NBA All-Star Game

The National Basketball Association All-Star Game is a basketball exhibition game hosted every February by the National Basketball Association (NBA) 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.

National Basketball Association All-Star Game
Most recent2019 (Charlotte)
Previous event2018 (Los Angeles)
Next event2020 (Chicago)
ParticipantsEastern Conference and Western Conference All-Stars
Organized byNational Basketball Association

The starting lineup for each squad is selected by a combination of fan, player, and media voting,[1] while head coaches choose the reserves,[2] seven players from their respective conferences, so each side has a 12-man roster. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players. If a selected player cannot participate because of injury, the NBA commissioner selects a replacement.

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.[3] Likely due to fan interest in the draft process, captains for the 2019 All-Star Game, James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, drafted their teams live on TNT.[4] The teams also play for a charity of their choice to help the games remain competitive.[5]

The head coach of the team with the best record in each conference is chosen to lead their respective conference in the All-Star Game, with a prohibition against repeat appearances.[2] Known as the "Riley Rule", it was created after perennially successful Los Angeles Lakers head coach Pat Riley earned the right to coach the Western Conference team eight times in nine seasons between 1982 and 1990. The coach of the team with the next best record gets to coach instead.


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 Major League Baseball's All-Star Game.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] In 2010, the NBA All Star Game set the attendance record for a basketball game when 108,713 fans jammed 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.[9]

The 2017 All-Star Weekend was originally awarded to Charlotte, North Carolina. On March 23, 2016, North Carolina passed House Bill 2 as a remedy to Charlotte Ordinance 7056. This led to the NBA threatening to pull the game from Charlotte if the bill was not repealed or revised so as to not discriminate against the LGBT community. The NBA announced on July 21, 2016 that the game would be moved from Charlotte to New Orleans.

On October 3, 2017, the NBA and NBPA announced the changes to the NBA All-Star Game format starting with the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. The vote leaders for each conferences will be assigned as team captains and will be able to select players from the rest of the starters and the reserves, regardless of the conference they play in, to form their own teams. This marks the first time, the conferences will not play against each other since the inaugural All-Star Game.[5]

Features of the All-Star Game

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% of the total and player and media voting account for 25% each.[1] The league made the change in response to social media campaigns that resulted in mediocre players such as journeyman Zaza Pachulia nearly being voted as All-Star starters over more deserving players.,[1][10] Prior to 2013, fans selected two forwards and one center instead of generic frontcourt players.[11] The NBA in 2003 began offering All-Star ballots in three languages—English, Spanish and Chinese—for fan voting of the starters.[12]

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.[13] If a player is unavailable for the game due to injury, the NBA commissioner selects a replacement for the roster. If the replacement is for a fan-selected starter, the all-star coach chooses the replacement in the starting lineup, and is not limited to the commissioner's addition to the roster.[14] It is also possible for more than one All-Star to be selected from one team, but there has never been more than four All-Stars represent a team in the game. Most recently was the 2017 Golden State Warriors who had four players represent that team (Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson.) This has only occurred eight times dating back to 1962 Boston Celtics and the 1962 Los Angeles Lakers.[15]

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 and from 2015 to the present, 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, but giving the starters more minutes because that's who the fans want to see most. 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 Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Ariana Grande, Elton John, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, OutKast, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Migos, and John Legend. The 2019 All Star Halftime show was headlined by J. Cole and Meek Mill.[16]

All-Star Game records

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 (e.g. "Michael Jordan (2)" in 1996 indicates that was his second All-Star MVP award). As of the 2017 All-Star Game (the 2016–17 NBA season), the Eastern Conference leads with a record of 38 wins and 29 losses.

Eastern Conference (37 wins) Western Conference (29 wins)

Note: Stadium names are named based on the name at the day of the All-Star Game.

YearResultHost arenaHost cityGame MVP
1951East 111, West 94Boston GardenBoston, MassachusettsEd Macauley, Boston Celtics
1952East 108, West 91Boston Garden (2)Boston, Massachusetts (2)Paul Arizin, Philadelphia Warriors
1953West 79, East 75Allen County War Memorial ColiseumFort Wayne, IndianaGeorge Mikan, Minneapolis Lakers
1954East 98, West 93 (OT)Madison Square Garden III**New York City, New YorkBob Cousy, Boston Celtics
1955East 100, West 91Madison Square Garden III** (2)New York City, New York (2)Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics
1956West 108, East 94Rochester War Memorial ColiseumRochester, New YorkBob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks
1957East 109, West 97Boston Garden (3)Boston, Massachusetts (3)Bob Cousy (2), Boston Celtics
1958East 130, West 118St. Louis ArenaSt. Louis, MissouriBob Pettit (2), St. Louis Hawks
1959West 124, East 108Olympia StadiumDetroit, MichiganElgin Baylor, Minneapolis Lakers
Bob Pettit (3), St. Louis Hawks
1960East 125, West 115Convention HallPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaWilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors
1961West 153, East 131Onondaga County War Memorial ColiseumSyracuse, New YorkOscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals
1962West 150, East 130St. Louis Arena (2)St. Louis, Missouri (2)Bob Pettit (4), St. Louis Hawks
1963East 115, West 108LA Sports ArenaLos Angeles, CaliforniaBill Russell, Boston Celtics
1964East 111, West 107Boston Garden (4)Boston, Massachusetts (4)Oscar Robertson (2), Cincinnati Royals
1965East 124, West 123St. Louis Arena (3)St. Louis, Missouri (3)Jerry Lucas, Cincinnati Royals
1966East 137, West 94Cincinnati GardensCincinnati, OhioAdrian Smith, Cincinnati Royals
1967West 135, East 120Cow PalaceDaly City, CaliforniaRick Barry, San Francisco Warriors
1968East 144, West 124Madison Square Garden III** (3)New York City, New York (3)Hal Greer, Philadelphia 76ers
1969East 123, West 112Baltimore Civic CenterBaltimore, MarylandOscar Robertson (3), Cincinnati Royals
1970East 142, West 135The SpectrumPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania (2)Willis Reed, New York Knicks
1971West 108, East 107San Diego Sports ArenaSan Diego, CaliforniaLenny Wilkens, Seattle SuperSonics
1972West 112, East 110The ForumInglewood, CaliforniaJerry West, Los Angeles Lakers
1973East 104, West 84Chicago StadiumChicago, IllinoisDave Cowens, Boston Celtics
1974West 134, East 123Seattle Center ColiseumSeattle, WashingtonBob Lanier, Detroit Pistons
1975East 108, West 102Arizona Veterans Memorial ColiseumPhoenix, ArizonaWalt Frazier, New York Knicks
1976East 123, West 109The Spectrum (2)Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (3)Dave Bing, Washington Bullets
1977West 125, East 124Milwaukee ArenaMilwaukee, WisconsinJulius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers
1978East 133, West 125Omni ColiseumAtlanta, GeorgiaRandy Smith, Buffalo Braves
1979West 134, East 129Pontiac SilverdomePontiac, MichiganDavid Thompson, Denver Nuggets
1980East 144, West 136 (OT)Capital CentreLandover, MarylandGeorge Gervin, San Antonio Spurs
1981East 123, West 120Coliseum at RichfieldRichfield, OhioNate Archibald, Boston Celtics
1982East 120, West 118Brendan Byrne ArenaEast Rutherford, New JerseyLarry Bird, Boston Celtics
1983East 132, West 123The Forum (2)Inglewood, California (2)Julius Erving (2), Philadelphia 76ers
1984East 154, West 145 (OT)McNichols Sports ArenaDenver, ColoradoIsiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
1985West 140, East 129Hoosier DomeIndianapolis, IndianaRalph Sampson, Houston Rockets
1986East 139, West 132Reunion ArenaDallas, TexasIsiah Thomas (2), Detroit Pistons
1987West 154, East 149 (OT)KingdomeSeattle, Washington† (2)Tom Chambers, Seattle SuperSonics
1988East 138, West 133Chicago Stadium (2)Chicago, Illinois (2)Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1989West 143, East 134AstrodomeHouston, TexasKarl Malone, Utah Jazz
1990East 130, West 113Miami ArenaMiami, FloridaMagic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
1991East 116, West 114Charlotte ColiseumCharlotte, North CarolinaCharles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers
1992West 153, East 113Orlando ArenaOrlando, FloridaMagic Johnson (2), Los Angeles Lakers
1993West 135, East 132 (OT)Delta CenterSalt Lake City, UtahKarl Malone (2), Utah Jazz
John Stockton, Utah Jazz
1994East 127, West 118Target CenterMinneapolis, MinnesotaScottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
1995West 139, East 112America West Arena§Phoenix, Arizona (2)Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
1996East 129, West 118AlamodomeSan Antonio, TexasMichael Jordan (2), Chicago Bulls
1997East 132, West 120Gund Arena§Cleveland, OhioGlen Rice, Charlotte Hornets
1998East 135, West 114Madison Square Garden***New York City, New York (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.[17]
2000West 137, East 126The Arena in OaklandOakland, CaliforniaTim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
2001East 111, West 110MCI CenterWashington, D.C.Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
2002West 135, East 120First Union CenterPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania (4)Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2003West 155, East 145 (2OT)Philips ArenaAtlanta, Georgia (2)Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
2004West 136, East 132Staples CenterLos Angeles, California (2)Shaquille O'Neal (2), Los Angeles Lakers
2005East 125, West 115Pepsi CenterDenver, Colorado (2)Allen Iverson (2), Philadelphia 76ers
2006East 122, West 120Toyota CenterHouston, Texas (2)LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
2007West 153, East 132Thomas & Mack CenterLas Vegas, Nevada*Kobe Bryant (2), Los Angeles Lakers
2008East 134, West 128New Orleans Arena§New Orleans, LouisianaLeBron James (2), Cleveland Cavaliers
2009West 146, East 119US Airways Center (2)Phoenix, Arizona (3)Kobe Bryant (3), Los Angeles Lakers
Shaquille O'Neal (3), Phoenix Suns
2010East 141, West 139Cowboys StadiumArlington, Texas#†Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
2011West 148, East 143Staples Center (2)Los Angeles, California (3)Kobe Bryant (4), Los Angeles Lakers
2012West 152, East 149Amway CenterOrlando, Florida (2)Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
2013West 143, East 138Toyota Center (2)Houston, Texas (3)Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
2014East 163, West 155Smoothie King Center (2)New Orleans, Louisiana (2)Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
2015West 163, East 158Madison Square Garden (2)*** / Barclays CenterNew York City, New York (5)Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
2016West 196, East 173Air Canada CentreToronto, OntarioRussell Westbrook (2), Oklahoma City Thunder
2017West 192, East 182Smoothie King Center (3)New Orleans, Louisiana (3)Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
2018[5]Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145Staples Center (3)Los Angeles, California (4)LeBron James (3), Cleveland Cavaliers
2019Team LeBron 178, Team Giannis 164Spectrum CenterCharlotte, North Carolina (2)Kevin Durant (2), Golden State Warriors
2020[18]TBA vs. TBAUnited CenterChicago, Illinois (3)
2021[19]TBA vs. TBABankers Life FieldhouseIndianapolis, Indiana (2)
2022[20]TBA vs. TBARocket Mortgage FieldHouse (2)Cleveland, Ohio (2)
2023[21] TBA vs. TBA Vivint Smart Home Arena Salt Lake City, Utah (2)

Other All-Star events

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 G League (G League).

See also


  1. Although Brooklyn has not hosted an All-Star Game, New York City has hosted at the third and current Madison Square Gardens, both home to the New York Knicks.


  1. "How NBA's new voting format determined All-Star starters, snubs". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  2. "Anthony snubbed when All-Star reserves announced". Associated Press. February 1, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2007.
  3. Barnewall, Chris. "NBA All-Star Game draft results: LeBron James, Stephen Curry select their teams". CBS Sports. CBS. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  4. Smith, Sekou (February 11, 2019). "All-Star Draft filled with surprises and even one trade". NBA. NBA.
  5. "No more East vs. West as NBA revamps All-Star Game format". October 3, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  6. Goldstein, Richard (July 3, 2000). "Haskell Cohen, 86, Publicist; Created N.B.A. All-Star Game". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  7. 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.
  8. Penikis, Andrejs. "57 Memorable All-Star Moments–1950s". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  9. MacMahon, Tim. "Jones, Cuban hoping to break 100,000".
  10. "Players and media can now vote on NBA All-Star starters". Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  11. 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.
  12. Vecsey, George (January 12, 2003). "Fans in Shanghai Are Voting in the Mainstream". The New York Times.
  13. Stein, Marc (January 18, 2013). "1. Reserve Judgment: Stein's All-Star Benches". ESPN. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013.
  14. "DeMarcus Cousins to replace Kobe Bryant in 2015 NBA All-Star Game" (Press release). NBA. January 30, 2015. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015.
  15. "Trivia:NBA Teams with 4 All-Stars".
  16. "J. Cole, Meek Mill to headline All-Star Game". 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  17. Steele, David (December 9, 1998). "NBA Drops All-Stars — What's Left? February game in Philly latest casualty of lockout". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  18. "Chicago to host NBA All-Star 2020". November 9, 2017.
  19. "Indianapolis selected to host NBA All-Star 2021". December 13, 2017.
  20. "Cleveland to host NBA All-Star 2022". November 1, 2018.
  21. "Utah Jazz to host NBA All-Star 2023". October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
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