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The National Basketball Association staged its first All-Star Game in the Boston Gardenmarker 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 coaches who currently lead the teams with the most wins in their conference through the Sunday two weeks before the game coach their respective conferences. However, the same coach cannot coach the team in 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, a position usually manned by a much smaller player.

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. A major recording artist typically sings "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 oop. 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 various artists such as Elton John, Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, OutKast, and most recently John Legend.

All-Star Game results

The Eastern Conference All-Stars lead the all-time series 35–24.

Year Result (Arena), City MVP1
1951 East 111, West 94 (Boston Gardenmarker), Boston, MAmarker Ed Macauley, Boston Celtics
1952 East 108, West 91 (Boston Gardenmarker), Boston, MA Paul Arizin, Philadelphia Warriors
1953 West 79, East 75 (Allen County War Memorial Coliseummarker), Fort Wayne, INmarker George Mikan, Minneapolis Lakers
1954 East 98, West 93 (OT) (Madison Square Gardenmarker), New York, NYmarker Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics
1955 East 100, West 91 (Madison Square Gardenmarker), New York, NY Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics
1956 West 108, East 94 (Rochester War Memorial Coliseummarker), Rochester, NYmarker Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks
1957 East 109, West 97 (Boston Gardenmarker), Boston, MA Bob Cousy (2),Boston Celtics
1958 East 130, West 118 (Kiel Auditoriummarker), St. Louis, MOmarker Bob Pettit (2), St. Louis Hawks
1959 West 124, East 108 (Olympia Stadiummarker), Detroit, MImarker Elgin Baylor, Minneapolis Lakers; Bob Pettit (3), St. Louis Hawks
1960 East 125, West 115 (Convention Hallmarker), Philadelphia, PAmarker Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors
1961 West 153, East 131 (Onondaga County War Memorial Coliseummarker), Syracuse, NYmarker Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals
1962 West 150, East 130 (Kiel Auditoriummarker), St. Louis, MO Bob Pettit (4), St. Louis Hawks
1963 East 115, West 108 (LA Sports Arenamarker), Los Angeles, CAmarker Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
1964 East 111, West 107 (Boston Gardenmarker), Boston, MA Oscar Robertson (2), Cincinnati Royals
1965 East 124, West 123 (Kiel Auditoriummarker), St. Louis, MO Jerry Lucas, Cincinnati Royals
1966 East 137, West 94 (Cincinnati Gardensmarker), Cincinnati, OHmarker Adrian Smith, Cincinnati Royals
1967 West 135, East 120 (Cow Palacemarker), San Francisco, CAmarker Rick Barry, San Francisco Warriors
1968 East 144, West 124 (Madison Square Gardenmarker), New York, NY Hal Greer, Philadelphia 76ers
1969 East 123, West 112 (Baltimore Civic Centermarker), Baltimore, MDmarker Oscar Robertson (3), Cincinnati Royals
1970 East 142, West 135 (The Spectrummarker), Philadelphia, PA Willis Reed, New York Knicks
1971 West 108, East 107 (San Diego Sports Arenamarker), San Diego, CAmarker Lenny Wilkens, Seattle SuperSonics
1972 West 112, East 110 (The Forummarker), Inglewood, CAmarker Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers
1973 East 104, West 84 (Chicago Stadiummarker), Chicago, ILmarker Dave Cowens, Boston Celtics
1974 West 134, East 123 (Seattle Center Coliseummarker), Seattle, WAmarker Bob Lanier, Detroit Pistons
1975 East 108, West 102 (Veterans Memorial Coliseummarker), Phoenix, AZmarker Walt Frazier, New York Knicks
1976 East 123, West 109 (The Spectrummarker), Philadelphia, PA Dave Bing, Washington Bullets
1977 West 125, East 124 (Milwaukee Arenamarker), Milwaukee, WImarker Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers
1978 East 133, West 125 (Omni Coliseummarker), Atlanta, GAmarker Randy Smith, Buffalo Braves
1979 West 134, East 129 (Pontiac Silverdomemarker), Pontiac, MImarker David Thompson, Denver Nuggets
1980 East 144, West 136 (OT) (Capital Centremarker), Landover, MDmarker George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs
1981 East 123, West 120 (Coliseum at Richfieldmarker), Richfield, OHmarker Nate Archibald, Boston Celtics
1982 East 120, West 118 (Brendan Byrne Arenamarker at The Meadowlands), East Rutherford, NJmarker Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
1983 East 132, West 123 (The Forummarker), Inglewood, CAmarker Julius Erving (2), Philadelphia 76ers
1984 East 154, West 145 (OT) (McNichols Sports Arenamarker), Denver, COmarker Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
1985 West 140, East 129 (Hoosier Domemarker), Indianapolis, INmarker Ralph Sampson, Houston Rockets
1986 East 139, West 132 (Reunion Arenamarker), Dallas, TXmarker Isiah Thomas (2), Detroit Pistons
1987 West 154, East 149 (OT) (Kingdomemarker), Seattle, WA† Tom Chambers, Seattle SuperSonics
1988 East 138, West 133 (Chicago Stadiummarker), Chicago, IL Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1989 West 143, East 134 (Astrodomemarker), Houston, TXmarker Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
1990 East 130, West 113 (Miami Arenamarker), Miami, FLmarker Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
1991 East 116, West 114 (Charlotte Coliseummarker), Charlotte, NCmarker Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers
1992 West 153, East 113 (Orlando Arenamarker), Orlando, FLmarker Magic Johnson (2), Los Angeles Lakers
1993 West 135, East 130 (OT) (Delta Centermarker), Salt Lake City, UTmarker Karl Malone (2), Utah Jazz; John Stockton, Utah Jazz
1994 East 127, West 118 (Target Centermarker), Minneapolis, MNmarker Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
1995 West 139, East 112 (America West Arenamarker), Phoenix, AZ Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
1996 East 129, West 118 (Alamodomemarker), San Antonio, TXmarker Michael Jordan (2), Chicago Bulls
1997 East 132, West 120 (Gund Arenamarker), Cleveland, OH Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets
1998 East 135, West 114 (Madison Square Gardenmarker), New York, NYmarker Michael Jordan (3), Chicago Bulls
1999 Canceled due to the league's lockout (originally set to play at the First Union Centermarker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
2000 West 137, East 126 (The Arena in Oaklandmarker), Oakland, CAmarker Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs; Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
2001 East 111, West 110 (MCI Centermarker), Washington, D.C.marker Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
2002 West 135, East 120 (First Union Centermarker), Philadelphia, PA Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2003 West 155, East 145 (2OT) (Philips Arenamarker), Atlanta, GA Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
2004 West 136, East 132 (Staples Centermarker), Los Angeles, CA Shaquille O'Neal (2), Los Angeles Lakers
2005 East 125, West 115 (Pepsi Centermarker), Denver, CO Allen Iverson (2), Philadelphia 76ers
2006 East 122, West 120 (Toyota Centermarker), Houston, TX LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
2007 West 153, East 132 (Thomas & Mack Centermarker), Las Vegas, NV * Kobe Bryant (2), Los Angeles Lakers
2008 East 134, West 128 (New Orleans Arenamarker), New Orleans, LAmarker LeBron James (2), Cleveland Cavaliers
2009 West 146, East 119 (US Airways Centermarker) Phoenix, AZ Kobe Bryant (3), Los Angeles Lakers; Shaquille O'Neal (3), Phoenix Suns
2010 East vs. West (Cowboys Stadiummarker), Arlington,TX † TBD
2011 East vs. West (Staples Centermarker), Los Angeles, CA TBD

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.

See also


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