With the NBA All-Star Game just around the corner, it’s impossible not to reminiscence about some of the best NBA All-Star Game performances of all time. Needless to say, having the crème of the crop gathered for one game is always must-watch television.
Best NBA All-Star game performances
Some claim that the ASG has lost some of its magic due to the players’ refusal to play defense. But this game has given us some of the best dunks of all time, some remarkable performances, and the opportunity to see the top-tier players teaming up.
Hopefully, this trend can continue for years to come with the All-Star game itself flanked by the Rising Stars, Skills Challenge and the Dunk Contest.
Throughout the years, some of the biggest names in the game have made history in the All-Star Game. Either because of their electric play, record-breaking stats or because of the statement they made on the court, these performances cannot and will not be forgotten.
That’s why today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 greatest performances in the history of the NBA All-Star Game:
10. Tom Chambers, 1987
Most young fans may not know who Tom Chambers was and it would be hard to blame them, as he wasn’t the biggest star in the league by any means. In fact, he was only an All-Star in 1987 because Ralph Sampson got hurt and he was designated as an injury replacement.
But that didn’t stop Chambers putting on a show for the ages. Not only did he pile up four steals to help orchestrate a big comeback for the Western Conference, but he also scored 34 points on 13/25 shooting to become one of the unlikeliest All-Star Game MVPs of all time.
9. Bob Pettit, 1956
Even though his name isn’t mentioned a lot nowadays, St. Louis Hawks’ legend Bob Pettit was a menace. He was the league’s most-dominant two-way force long before the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Yes, even during the All-Star Game.
Pettit starred in some of the top NBA All-Star moments but none of the great performances he had tops what he did in 1956. He dominated with 20 points, 24 rebounds, seven assists while playing just 31 minutes and going 7/17 from the floor. You may have not heard about him but he used to hold his own against Russell’s Celtics every year.
8. Russell Westbrook, 2017
Russell Westbrook gets plenty of criticism nowadays but not so long ago, he was one of the most explosive players in the world. He played with a chip on his shoulder night in and night out and was the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for a full season.
Westbrook was on a mission during the 2017 All-Star Game. Despite playing just 20 minutes and coming off the bench, he exploded for 41 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. He did all that while shooting 61% from the floor and nearly 54% from beyond the arc. He’s the only player who could put up those numbers in that little time.
7. Magic Johnson, 1992
Not only was this one of the greatest All-Star performances but also a meaningful and impactful performance in sports history as well. Magic Johnson was just months off the announcement of his retirement due to HIV and lived an emotional moment on the court despite the protests and doubts from some of his colleagues.
Magic had a throwback to the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers era despite being past his prime. He scored 25 points on 9/12 from the floor and was 4/4 from the charity stripe. He added 5 boards, 9 assists, a couple of steals, and led the West to a huge win. All players hugged him after the game in one of the top NBA All-Star moments ever.
6. Kobe Bryant, 2011
Kobe Bryant never took a day off, and that included the All-Star Game. For bragging rights only, his colleagues often talk about how he always wanted to beat the Eastern Conference regardless of the little importance other stars gave the All-Star Game. That’s just one of the many reasons why the Black Mamba was such a unique guy.
And even though he had some epic performances, none of those could top what he did in 2011. He scored 37 points on 54% shooting to go along with 10 offensive rebounds, which was an All-Star record. He finished with 14 boards, three dimes, and three steals in under 30 minutes.
5. LeBron James, 2011
2008 and 2011 gave us LeBron James‘ greatest performances in the All-Star Game but the latter was even more impressive. That’s especially given the context, as he was the league’s ultimate villain for ‘taking his talents to South Beach’ to join the Miami Heat.
James helped the Eastern Conference erase a 17-point deficit in the second half with one of the top All-Star stat lines, logging 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists on 10/18 from the floor. He became just the second player to record a triple-double in the All-Star Game.
4. Isiah Thomas, 1986
Isiah Thomas isn’t mentioned as often as he should when we talk about the greatest players of all time. And he sure was at the top of the world back in 1986 when he went toe-to-toe with Magic Johnson for the ‘best PG in the game’ distinction.
Thomas sure made a statement during the All-Star Game that year. He forced Johnson to commit nine turnovers and limited to six points on 1/3 shooting. ‘Zeke’ scored 30 points with 10 assists to lead the East over a Lakers-studded Western Conference team also featuring James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
3. Wilt Chamberlain, 1962
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Wilt Chamberlain’s ridiculous numbers every time we discuss NBA records. Then again, his performance during the 1962 All-Star Game was absurd even by his standards. No wonder why he was deemed as the most dominant player of his era.
While playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, Wilt The Stilt used the All-Star Game as his very own scrimmage. He ended up with 42 points, 24 rebounds, and 1 assist on 17/23 shooting in just his third season in the league. Ironically, he didn’t win MVP as his team lost 150-130.
2. Anthony Davis, 2017
Anthony Davis was one of the league’s best young players in 2017. Playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, he didn’t gauge that much nationwide attention and wanted to make a statement in the All-Star Game. And that’s exactly what he did from start to finish.
Davis dropped an All-Star Game record of 52 points. He also grabbed ten rebounds (four offensive) and shot the ball at a 66% clip, dominating the paint at will. To make it even more iconic, he did that as a fan favorite in New Orleans, although he’s not that beloved around there anymore.
1. Michael Jordan, 1988
Needless to say, Michael Jordan‘s historically great performance from the 1988 All-Star Game had to be number 1. For starters, it came from an era where players actually wanted to compete and win this game, rather than just put up points and play no defense.
The Chicago Bulls legend put up 40 points to go along with eight boards, three assists, four steals, and four blocks.
He shot 17/23 from the field and 6/6 from the free-throw line and didn’t even attempt a free-throw. Also, he had a 16-point explosion in the final minutes of the game to secure a win for the East.
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