Damian Lillard provides company to Michael Jordan with latest NBA All-Star weekend feat

Damian Lillard came into the NBA All-Star Weekend on the back of a loss to the Grizzlies. But in Indianapolis, the 33-year-old made sure all the lights were focused firmly on him.

After the Starry 3-point contest win on Saturday, Lillard continued his sharpshooting best at the 2024 NBA All-Star game. Despite upsetting the home crowd by clinching the Kobe Bryant MVP award of the game, Lillard made sure his name was promptly etched in NBA history alongside Michael Jordan.

Damian Lillard joins Michael Jordan in exclusive list

When it’s time for the NBA All-Star weekend, Michael Jordan’s name inevitably comes up. Despite his indirect involvement in the 2024 All-Star weekend, Jordan’s name was resonating around the Gainbridge Fieldhouse at the end of the night. After leading the NBA All-Star East to a resounding 211-186 victory in the highest-scoring All-Star game ever, Lillard picked up not only the MVP award but also took home the hefty prize money handed out by the NBA. This achievement puts Dame next to Michael Jordan as the second player to win both the All-Star MVP award and a Saturday night event on the same weekend. Jordan achieved the feat with his second Slam Dunk Contest win in 1988, followed by the All-Star MVP award.

Lillard won the 3-point contest on Saturday, making him the first back-to-back 3-point Contest winner since Jason Kapono in 2007 and 2008. On Sunday, he achieved his crowning moment by emulating Jordan.

Regarding his weekend achievements, Lillard said, “I did come into the weekend when I knew I was doing the 3-point, I was like ‘I’mma come to win.’ I ain’t gone come be casual and try to be cool about it. I’mma try to win it again”. His realisation of being the senior player in the East team translated onto the court, and he left a mark on the game with his 39-point game.

Lilliard 2024 vs Jordan 1988 All-Star performance comparison

When you cement your name next to Jordan, scrutiny is bound to happen. Putting both Lillard’s 2024 and Jordan’s legendary 1988 performance on the weighing machine, a lot of numbers pop out. The Bucks guard scored 39 points, including 11 3-pointers, in the 27 minutes he played, along with chipping in 3 rebounds and 6 assists.

On the other hand, Jordan’s 1988 performance in his Bulls backyard is considered one of the finest All-Star performances ever. The then-25-year-old took the game by the scruff of its neck and led All-Star East to a narrow 138-133 win. His airiness outshined his esteemed teammates, including Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins, and Isiah Thomas. Jordan dished out 40 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists while being successful on 17 field goal attempts out of 23.

While it is important to note the diminishing competitive nature of the All-Star game, an achievement that registers itself in the record book will live on forever.


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