NBA All-Star Game
The National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game is an annual midseason exhibition held to showcase the professional league's top performers, pitting players from the Eastern Conference against their counterparts from the West.
Fan voting determines the starters for each conference team, while the reserves for the game are chosen by the NBA head coaches. Since the mid-1980s, additional events have been added as part of All-Star Weekend activities, which now include a slam dunk competition, a 3-point shootout and a skills challenge, along with a celebrity game plus a contest featuring top rookies and second-year players.
The origins of the NBA All-Star Game date back to the early 1950s. The league's public relations director at the time, Haskell Cohen, suggested that the NBA should stage an event similar to Major League Baseball's annual midseason All-Star Game. Boston Celtics owner Walter Brown offered the use of the Boston Garden for such a game, and the inaugural edition was scheduled for the 1950-51 season.
It was decided that players from teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference would play against those from the league's Western Conference in the midseason gathering. And on March 2, 1951, in front of 10,094 fans at the Boston Garden, Ed Macauley of the Celtics scored 20 points and was named most valuable player in leading the East to a 111-94 victory over the West in the initial NBA All-Star Game.
Boston played host the following year to another East victory, before the game moved to Fort Wayne, Ind., for the 1953 edition, when George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers earned MVP honors as the West claimed its first win in the series. New York's Madison Square Garden was the site of the 1954 and 1955 All-Star affairs; the East's 98-93 victory in 1954 represented the first time the game went to overtime.
St. Louis Hawks forward Bob Pettit scored 28 points and grabbed 26 rebounds in the 1958 game -- despite having a cast on his injured hand. His team lost 130-118, but the memorable performance earned Pettit his second of four MVP awards, which remains an individual record.
As the popularity of the annual, star-studded game grew, NBA organizers decided to move the contest to a different NBA arena from year to year. Nine NBA cities hosted the All-Star Game during the 1960s, a decade in which the East team won seven times -- including four straight from 1963 to 1966 -- and Oscar Robertson garnered three All-Star MVP awards.
The league's expansion and franchise movement during the 1970s played into All-Star affairs during the decade. The San Diego Rockets hosted the game during the 1970-71 season, which was the franchise's final year in California (before moving to Houston for the next season). The 1977 game included an infusion of talent from the American Basketball Association (ABA), with newcomer Julius Erving named that year's MVP. The honor the following year went to Randy Smith of the Buffalo Braves, a team that moved to San Diego for the 1978-79 season. David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets and George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs -- two teams who joined the league from the ABA -- then claimed the MVP award in 1979 and 1980, respectively.
The East's 144-136 overtime win in 1980 was the first of five straight victories for the conference in the series. Isiah Thomas was named All-Star MVP in the 1984 game for scoring 21 points and adding a team-high 15 assists. That year, a slam dunk competition was added as part of the All-Star festivities, with Larry Nance of the Phoenix Suns winner of the inaugural contest. Thomas was again the All-Star Game MVP two years later when a 3-point shooting contest was first included in the weekend activities. The Boston Celtics' Larry Bird, who had claimed his only All-Star Game MVP trophy in 1982, was champion of the first three 3-point shootouts.
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls won the first of his three All-Star MVP awards in front of a home crowd in 1988. Host city fans celebrated again five years later in Salt Lake City, when Karl Malone and John Stockton of the Jazz shared co-MVP honors in leading the West to a 135-130 overtime win in 1993.
Salt Lake City was joined by Orlando, Minneapolis and San Antonio as NBA cities to host the All-Star Game for the first time in the 1990s. But the decade ended without the annual midseason classic being played in the 1998-99 season; a league lockout shortened the season and forced the cancellation of the All-Star Game for the only time since its inception.
The 2001 game featured one of the best comebacks in the series' history. With the East team trailing 90-71 in the final quarter, Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers led his side on a late run by scoring 15 of his 25 points in the final nine minutes as the East came out on top 111-110. Iverson was one of several young stars to make their mark in All-Star Games in the new millennium, as Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal would also earn multiple MVP awards between 2000 and 2010.
The 2010 NBA All-Star Game, played at Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas, set a record for the most-attended basketball game with a crowd of 108,713 people filling the arena. Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat was named the game's MVP in leading the East to a 141-139 victory.
In 2011, Kobe Bryant of the Lakers earned MVP honors, scoring a game-high 37 points (five shy of Wilt Chamberlain's record), while LeBron James of the Heat recorded a triple-double, just the second in All-Star Game history. The East now holds a 36-24 record against the West in All-Star Game history.
The All-Star Game is the culmination of a weekend of events conducted by the NBA, highlighted by a slam dunk competition and a 3-point shootout that have been a part of the activities since the mid-1980s. (The slam dunk contest started in 1984, with Larry Nance winning the inaugural event. The three-point shootout debuted in 1986, with Larry Bird winning the first three times it was held.)
On the Friday before the game, the events begin with the Sprint Celebrity Game, featuring stars from the entertainment world mixing with athletes past and present for an exhibition contest. That is followed by the NBA Rising Stars Challenge, which has been reconfigured for 2012. Previously the game pit top rookies against sophomores, but the game will now put the two sets of players into a single pool and two NBA personalities will serve as "general managers," drafting teams made up of both first- and second-year players.
All-Star Saturday Night opens with the Haier Shooting Stars contest, featuring teams from four NBA cities each made up of one current NBA player, one current WNBA player and one TNT on-air talent and legend. In this contest, there are six numbered shooting locations of increasing difficulty on the court, with each team attempting to make all shots in numeric order in the fastest time. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge follows, putting selected NBA players through an obstacle course in which they must successfully make a layup, complete a chest, bounce and outlet pass through hoops, sink a jumper and then dribble down court with a finishing layup.
The night concludes with the highest-profile of the pregame activities, beginning with the Foot Locker 3-Point Contest as six of the NBA's best long-range shooters take aim from five different spots along the 3-point arc to determine a champion. In the Sprite Slam Dunk Competition, four NBA stars will try to outdo each other and win over a group of judges by performing the most exciting and innovative dunks.
Year-by-Year NBA All-Star Game Results
|2013||Houston||West 143, East 138||Chris Paul, Clippers|
|2012||Orlando||West 152, East 149||Kevin Durant, Thunder|
|2011||Los Angeles||West 148, East 143||Kobe Bryant, Lakers|
|2010||Dallas||East 141, West 139||Dwyane Wade, Heat|
|2009||Phoenix||West 146, East 119||Shaquille O'Neal, Suns
Kobe Bryant, Lakers
|2008||New Orleans||East 134, West 128||LeBron James, Cavaliers|
|2007||Las Vegas||West 153, East 132||Kobe Bryant, Lakers|
|2006||Houston||East 122, West 120||LeBron James, Cavaliers|
|2005||Denver||East 125, West 115||Allen Iverson, 76ers|
|2004||Los Angeles||West 136, East 132||Shaquille O'Neal, Lakers|
|2003||Atlanta||West 155, East 145 (2OT)||Kevin Garnett, Timberwolves|
|2002||Philadelphia||West 135, East 120||Kobe Bryant, Lakers|
|2001||Washington||East 111, West 110||Allen Iverson, 76ers|
|2000||Oakland||West 137, East 126||Tim Duncan, Spurs
Shaquille O'Neal, Lakers
|1998||New York||East 135, West 114||Michael Jordan, Bulls|
|1997||Cleveland||East 132, West 120||Glen Rice, Charlotte|
|1996||San Antonio||East 129, West 118||Michael Jordan, Bulls|
|1995||Phoenix||West 139, East 112||Mitch Richmond, Kings|
|1994||Minneapolis||East 127, West 118||Scottie Pippen, Bulls|
|1993||Salt Lake City||West 135, East 132||Karl Malone, Jazz
John Stockton, Jazz
|1992||Orlando||West 153, East 113||Magic Johnson, Lakers|
|1991||Charlotte||East 116, West 114||Charles Barkley, 76ers|
|1990||Miami||East 130, West 113||Magic Johnson, Lakers|
|1989||Houston||West 143, East 134||Karl Malone, Jazz|
|1988||Chicago||East 138, West 133||Michael Jordan, Bulls|
|1987||Seattle||West 154, East 149 (OT)||Tom Chambers, SuperSonics|
|1986||Dallas||East 139, West 132||Isiah Thomas, Pistons|
|1985||Indianapolis||West 140, East 129||Ralph Sampson, Rockets|
|1984||Denver||East 154, West 145 (OT)||Isiah Thomas, Pistons|
|1983||Los Angeles||East 132, West 123||Julius Erving, 76ers|
|1982||New Jersey||East 120, West 118||Larry Bird, Celtics|
|1981||Cleveland||East 123, West 120||Nate Archibald, Celtics|
|1980||Washington||East 144, West 136 (OT)||George Gervin, Spurs|
|1979||Detroit||West 134, East 129||David Thompson, Nuggets|
|1978||Atlanta||East 133, West 125||Randy Smith, Braves|
|1977||Milwaukee||West 125, East 124||Julius Erving, 76ers|
|1976||Philadelphia||East 123, West 109||Dave Bing, Bullets|
|1975||Phoenix||East 108, West 102||Walt Frazier, Knicks|
|1974||Seattle||West 134, East 123||Bob Lanier, Pistons|
|1973||Chicago||East 104, West 84||Dave Cowens, Celtics|
|1972||Los Angeles||West 112, East 110||Jerry West, Lakers|
|1971||San Diego||West 108, East 107||Lenny Wilkens, SuperSonics|
|1970||Philadelphia||East 142, West 135||Willis Reed, Knicks|
|1969||Baltimore||East 123, West 112||Oscar Robertson, Royals|
|1968||New York||East 144, West 124||Hal Greer, 76ers|
|1967||San Francisco||West 135, East 120||Rick Barry, Warriors|
|1966||Cincinnati||East 137, West 97||Adrian Smith, Royals|
|1965||St. Louis||East 124, West 123||Jerry Lucas, Royals|
|1964||Boston||East 111, West 107||Oscar Robertson, Royals|
|1963||Los Angeles||East 115, West 108||Bill Russell, Celtics|
|1962||St. Louis||West 150, East 130||Bob Pettit, Hawks|
|1961||Syracuse||West 153, East 131||Oscar Robertson, Royals|
|1960||Philadelphia||East 125, West 115||Wilt Chamberlin, Warriors|
|1959||Detroit||West 124, East 108||Elgin Baylor, Lakers
Bob Pettit, Hawks
|1958||St. Louis||East 130, West 118||Bob Pettit, Hawks|
|1957||Boston||East 109, West 97||Bob Cousy, Celtics|
|1956||Rochester||West 108, East 94||Bob Pettit, Hawks|
|1955||New York||East 100, West 91||Bill Sharman, Celtics|
|1954||New York||East 98, West 93||Bob Cousy, Celtics|
|1953||Ft. Wayne||West 79, East 75||George Mikan, Lakers|
|1952||Boston||East 108, West 91||Paul Arizin, Warriors|
|1951||Boston||East 111, West 94||Ed Macauley, Celtics|
NBA ALL-STAR GAME QUICK FACTS
First Held: 1951
Series Record: East 36, West 26
2013 Dates: Feb. 15-17
2013 Site: Houston - Toyota Center
All-Star Friday: Celebrity All-Star Game, (ESPN, 7 ET); Rising Stars Challenge, (TNT/ESPN Radio, 9 ET)
All-Star Saturday: Shooting Stars, Three-Point Shootout, Slam Dunk Contest (TNT/ESPN Radio, 8 ET)
All-Star Sunday: 2013 NBA All-Star Game, (TNT/ESPN Radio, 8 ET)
LOOK BACK AT PREVIOUS ALL-STAR GAMES
- KD Steals Show
- Is Kevin Durant's time now? The Thunder star outdueled LeBron to lead the West to victory.
- 2012 ASG coverage »
- Kobe Shines
- Kobe Bryant felt right at home at Staples Center, scoring 37 points to lead the West to a win.
- 2011 ASG coverage »
- Wade's World
- Dwyane Wade took home MVP honors to lead the Eastern Conference at Cowboys Stadium.
- 2010 ASG coverage »
- Duo Reunited
- Kobe and Shaq played together again and led the way for the Western Conference squad.
- 2009 ASG coverage »
- LBJ Rules In N.O.
- LeBron James earned MVP honors as the Eastern Conference All-Stars took a 134-128 win in New Orleans.
- 2008 ASG coverage »
- Kobe Krusher
- The midseason classic ended with a dominating 153-132 West win in Vegas. Kobe led the West with 31 points.
- 2007 ASG coverage »