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Top Ten Performances in NBA All Star Game History

by Photo of Ankit Ahuja

From MJ to Wilt Chamberlain, it’s hard to top the All-Star games that these ten players had.

Top Ten Performances in NBA All Star Game History

The NBA All-Star Game is the most star-studded event of the year. The best players in the league gather to play what is usually a glorified exhibition game filled with highlight-reel dunks and absolutely no defense. But if the game is close in the fourth quarter, the intensity picks up and players really dig in. It's always fun to see the huge stars really go at it in a close All-Star game.

Because the stage is so big, players often give it their all to put on a good show. Fans are able to see the best players in the NBA on one court, and this year, the spectacle will take place in the greatest arena in the world: Madison Square Garden. While the All-Star Game is not as competitive as some would like, it is the culmination of today’s best players in one place. Whether or not it's a close game, fans are guaranteed a few great performances from both the Eastern and Western Conference. There have been historic performances in this game, but which one ranks above the others? 

Here are 10 All-Star Game performances that stood out to us.

10. Michael Jordan: 2003

This was Michael Jordan’s last All-Star game in his illustrious career. Being the best basketball of all time, Jordan was showered with cheers in Atlanta. He had a tribute at halftime in which he spoke to the crowd thanking them for their continued support. Although Jordan didn’t have a vintage Jordan performance (finishing with just 20 points), he made a go-ahead shot with 3 seconds in overtime in typical Jordan fashion. I mean who else does stuff like that?

9. Tom Chambers: 1987

Seattle Supersonics forward Tom Chambers poured in 34 points for a West victory in the 1987 All Star Game. Chambers was a late addition to the game, but he took full advantage of his opportunity and earned MVP honors on the night. With the help of Magic Johnson’ 13 assists, Chambers made 13-of-25 shots and outplayed the great Larry Bird.

8. Dwyane Wade: 2010

In front of over 108,000 people in Dallas, Dwyane Wade put on an exquisite show with 28 points and 11 assists. The East narrowly won the game 141-139, with Wade receiving MVP honors. The attendance at the game was a record for a basketball game, and Wade reminded the Dallas crowd why he was also the 2006 NBA Finals MVP.

7. Kevin Garnett: 2003

Although it was Michael Jordan’s last All Star Game, Kevin Garnett had the upper hand. He finished with 37 points in a West victory in which he won the MVP. The game may be remembered for Jordan’s last, but it was KG who led the West to a victory.

6. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal: 2009

The relationship between Kobe and Shaq was turbulent at best before the 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix. After representing opposing conferences for the previous four seasons, both were on the same team, and both put on dazzling performances. Kobe and Shaq combined for 44 points in a nostalgic display of teamwork in what turned out to be a game in which the players shared the MVP.

5. Wilt Chamberlain: 1962

In 1962, Chamberlain had maybe the most dominating statistical All-Star Game performance of all time. He put up 42 points and 24 rebounds, but he could not guide his team to a victory and did not win the MVP either. That went to Bob Petit and his 24 points/27 rebounds. Nobody has ever scored more points than Chamberlain in a game (All-Star or regular season), and it will be a huge feat if anyone passes him.

4. Isiah Thomas: 1986

Thomas brought his team back from a huge deficit and helped the East prevail by seven points. His great numbers (30 points, 10 assists, and 5 steals) don’t tell the entire story as Thomas was the key player in Coach K.C. Jones’ one-guard offense. The performance earned him his second MVP in a span of three years.

3. Kobe Bryant: 2011

In his home arena in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant put on a show for the ages. He scored 37 points and added 14 rebounds leading the West to a five point victory. Further, Kobe tied an All-Star Game record by winning his fourth All-Star Game MVP.

2. Michael Jordan: 1988

Like Bryant, Jordan put on a spectacular show in his home arena in Chicago. Jordan took the MVP by scoring 40 points and adding 8 rebounds. While MJ had already proven he was going to become a superstar, this was just another chance to showcase his complete dominance over the rest of the NBA.

1. Magic Johnson: 1992

Just three months before the All-Star Game, Magic Johnson shocked the world announcing that he had tested positive for HIV. Although he had retired, the fans had voted Johnson to play in the game. Magic put in a performance that truly seemed magical. He scored 25 points and had 9 assists, and ended the emotional night by accepting the MVP award.

Do you agree with our list? Let us know what you think in the comments section!

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