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The NBA All Star Game

Updated on July 28, 2009
The History Of The NBA All Star Game
The History Of 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.

All Star Game Starters Are Selected By Fan Votes
All Star Game Starters Are Selected By Fan Votes
NBA Reserves Are Selected By NBA Coaches
NBA Reserves Are Selected By NBA Coaches
The Coach For Each Conference Is The Coach With The Best Record In Each Conference
The Coach For Each Conference Is The Coach With The Best Record In Each Conference

Who Participates

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.

The First All Star Game Was Played In 1951
The First All Star Game Was Played In 1951
Michael Jordan Has Scored The Most Career Points In All Star Game History
Michael Jordan Has Scored The Most Career Points In All Star Game History

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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    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Sacramento, California

      It is a great spectacle and there are more great moments than bad (like Kobe)

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      11 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      The All-Star game has morphed into a weekend-long event, with three-point shootouts, slam dunk contests, newbie versus almost-newbie games, and skills contests with WNBA players. There once was an old-timers game for retired players, but the story is that this was scrapped due to the number of injuries sustained by the out-of-shape players. The All-Star "spectacle" is a direct influence of the ABA, which held a slam-dunk contest during their all-star game and always sought innovative ways to market their product.

      The game has had its low points, as Isiah Thomas and others were accused of freezing out Michael Jordan one year, and Kobe Bryant waved off a Karl Malone screen because he wanted to go one-on-one, but the spectacle of such great players coming together for one weekend of basketball has kept the enjoyment alive.

      Thanks for the post, I love reading anything about basketball.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for the comment


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