Jayson Tatum’s incredible climb to become one of the NBA’s most elite players continued on Sunday in his fourth All-Star Game, as he earned MVP honors in his team’s 184-175 victory.

On a night where unveiled his new signature shoe, the Jordan Brand Tatum 1, JT scored 55 points, setting a new single-game record for the NBA’s midseason showcase.

The previous record had been held by Anthony Davis, set when he scored 52 points in the 2017 game six years ago. The Bradley Beal Elite alum was 22-for-31 (71 percent) from the field and 10-for-18 (55.6 percent) from three and added nine rebounds and six assists for good measure.

“I wanted to win MVP,” Tatum said. “I didn’t think I’d get 55, but this is icing on the cake.”

Tatum’s record-breaking performance earned him the Kobe Bryant MVP award, named for the late NBA superstar, who passed away in 2020. The award was renamed for Bryant later that year and Tatum, who grew up idolizing Kobe, said that made winning the honor that much more meaningful to him personally.

“It’s extremely special to me,” JT said. “My first All-Star Game was in Chicago in 2020 when they renamed the MVP after him, and I remember telling myself that someday I got to get one of those.”

Appearing in the All-Star Game for the fourth time in his career, JT started for the first time, but after making the starting lineup as an injury replacement the previous two times, he was proud to be voted a starter this year and was the first player selected from the starter’s pool by Giannis Antetokounmpo. It was no surprise to Antetokounmpo, who only briefly played in the game himself due to injury, that Tatum led his team to victory.

“I had a little conversation with him, I knew he was going to play hard and he was going to take it seriously,” Antetokounmpo said of the selection. “So, it was a no-brainer.”

After scoring 17 points in the first half, JT scored nearly half of his 55 points in a breakout third quarter, where he tallied 27 points on 10-of-14 with seven threes. He entered the fourth quarter with 44 points and after a couple more buckets got a tip from Team Giannis teammate Damian Lillard that he was closing in on the record.

“I found out [I was close] midway through the fourth,” Tatum said. “I think I had like 49 and Dame was like, ‘Yo, the record’s 52.’ He was like, ‘Go get it.'”

Tatum then hit a three off an assist from Donovan Mitchell, who was also gunning for the MVP award in his return to Utah. The assist gave Mitchell a triple-double, but the bucket tied JT for Davis’ record.

“He caught fire,” Mitchell said. “There was a point and time where I said, ‘Hey, I need one assist,’ and that’s when I handed the ball back to him and he ended up shooting, making it. It’s all love… We’re competitors too and wanted to both go get it, and he got it, and I’m happy as hell for him.”

Tatum broke the record a few moments later with a free throw and added two more points on a layup shortly before Lillard put the cherry on top of the Team Giannis win with a three.