As Kobe Bryant looked to pass Michael Jordan as the greatest scorer in the history of the NBA All Star Game, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade had other ideas. With his team down in the third quarter, Wade looked to step up his defense against Bryant.
Trailing the Western All-Stars 88-69 at halftime, the East squad urged each other to play with more intensity -- particularly on defense -- to get back into the game. Dwyane Wade took the advice to heart in the third quarter, preventing Bryant from making a lay-up with a hard foul.
Unfortunately, Wade's hand hit the ball but he also smacked Bryant's face. Bryant was dazed at first, and sure enough, blood began to gush from his left nostril. He was attended to by medical personnel, but Bryant ultimately stayed in the game.
After the 2012 NBA All-Star Game ended, Bryant skipped the postgame media session to receive a CT scan, which revealed Bryant had broken his nose. He is expected to be re-evaluated on Monday by Dr. John Rehm, who is an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist based in Los Angeles.
Wade was not very apologetic after the game, but he did say that bloodying Bryant wasn't his intention.
Yeah, I obviously didn't try to draw no blood, but I took a foul, Wade said. Kobe fouled me two times in a row, so he's still got one up on me. But I'm glad that everything was cool and we got back to being competitive and having fun.
Despite the broken nose, Bryant still had a reason to celebrate. On Sunday night, he broke Michael Jordan's record of 262 points accumulated over 14 NBA All-Star games with a dunk in the third quarter; he also passed All-Star Game records set by Oscar Robertson (246) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (251) earlier in the game. He finished his night with 27 points and now has 271 points over the same amount of All Star games Jordan participated in: 14.
Tonight, he does what he normally does, Wade said of Bryant. He got 27. He's Kobe Bryant. He scores the ball. He's a tough cover. But it's great being a little piece of history. He's one of the best of all time. We will one day say we had the honor of playing against one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball.
Bryant probably would have been named the All-Star Game's MVP were it not for Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who scored 36 points in the game. Durant is currently the leading scorer in the NBA.
That record [Kobe] got tonight, with KD in the league, I don't know how long it's going to last, Wade said.
Wade also had his own record-setting night, becoming the third person in the history of the NBA All-Star Game to accomplish a triple-double. The other two are Michael Jordan and, as of last year, Miami Heat teammate LeBron James. Wade finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Fortunately for Wade, most of the heat (no pun intended) fell on LeBron James, who was hot in the game with 36 points on 6-8 3-pointers, but refused to close the game for the East. Instead, he tried to pass the ball to Wade, and his toss was intercepted by Western All Star Blake Griffin. James said after the game that Bryant egged him on to take the last shot.
Yeah, he was telling me to shoot it, LeBron said. I (saw) my teammate open for a split-second. When I tried to throw it late, that's what usually happens and it results in a turnover. Definitely, I wish I could have that one back.
In the final possession of the game, LeBron passed to Wade, who missed the 3-pointer as regulation ended.