NBA All-Star Game

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The NBA All-Star Game is an exhibition game hosted annually by the National Basketball Association (NBA), matching the league's star players from the Eastern Conference against their counterparts from the Western Conference. It is the featured event of NBA All-Star Weekend. The All-Star game was first staged at the Boston Garden on March 2, 1951.

The starting lineup for each squad is selected by a fan ballot, while the reserves are chosen by a vote among the head coaches from each squad's respective conference.[1] Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players. If a selected player is injured and cannot participate, the NBA commissioner selects a replacement.

The head coach of the team with the best record in each conference is chosen as the coach of their respective conference in the All-Star Game. However, regardless of record, a head coach cannot serve as an All-Star head coach in two consecutive seasons.[1] Known as the "Riley Rule", it is due to the fact that former head coach Pat Riley's Los Angeles Lakers teams of the 1980s won so often that Riley ended up earning the right to coach the Western Conference team eight times in nine seasons (1982 to 1990). In the event a coach's team repeats as the best record holder, the head coach from the team with the second-best record will serve as All-Star coach for that conference.


The idea of holding an All-Star Game was conceived during a meeting between NBA President Maurice Podoloff, NBA publicity director Haskell Cohen and Boston Celtics owner Walter A. Brown. At that time, the basketball world had just been stunned by the college basketball point-shaving scandal.

In order to regain public attention to the league, Cohen suggested the league to host an exhibition game featuring the league's best players, similar to the Major League Baseball's All-Star Game.[2] Although most people, including Podoloff, were pessimistic about the idea, Brown remained confident that it would be a success, and he even offered to host the game and to cover all the expenses or potential losses incurred from the game.[3] In the first All-Star Game, the Eastern All-Stars team defeated the Western All-Stars team 111–94.

Boston Celtics' Ed Macauley was named as the first NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, and the All-Star Game became a success, drawing an attendance of 10,094, much higher than that season's average attendance of 3,500.[4]

Features of the All-Star Game[edit]

Fans vote on the starters for the game, selecting three frontcourt players and two guards from each conference. Prior to 2013, fans selected two forwards and one center instead of generic frontcourt players.[5] The NBA in 2003 began offering All-Star ballots in three languages—English, Spanish and Chinese—for fan voting of the starters.[6]

NBA coaches vote for the reserves for their respective conferences, none of which can be players on their own team. Each coach selects two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild cards, with each selected player ranked in order of preference within each category. If a multi-position player is to be selected, coaches are encouraged to vote for the player at the position that is "most advantageous for the All-Star team", regardless of where the player is listed on the All-Star ballot or the position he is listed in box scores.[7]

The Game is played under normal NBA rules, but there are notable differences from an average game. Since the starting All-Stars are selected by fan vote, players sometimes start the game at atypical positions. For instance, in 2007 Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady had the two highest fan vote totals among Western Conference guards. As both players normally play shooting guard, Bryant, who is 6'6" (198 cm), started the game as a point guard, despite him also manning the shooting guard position on his team.

The player introductions are usually accompanied by a significant amount of fanfare, including lighting effects, dance music, and pyrotechnics. Special uniforms are designed for the game each year, usually red for the Western Conference and blue for the Eastern Conference, but the 1997–2002 games allowed players the opportunity to wear their respective team uniforms, and until 2009 the host conference wore light uniforms. Originally players from the same team who share a number have the option to either keep or change numbers (e.g. Patrick Ewing trading his familiar #33 for #3 because of Larry Bird wearing the same number), but since 1997 players from the same team can keep their customary uniform numbers even if they share them. A major recording artist typically sings "O Canada" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to tipoff. One of the more memorable performances was given by Marvin Gaye during the 1983 game; Gaye was accompanied by Gordon Banks, who played a tape from an all night session that used numerous elements of soul music and funk, and Banks still has that historic tape of the music to which Gaye sang his soulful version.

Gameplay usually involves players attempting spectacular slam dunks and alley oops. Defensive effort is usually limited and the final score of the game is generally much higher than an average NBA game. The coaches also try to give most of the reserve players some time on the court instead of using a limited rotation as they would in a normal game. The fourth quarter of the game is often played in a more competitive fashion, if the game is close.

Halftime is also longer than a typical NBA game due to musical performances by popular artists. Recent guests have included Elton John, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, OutKast, Alicia Keys, Shakira, John Legend, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar and Christina Aguilera.

All-Star Game results[edit]

This is a list of each All-Star Game, the venue at which it was played, and the Game MVP. Parenthesized numbers indicate multiple times that venue, city, or player has occurred as of that instance (e.g. "Michael Jordan (2)" in 1996 indicates that was his second All-Star MVP award). As of the 2014 All-Star Game (the 2013/14 NBA season), the Eastern Conference leads with a record of 37 wins and 26 losses.

YearResultHost arenaHost cityGame MVP
1951East 111, West 94Boston GardenBoston, MAEd Macauley, Boston Celtics
1952East 108, West 91Boston Garden (2)Boston, MA (2)Paul Arizin, Philadelphia Warriors
1953West 79, East 75Allen County War Memorial ColiseumFort Wayne, INGeorge Mikan, Minneapolis Lakers
1954East 98, West 93 (OT)Madison Square Garden (1925)**New York, NYBob Cousy, Boston Celtics
1955East 100, West 91Madison Square Garden (1925)** (2)New York, NY (2)Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics
1956West 108, East 94Rochester War Memorial ColiseumRochester, NYBob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks
1957East 109, West 97Boston Garden (3)Boston, MA (3)Bob Cousy (2), Boston Celtics
1958East 130, West 118St. Louis ArenaSt. Louis, MOBob Pettit (2), St. Louis Hawks
1959West 124, East 108Olympia StadiumDetroit, MIElgin Baylor, Minneapolis Lakers
Bob Pettit (3), St. Louis Hawks
1960East 125, West 115Convention HallPhiladelphia, PAWilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors
1961West 153, East 131Onondaga County War Memorial ColiseumSyracuse, NYOscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals
1962West 150, East 130St. Louis Arena (2)St. Louis, MO (2)Bob Pettit (4), St. Louis Hawks
1963East 115, West 108LA Sports ArenaLos Angeles, CABill Russell, Boston Celtics
1964East 111, West 107Boston Garden (4)Boston, MA (4)Oscar Robertson (2), Cincinnati Royals
1965East 124, West 123St. Louis Arena (3)St. Louis, MO (3)Jerry Lucas, Cincinnati Royals
1966East 137, West 94Cincinnati GardensCincinnati, OHAdrian Smith, Cincinnati Royals
1967West 135, East 120Cow PalaceDaly City, CARick Barry, San Francisco Warriors
1968East 144, West 124Madison Square Garden (1925)** (3)New York, NY (3)Hal Greer, Philadelphia 76ers
1969East 123, West 112Baltimore Civic CenterBaltimore, MDOscar Robertson (3), Cincinnati Royals
1970East 142, West 135The SpectrumPhiladelphia, PA (2)Willis Reed, New York Knicks
1971West 108, East 107San Diego Sports ArenaSan Diego, CALenny Wilkens, Seattle SuperSonics
1972West 112, East 110The ForumInglewood, CAJerry West, Los Angeles Lakers
1973East 104, West 84Chicago StadiumChicago, ILDave Cowens, Boston Celtics
1974West 134, East 123Seattle Center ColiseumSeattle, WABob Lanier, Detroit Pistons
1975East 108, West 102Arizona Veterans Memorial ColiseumPhoenix, AZWalt Frazier, New York Knicks
1976East 123, West 109The Spectrum (2)Philadelphia, PA (3)Dave Bing, Washington Bullets
1977West 125, East 124Milwaukee ArenaMilwaukee, WIJulius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers
1978East 133, West 125Omni ColiseumAtlanta, GARandy Smith, Buffalo Braves
1979West 134, East 129Pontiac SilverdomePontiac, MIDavid Thompson, Denver Nuggets
1980East 144, West 136 (OT)Capital CentreLandover, MDGeorge Gervin, San Antonio Spurs
1981East 123, West 120Coliseum at RichfieldRichfield, OHNate Archibald, Boston Celtics
1982East 120, West 118Brendan Byrne ArenaEast Rutherford, NJLarry Bird, Boston Celtics
1983East 132, West 123The Forum (2)Inglewood, CA (2)Julius Erving (2), Philadelphia 76ers
1984East 154, West 145 (OT)McNichols Sports ArenaDenver, COIsiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
1985West 140, East 129Hoosier DomeIndianapolis, INRalph Sampson, Houston Rockets
1986East 139, West 132Reunion ArenaDallas, TXIsiah Thomas (2), Detroit Pistons
1987West 154, East 149 (OT)KingdomeSeattle, WA† (2)Tom Chambers, Seattle SuperSonics
1988East 138, West 133Chicago Stadium (2)Chicago, IL (2)Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1989West 143, East 134AstrodomeHouston, TXKarl Malone, Utah Jazz
1990East 130, West 113Miami ArenaMiami, FLMagic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
1991East 116, West 114Charlotte ColiseumCharlotte, NCCharles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers
1992West 153, East 113Orlando ArenaOrlando, FLMagic Johnson (2), Los Angeles Lakers
1993West 135, East 132 (OT)Delta CenterSalt Lake City, UTKarl Malone (2), Utah Jazz
John Stockton, Utah Jazz
1994East 127, West 118Target CenterMinneapolis, MNScottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
1995West 139, East 112America West ArenaPhoenix, AZ (2)Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
1996East 129, West 118AlamodomeSan Antonio, TXMichael Jordan (2), Chicago Bulls
1997East 132, West 120Gund ArenaCleveland, OHGlen Rice, Charlotte Hornets
1998East 135, West 114Madison Square Garden***New York, NY (4)Michael Jordan (3), Chicago Bulls
1999Canceled due to the league's lockout.
The game was originally set to play at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[8]
2000West 137, East 126The Arena in OaklandOakland, CATim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
2001East 111, West 110MCI CenterWashington, DCAllen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
2002West 135, East 120First Union CenterPhiladelphia, PA (4)Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2003West 155, East 145 (2 OT)Philips ArenaAtlanta, GA (2)Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
2004West 136, East 132Staples CenterLos Angeles, CA (2)Shaquille O'Neal (2), Los Angeles Lakers
2005East 125, West 115Pepsi CenterDenver, CO (2)Allen Iverson (2), Philadelphia 76ers
2006East 122, West 120Toyota CenterHouston, TX (2)LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
2007West 153, East 132Thomas & Mack CenterLas Vegas, NV*Kobe Bryant (2), Los Angeles Lakers
2008East 134, West 128New Orleans ArenaNew Orleans, LALeBron James (2), Cleveland Cavaliers
2009West 146, East 119US Airways Center (2)Phoenix, AZ (3)Kobe Bryant (3), Los Angeles Lakers
Shaquille O'Neal (3), Phoenix Suns
2010East 141, West 139Cowboys StadiumArlington, TX#†Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
2011West 148, East 143Staples Center (2)Los Angeles, CA (3)Kobe Bryant (4), Los Angeles Lakers
2012West 152, East 149Amway CenterOrlando, FL (2)Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
2013West 143, East 138Toyota Center (2)Houston, TX (3)Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
2014East 163, West 155Smoothie King Center (2)New Orleans, LA (2)Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers[9]
2015West vs. EastMadison Square Garden*** (2)New York, NY (5)[10]TBA
2016West vs. EastAir Canada CentreToronto, ON[11]TBA

Other All-Star events[edit]

Main article: NBA All-Star Weekend

The All-Star Game is the featured event of All-Star Weekend, and it is held on a Sunday night. All-Star Weekend also includes a number of popular exhibition games and competitions featuring NBA players and alumni as well as players from the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and NBA Development League (D-League).

See also[edit]

Portal icon National Basketball Association portal


  1. ^ Although Brooklyn has not hosted an All-Star Game, New York City has been a host at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks' home, and Toronto will host in 2016.


  1. ^ a b "Anthony snubbed when All-Star reserves announced". Associated Press. February 1, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2007. 
  2. ^ Goldstein, Richard (July 3, 2000). "Haskell Cohen, 86, Publicist; Created N.B.A. All-Star Game". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ Forrester, Paul (February 16, 2007). "That's entertainment; Counting down the top 15 All-Star Weekend moments". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ Penikis, Andrejs. "57 Memorable All-Star Moments–1950s". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ Beck, Howard (October 24, 2012). "The All-Star Center is Officially Extinct". New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2012. "The N.B.A., bowing to new realities in a multi-positional era, has eliminated "center" from its All-Star ballots for the 2012-13 season. Instead, fans will vote for three frontcourt players and two guards." 
  6. ^ Vecsey, George (January 12, 2003). "Fans in Shanghai Are Voting in the Mainstream". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ Stein, Marc (January 18, 2013). "1. Reserve Judgment: Stein's All-Star Benches". Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ Steele, David (December 9, 1998). "NBA Drops All-Stars — What's Left? February game in Philly latest casualty of lockout". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved December 17, 2008. 
  9. ^ "New Orleans selected to host 2014 NBA All-Star Game". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ "New York City to host NBA All-Star 2015". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  11. ^

External links[edit]