National Basketball Association All-Star Game is a basketball exhibition game hosted every February by the National Basketball Association and showcases 24 of the league’s star players. It is the featured event of NBA All-Star Weekend, a three-day event which goes from Friday to Sunday. The All-Star Game was first played at the Boston Garden on March 2, 1951.
Starting in 2018, the leading vote-getters for each conference are designated as team captains and can choose from the pool of All-Star reserves to form their teams regardless of conference. LeBron James and Stephen Curry became the first players to choose teams through the new format, selecting players for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in a non-televised draft on January 25.
NBA All-Star Game History
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 rocked 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 Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. 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.
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. In 2010, the NBA All-Star Game set the attendance record for a basketball game with 108,713 people attending at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This shattered the existing attendance record previously held at Ford Field on December 13, 2003, when 78,129 attendees watched Michigan State play Kentucky.
NBA All-Star Game Rosters Selection
The starting five from each conference consists of three frontcourt players and two guards, selected by a combination of fan, player, and media voting. In 2017, the NBA moved from a pure fan vote to a weighted process wherein fan voting accounts for 50%, with player and media voting account for 25% each. Prior to 2013, fans selected two forwards and one center instead of generic frontcourt players. The NBA in 2003 began offering All-Star ballots in three languages—English, Spanish and Chinese—for fan voting of the starters.
NBA coaches vote for the reserves for their respective conferences, but they cannot choose players from 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.
Multiple All-Star players can be chosen from one team, with the record being four. This has occurred eight times, the first such instance being in 1962, when four players each from the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers were chosen. The most recent game with four All-Star players from one team was the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 game.
NBA All-Star Game
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 the 2007 game, Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady were chosen as the starting Western Conference guards. As both players normally play shooting guard, Bryant started the game as a point guard. Gameplay usually involves players attempting spectacular slam dunks and alley oops and defensive effort is usually limited.
In normal Elam Ending rules, the game clock is turned off with four minutes remaining and a target score is set; whoever reaches the target wins the game. In 2020, the NBA took the score at the end of three quarters and added 24 points. With Team Giannis leading Team LeBron 133–124 at the end of the third quarter, the target score was 157 points, and Team LeBron won the contest.
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. From 1997 to 2002, players could wear their normal team uniforms. The host conference also traditionally has light uniforms, except from 2010 to 2014.
All-Star Game Results
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 in 1996 indicates that was his second All-Star MVP award. As of the 2017 All-Star Game, the Eastern Conference leads with a record of 37 wins and 29 losses. Here is the list of All-Star Game results:
NBA All-Star Game Online Info
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