2002: The Last All-Star Game Sans Suns

Fun fact: the last time the Suns didn’t have a representative in the All-Star Game, Steve Nash was an All-Star.

How long ago was that? The Seattle Supersonics still existed, and Gary Payton was still their All-Star point guard. Karl Malone still prowled the mountains of Utah with his faithful ox, Blue Stockton. Shane Battier was a rookie. The team in Charlotte still wore teal and purple. Michael Jordan was in his second-to-last All-Star appearance. Steve Francis played in the United States – and well enough to be a starter for the West and appear in the Slam Dunk Contest. Jermaine O’Neal played in Indiana, and that team’s future hadn’t yet been destroyed by Artest-zilla.

Or RONOSAURUS, if you prefer.

And how bad were the 2001-2002 Suns? Wally Szczerbiak made it on to the big stage while all of the Suns took a vacation.* Wally Szczerbiak!

*How good was Kevin Garnett in 2001-2002? He made Wally Szczerbiak into an All-Star.

The Western All-Stars won the game, 135-120, and Kobe Bryant was the MVP. I’d tell you how many points he scored and throw some stats at you…but come on. It’s the All-Star Game; none of that matters. At all. It’s all about watching the game and enjoying the exhibition.

Don’t you agree?

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