFP PHOTO VINCENT LAFORET (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - FEBRUARY 8: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks during the 1998 NBA All-Star Game played on February 8, 1998 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1998 NBAE (Photo by Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)
03/02/98 - MCI Center - Lakers' Kobie Bryant(L) listens to teammate Shaquille O'Neal as they sit on the bench during game against the Wizards. - Photo By Rich Lipski TWP (Photo by Rich Lipski/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
USA - 1999: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a layup during a 1999 NBA game. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1999 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 19: Shaquille O'Neal #34 and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers pose with Lakers legend Magic Johnson after winning the NBA Championship trophy after defeating the Indiana Pacers in Game Six of the 2000 NBA Finals on June 19, 2000 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2000 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
28 Dec 2001: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers chilling out before their game against the Toronto Raptors at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. DIGITAL IMAGE. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Licence Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2001 NBAE. Mandatory Credit: Catherine Steenkeste/ NBAE/ Getty Images
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates victory following Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena on June 14, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. The Lakers won the National Basketball Association championships defeating Orlando 99-86 for their 15th title and first since 2002. Bryant had 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Lakers completed a four-games-to-one victory in the best-of-seven NBA Finals. AFP PHOTO / Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 27: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for the shot over Ben Wallace #3 of the Detroit Pistons during the game at Staples Center on February 27, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Pistons 95-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: 2003 NBAE. (Photo by: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO - MAY 7: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers answers questions from the press after Game two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at SBC Center on May 7, 2003 in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs won 114-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Copyright 2003 NBAE (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant answers questions during a press conference held at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, Calif.. Thursday, July 15, 2004. Bryant chose the Lakers over the Clippers, remaining with the team he joined in 1996 at age 18 and later helped win three NBA championships. (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)
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