The NBA All Star Game
The All Star Game
The National Basketball Association first featured its best players in a single All Star Game on March 2, 1951 at the Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. From that date forward, every year the NBA has matched the best players of the Eastern Conference against the best players from the Western Conference. The NBA All Star Game has become a showcase of the NBA’s newest talent and old favorites during the middle of the NBA’s 82 game season.
The players that are selected to play in the All Star Game are chosen in two ways. The first way is by vote of NBA fans. Names of players are listed on ballots by position and fans across the country pick the players they deem to be the most worthy at each position. They player with the highest number of fan votes for each position in each conference is then selected as the All Star Game starter in that position.
The reserves for the All Star game are then chosen by a vote among NBA head coaches who choose the best player in each position in their respective conference. Coaches are not allowed to vote for players on their team. Each position has at least on reserve and twelve players for each conference are chosen. If a selected player is injured or otherwise cannot play in the All Star Game, the NBA commissioner selects a replacement.
The coaches for the All Star Game are selected in a totally different manner. The coaches of the teams that have the best record in their conference through the Sunday two weeks before the game coach their respective conference teams. However, as Pat Riley’s Lakers were so powerful in the 1980s and Riley coached the All Star team eight times in nine seasons, the NBA invoked the “Riley Rule.” The Riley Rule provides that in the event that a coach’s team repeats as the team with the best record two years in a row, the coach from the team with the second best record serves as the All Star Coach for that conference.
All Star Game Highlights
The All Star game itself is a normal NBA game played under normal NBA rules. However, nothing about the All Star Game is normal. The game itself has much for fanfare than an ordinary NBA game. Special uniforms are designed for each conference and the game is usually accompanied by great music.
The First NBA All Star Game was played in the Boston Garden in 1951 before 10,000 fans. The East won the game 111 to 94. The First All Star Game MVP, given to the player who had the best game, was awarded during the first All Star Game. The award was given to Easy Ed Maculey of the Celtics who led all scorers with 20 points.
Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks holds the record for most All Star Game MVP awards with four. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neil and Kobe Bryant have each won three MVP awards. Michael Jordan has scored the most career points in All Star Game History and Kareem Abdul Jabbar has played in the most All Star Games. Magic Johnson has the most All Star Game Assists and Wilt Chamberlin has the most All Star Game rebounds.
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