Colin Cowherd says LeBron James caring about the All-Star Game made the other players care too

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Colin Cowherd credits Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James' effort Sunday night with saving the NBA All-Star Game. Colin: "LeBron took the All-Star Game seriously, therefore everybody late in the game yesterday did as well."

- So it was the All-Star Game. And remember last year's All-Star Game was so bad-- 192 to 182-- it was embarrassing for the league. It was just garbage. And we've seen this before with All-Star games where leagues worry that they're becoming irrelevant.

Well, the NBA All-Star Game-- you used to have it. And then you had the dunk contest. Then you added stuff. Dunk contest is now kind of stale. And the skills competition is sort of stale. And so all you have left is the game. And last year it was awful-- 192 to 182.

Nobody played defense. Nobody cared. And so the league had to create something new. LeBron, you and Steph Curry, you draft teams. That'll make it more interesting. Because they were worried the game was becoming completely irrelevant. Completely embarrassing.

So they literally had to go to a new format to save it. But the format did not save it yesterday. What saved it-- because it was a really good last fourth quarter-- was LeBron James. Yeah. LeBron James actually took the game seriously and played defense and was really intense. Watch this late game situation. It feels like the game matters.

[AUDIO PLAYBACK]

- Neither club has shot well from three-point range. Now to five seconds. Curry looking for the three. Curry double teamed. Curry--

[BUZZER]

[INAUDIBLE]

- LeBron James going one-on-one with Steph Curry. Hands him off to Kevin Durant. Put him in a straitjacket. They had him in the coffin corner. There was nowhere that Steph could go.

[END PLAYBACK]

- LeBron played defense. So everybody yesterday late played defense. There is not a single NFL player, including Tom Brady, including Aaron Rodgers, that could go to the Pro Bowl and force the other players to care. Not a one. LeBron James came into this weekend, and when that game started, people passed more.

There was still hot-dogging, but they played defense last 6 and 1/2 minutes to the game. People were locking down people. They cared who won the game. People think I'm obsessed with LeBron. No. I'm discouraged by the people who cover this league and who think valuable equals stats.

Westbrook's been to one final. He lost. Westbrook get stats. Did he change the weekend? Did he save the game? No. In Los Angeles this weekend, what was the game about? Was it about James Harden? Because he's going to win this year's MVP.

When James and LeBron were on the floor yesterday, who felt bigger? It doesn't matter if it's player mobility or talking politics or the All-Star Game. Leaders are people that others follow. We look at Westbrook and go, wow, he's talented. We look at Harden and go, wow, he's talented.

You don't follow Westbrook. You don't follow Harden. You follow LeBron. LeBron took the All-Star Game seriously. Therefore, everybody, late in the game yesterday, did as well. I'm not obsessed with LeBron. But I have to remind people daily what valuable means.

There are a lot of things in your life that may be expensive but you could live without that watch. Could you live without transportation? You can live for two weeks without food. You can't last three days without water. Water is more valuable than food. This All-Star Game was dead.

This All-Star Game was embarrassing. This All-Star Game was DOA. The commissioner literally had to tweak it to save it. But that didn't save the game. What saved the game is the best player in the world, who by caring created a culture for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours that other millionaires also cared.