12.04.2022 - All-Star Matches Pitch The Best The NBA Has To Offer Against Each Other, Its No Wonder It Creates So Many Amazing Moments.The All-Stars matches have two purposes - (1) to entertain the fans and (2) to celebrate the players who have had a great season.
We have a third reason for loving the All-Stars matches - they allow us to see what it would be like if the great players played together on one team.
Today, we're going to take a look at 10 of the best All-Stars moments of all time.
#10 - Shaq VS The Admiral
What do you remember the most about the 1996 All-Stars game?
Was it Micheal Jordan returning from retirement and scoring 20 points? MJ winning the MVP title? The East Coast beating the West Coast 129-118? Shaw scoring 25 points during the match? Shaq making 2 breathtaking blocks?
Or Shaq smacking the Admiral in the face while he was trying to slam dunk?
We know the answer to that question… Don't worry, we're not judging you.
#9 - Marvin Gaye Brings Down The House
Marvin Gaye's rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 1983 All-Stars match, will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best ever.
Sadly, Gaye was shot dead the next year. For many fans (of Gaye and basketball), this is one of their last and fondest memories of the singer.
#8 - Kobe Didn't Let Philly Get Him Down
In 2001, Kobe Bryant was responsible for the Lakers beating the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals.
When he returned to Philadelphia for the All-Stars match the next season the fans were not happy to see him.
They booed, jeered, and shouted some horrible things at him. He went on to have an amazing game and win the MVP award.
Hate never wins.
#7 - The NBA Says Goodbye For Michael Jordan (For The Final Time)
If you want to watch one of the most exciting All-Stars games of all time then you need to look up Michael Jordan's final All-Stars game in 2003.
Jordan took the game into overtime. At this point, the score was 136-138 (West-East).
O'Neil then fouled Kobe, who sunk a shot and stole the lead from MJ. Then Kevin Durrant broke the East Coast hearts. The overtime ended at 155-145 to the West Coast.
#6 - The Game That Almost Wasn't
We cannot express how much respect we have for NBA players in the 1960s who fought tooth and nail for the rights that players have now.
One of these battles included the All-Stars teams agreeing to boycott the 1964 game at the last minute. The NBA owners were refusing to recognize the players union. But this thread was enough to get them to reconsider.
This game was going to be shown in primetime on ABC and went on the be the most-watched NBA game at the time.
Without these men, the NBA wouldn't be the same today.
#5 - The Answer Captures Everyone's Attention
Most players use the All-Stars match to cap off their season. However, in 2000, Allen Iverson used it to prepare for his next season, in which he would be named the season MVP.
His team was losing badly, but Iverson scored 25 points and seized the victory that day. After that match, he spoke one of his most famous quotes -
"Everybody was saying we couldn't win because of our size. It's not about size. It's about the size of your heart."
#4 - Tribute To Kobe In 2020
Kobe Bryant's death (along with his daughter and 7 others) shock the NBA.
The company put together the most touching and profound tribute to him at the 2020 All-Stars game.
Lebron's team all wore the No.2 jersey in honor of Ginna Bryant and Antetokounmpo's Team all wore No.24 in honor of Kobe.
#3 - Wilt Chamberlain Throws Down The Gauntlet
A lot of you reading this article won't be old enough to have watched this game live - but you will be more than aware of how it has impacted all following All-Stars games.
In fact, it has to ignore Chamberlain's impact on the NBA as a whole.
In this game, Chamberlain scored a mind-boggling 42 points and it still wasn't enough to win the game for his team.
The only player who has ever come close to this was Paul George in the 2016 All-Stars match.
Do you think someone will break this record at the next All-Stars match? Check out the best NBA odds here.
#2 - Kobe And Shaq Share The Honors
While we do love a good rivalry in the NBA, there are some that hurt a little. One of those rivalries was Shaq VS Kobe Bryant.
A quick recap - the pair had played at the Lakers together for a little while, Shaq moved to the Heat and started telling the press Bryant couldn't win anything without him. Lots of fighting ensued.
In the 2009 All-Stars match, the pair played together for the West Coast team and helped them destroy the East Coast 146-119.
The pair were jointly awarded the MVP award - Shaq said "It feels like old times. I miss those times."
2009 was Shaq's last All-Stars match. And after Bryant's tragic death a decade later, we are all so glad that the pair had buried the hatchet.
#1 - Magic Johnson Fights HIV Stigma
It is hard to talk about this moment without getting emotional.
In 1991, Magic Johnson announced that he would be leaving the NBA has he had contracted HIV.
At the time, not enough was known about the disease and some were worried that Johnson could spread it to others during games. It was also thought that his athletic performance would dramatically decrease. There were even rummors he was on the edge of death (FYI - Magic is still alive and thriving 32 years later).
However, in a move that still brings many fans to tears, Johnson was voted to the All-Stars team in 1992 despite not playing that season.
Isaiah Thomas made a point of walking up to Johnson and hugging him before the game. The crowd showed an incredible amount of support for Magic and he was named the MVP of the game.
It was a huge deal that the NBA came out to support Magic in such a powerful way. No other sport or large organization had treated HIV and AIDs sufferers in this way.
However, the real star of the show was how Magic played. He scored 25 points, made 9 assists, and played with more skill, grace, and composure than anyone else on the court.
For many, this marked a change in the way that the HIV and AIDs crisis was dealt with in the USA.
The structure of the All-Stars games has changed a little over the years, but the quality of play hasn't.
We don't know what we love more about the All-Stars matches - the scorelines, the quality of the shots, or the rivalries that appear on the court.