|National Basketball Association All-Star Game|
|Most recent||2020 (Chicago)|
|Previous event||2019 (Charlotte)|
|Next event||2021 (Indianapolis)|
|Participants||Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Stars|
|Organized by||National Basketball Association|
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.
The starting lineup for each squad is selected by a combination of fan, player, and media voting, while head coaches choose the reserves, 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. 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. The teams also play for a charity of their choice to help the games remain competitive.
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 consecutive appearances. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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, 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. 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. 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.
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, the late 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 was 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m), started the game as a point guard, despite him also manning the shooting guard position on his team. Since 2020, the fourth period uses the Elam Ending, with the target score at 24 points more than team leading or both teams tied after three periods. Whoever gets there is the winner; the winning shot is either a walk-off field goal, a three-pointer, or a free throw.
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.
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 37 wins and 29 losses.
Note: Stadium names are named based on the name at the day of the All-Star Game.
|Year||Result||Host arena||Host city||Game MVP|
|1951||East 111, West 94||Boston Garden||Boston, Massachusetts||Ed Macauley, Boston Celtics|
|1952||East 108, West 91||Boston Garden (2)||Boston, Massachusetts (2)||Paul Arizin, Philadelphia Warriors|
|1953||West 79, East 75||Allen County War Memorial Coliseum||Fort Wayne, Indiana||George Mikan, Minneapolis Lakers|
|1954||East 98, West 93 (OT)||Madison Square Garden III**||New York City, New York||Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics|
|1955||East 100, West 91||Madison Square Garden III** (2)||New York City, New York (2)||Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics|
|1956||West 108, East 94||Rochester War Memorial Coliseum||Rochester, New York||Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks|
|1957||East 109, West 97||Boston Garden (3)||Boston, Massachusetts (3)||Bob Cousy (2), Boston Celtics|
|1958||East 130, West 118||St. Louis Arena||St. Louis, Missouri||Bob Pettit (2), St. Louis Hawks|
|1959||West 124, East 108||Olympia Stadium||Detroit, Michigan||Elgin Baylor, Minneapolis Lakers|
Bob Pettit (3), St. Louis Hawks
|1960||East 125, West 115||Convention Hall||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors|
|1961||West 153, East 131||Onondaga County War Memorial Coliseum||Syracuse, New York||Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals|
|1962||West 150, East 130||St. Louis Arena (2)||St. Louis, Missouri (2)||Bob Pettit (4), St. Louis Hawks|
|1963||East 115, West 108||LA Sports Arena||Los Angeles, California||Bill Russell, Boston Celtics|
|1964||East 111, West 107||Boston Garden (4)||Boston, Massachusetts (4)||Oscar Robertson (2), Cincinnati Royals|
|1965||East 124, West 123||St. Louis Arena (3)||St. Louis, Missouri (3)||Jerry Lucas, Cincinnati Royals|
|1966||East 137, West 94||Cincinnati Gardens||Cincinnati, Ohio||Adrian Smith, Cincinnati Royals|
|1967||West 135, East 120||Cow Palace||Daly City, California||Rick Barry, San Francisco Warriors|
|1968||East 144, West 124||Madison Square Garden III** (3)||New York City, New York (3)||Hal Greer, Philadelphia 76ers|
|1969||East 123, West 112||Baltimore Civic Center||Baltimore, Maryland||Oscar Robertson (3), Cincinnati Royals|
|1970||East 142, West 135||The Spectrum||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2)||Willis Reed, New York Knicks|
|1971||West 108, East 107||San Diego Sports Arena||San Diego, California||Lenny Wilkens, Seattle SuperSonics|
|1972||West 112, East 110||The Forum||Inglewood, California||Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers|
|1973||East 104, West 84||Chicago Stadium||Chicago, Illinois||Dave Cowens, Boston Celtics|
|1974||West 134, East 123||Seattle Center Coliseum||Seattle, Washington||Bob Lanier, Detroit Pistons|
|1975||East 108, West 102||Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum||Phoenix, Arizona||Walt Frazier, New York Knicks|
|1976||East 123, West 109||The Spectrum (2)||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (3)||Dave Bing, Washington Bullets|
|1977||West 125, East 124||Milwaukee Arena||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers|
|1978||East 133, West 125||Omni Coliseum||Atlanta, Georgia||Randy Smith, Buffalo Braves|
|1979||West 134, East 129||Pontiac Silverdome||Pontiac, Michigan+||David Thompson, Denver Nuggets|
|1980||East 144, West 136 (OT)||Capital Centre||Landover, Maryland||George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs|
|1981||East 123, West 120||Coliseum at Richfield||Richfield, Ohio||Nate Archibald, Boston Celtics|
|1982||East 120, West 118||Brendan Byrne Arena||East Rutherford, New Jersey||Larry Bird, Boston Celtics|
|1983||East 132, West 123||The Forum (2)||Inglewood, California (2)||Julius Erving (2), Philadelphia 76ers|
|1984||East 154, West 145 (OT)||McNichols Sports Arena||Denver, Colorado||Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons|
|1985||West 140, East 129||Hoosier Dome||Indianapolis, Indiana+||Ralph Sampson, Houston Rockets|
|1986||East 139, West 132||Reunion Arena||Dallas, Texas||Isiah Thomas (2), Detroit Pistons|
|1987||West 154, East 149 (OT)||Kingdome||Seattle, Washington+ (2)||Tom Chambers, Seattle SuperSonics|
|1988||East 138, West 133||Chicago Stadium (2)||Chicago, Illinois (2)||Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls|
|1989||West 143, East 134||Astrodome||Houston, Texas+||Karl Malone, Utah Jazz|
|1990||East 130, West 113||Miami Arena||Miami, Florida||Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers|
|1991||East 116, West 114||Charlotte Coliseum||Charlotte, North Carolina||Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers|
|1992||West 153, East 113||Orlando Arena§||Orlando, Florida||Magic Johnson (2), Los Angeles Lakers|
|1993||West 135, East 132 (OT)||Delta Center§||Salt Lake City, Utah||Karl Malone (2), Utah Jazz|
John Stockton, Utah Jazz
|1994||East 127, West 118||Target Center||Minneapolis, Minnesota||Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls|
|1995||West 139, East 112||America West Arena§||Phoenix, Arizona (2)||Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings|
|1996||East 129, West 118||Alamodome||San Antonio, Texas||Michael Jordan (2), Chicago Bulls|
|1997||East 132, West 120||Gund Arena§||Cleveland, Ohio||Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets|
|1998||East 135, West 114||Madison Square Garden***||New York City, New York (4)||Michael Jordan (3), Chicago Bulls|
|1999||Canceled due to the league's lockout.|
The game was originally set to play at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
|2000||West 137, East 126||The Arena in Oakland||Oakland, California||Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs|
Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
|2001||East 111, West 110||MCI Center||Washington, D.C.||Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers|
|2002||West 135, East 120||First Union Center||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (4)||Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers|
|2003||West 155, East 145 (2OT)||Philips Arena||Atlanta, Georgia (2)||Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves|
|2004||West 136, East 132||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California (2)||Shaquille O'Neal (2), Los Angeles Lakers|
|2005||East 125, West 115||Pepsi Center||Denver, Colorado (2)||Allen Iverson (2), Philadelphia 76ers|
|2006||East 122, West 120||Toyota Center||Houston, Texas (2)||LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2007||West 153, East 132||Thomas & Mack Center||Paradise, Nevada*||Kobe Bryant (2), Los Angeles Lakers|
|2008||East 134, West 128||New Orleans Arena§||New Orleans, Louisiana||LeBron James (2), Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2009||West 146, East 119||US Airways Center (2)||Phoenix, Arizona (3)||Kobe Bryant (3), Los Angeles Lakers|
Shaquille O'Neal (3), Phoenix Suns
|2010||East 141, West 139||Cowboys Stadium||Arlington, Texas#+||Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat|
|2011||West 148, East 143||Staples Center (2)||Los Angeles, California (3)||Kobe Bryant (4), Los Angeles Lakers|
|2012||West 152, East 149||Amway Center (2)||Orlando, Florida (2)||Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2013||West 143, East 138||Toyota Center (2)||Houston, Texas (3)||Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers|
|2014||East 163, West 155||Smoothie King Center (2)||New Orleans, Louisiana (2)||Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2015||West 163, East 158||Madison Square Garden (2)*** / Barclays Center||New York City, New York (5)||Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2016||West 196, East 173||Air Canada Centre||Toronto, Ontario||Russell Westbrook (2), Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2017||West 192, East 182||Smoothie King Center (3)||New Orleans, Louisiana (3)||Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans|
|2018||Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145||Staples Center (3)||Los Angeles, California (4)||LeBron James (3), Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2019||Team LeBron 178, Team Giannis 164||Spectrum Center||Charlotte, North Carolina (2)||Kevin Durant (2), Golden State Warriors|
|2020||Team LeBron 157, Team Giannis 155?||United Center||Chicago, Illinois (3)||Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers|
|2021||TBA vs. TBA||Bankers Life Fieldhouse||Indianapolis, Indiana (2)|
|2022||TBA vs. TBA||Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (2)||Cleveland, Ohio (2)|
|2023||TBA vs. TBA||Vivint Smart Home Arena (2)||Salt Lake City, Utah (2)|
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).
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.