- NBA All-Star Game
The National Basketball Association staged its first All-Star Game in the Boston Garden on March 2, 1951. From that year on, the game has matched the best players in the Eastern Conference with the best players in the Western Conference.
The participants are currently chosen in two ways. The first is via fan ballot, with the leading vote recipients at each position starting the game; secondly the reserves are chosen by a vote among the head coaches of each squad's particular conference. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players. If a player is injured and cannot participate, the commissioner will select a replacement.
The coach of the team with the best record in each conference on January 31 is chosen as the coach of the respective conference in the All-Star Game. However, regardless of record, a coach cannot be made an All-Star in two consecutive seasons. This is the so-called "Riley Rule" so named because coach Pat Riley's Lakers teams of the 1980s won so often that he coached the Western Conference team eight times in nine seasons from 1982 to 1990. In the event that a coach's team repeats as the best record holder the coach from the team with the second best record will serve as All-Star coach for that conference.
Features of the All-Star Game
The All-Star 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. 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. 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. 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 Elton John, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, OutKast, Alicia Keys, Shakira, John Legend and Rihanna.
All-Star Game results
The Eastern Conference All-Stars lead the all-time series 36–24.
2014|| East vs. West || Air Canada Center|| Toronto,Canada || TBD
- * denotes a city without an NBA team in play during that calendar year.
- † denotes an NBA All-Star game that is held at an NFL or MLB stadium.
- Portland, Sacramento, Toronto, Memphis and Oklahoma City are the only current NBA cities that have not yet hosted an NBA All-Star Game.
- # Arlington, Texas does not have an NBA team within its city limits, but it is a part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex that has an NBA team (the Dallas Mavericks).
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 WNBA and D-League.
- List of NBA All-Stars
- List of NBA All-Star Game broadcasters
- NBA All-Star Game records
- NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
- ^ a b "Anthony snubbed when All-Star reserves announced". Associated Press. espn.com. February 1, 2007. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2751331&type=story. Retrieved February 2, 2007.
- ^ Steele, David (December 9, 1998). "NBA Drops All-Stars — What's Left? February game in Philly latest casualty of lockout". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications Inc. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1998/12/09/SP102770.DTL. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
- Houston to host 2013 All-Star Weekend
- Stream the NBA All-Star Game Online
- NBA All-Star Game History
- NBA All-Star Game at Basketball Reference
- NBA All-Star Game at ESPN
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