Chambers deserves a lot of credit for winning MVP honors in the 1987 All-Star game. The two rosters combined had a ridiculous number of legends. The likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar all played in the game. Yet Chambers managed to outshine them all.
The Seattle Supersonics man was a late addition to the All-Stars. Nobody expected him to make the impact that he did. But he took full advantage of his selection with a 34-point performance. The West’s 154-149 overtime victory was the highest-scoring NBA game at that time.
Sure, it wasn’t the highest-scoring All-Star game ever, but it was still enjoyable for a number of reasons. Chief among these was the return of Jordan after his first retirement from basketball. Naturally, the fans were very excited to see him make his All-Star comeback. So it wasn’t surprising when he won the MVP award.
But did he deserve it? Most fans watching disagreed with the decision because Shaq outpointed and outperformed him on the night. Jordan only scored 20 points to O’Neal’s 25. Meanwhile, Shaq got 10 rebounds, six more than Jordan’s four. It was a strange decision but that’s what happens when you’re a megastar.
This installment of the All-Star game went down in the Cow Palace in Daly City, California. One of the most memorable parts was the ejection of Eastern Conference Head Coach Red Auerbach. It’s an NBA record because no other coach has been removed in the history of the event.
On the court, it was all about Barry. The San Francisco Warriors’ star helped the West to victory over the heavily favored East. Barry had 38 points, six rebounds, and three assists in a dominant performance. Finally, the West ran out 135-120 winners over their rivals.
The second James inclusion on this list, he didn’t actually win the MVP award this time. That went to Kobe Bryant who played sensationally to win the coveted honor. But more on that later. James was part of a losing Eastern side in his first season with the Miami Heat.
He went down guns blazing. James put up a triple-double, scoring 29 points on 10-for-18 shooting, grabbing 12 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. Typically the MVP award goes to a member of the winning team so it’s not surprising he didn’t win it. However, it wouldn’t have been a travesty if he had.
We saw one of the most star-studded All-Star rosters of all-time in 1986. The game boasted Kareem Abdul-Jabar Hakeem Olajuwon, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Moses Malone. We could go on and on, but the point is that the talent pool was incredible.
However, on the day, one man stole the show. Thomas was sensational. He orchestrated nearly all of the East’s offense, driving them to victory in a very competitive game. He compiled 30 points and 10 assists. It was a fantastic showing.
The third and final LeBron segment on this list, this was one of his most impressive All-Star performances because he was so young. In fact, he broke the record for the youngest player in history to win the All-Star Game MVP award. He was just 21 at the time. That’s a sensational achievement.
James scored 29 points and grabbed six rebounds on the night in Houston, Texas. The East was trailing by 21 points when James turned up the heat and went on a scoring bonanza. In the end, they ran out winners by 122-120. LeBron had arrived and the world knew it.
The Black Mamba has always put out outrageous numbers. Bryant holds the record for most points by a Lakers’ player ever. He also scored the most in a single game with an astounding 81. However, Kobe did find it difficult to stand out in All-Star games when the likes of Michael Jordan and ‘Shaq’ were on the court.
2011 changed all that. He put on the best All-Star performance of his career. Kobe scored a career-high 37 points in the game. Even more impressively he recorded 10 offensive boards in the game, an NBA All-Star record. The fact that he achieved that as a guard is all the more impressive.
Chamberlain’s statistics don’t make sense at the best of times. This is a man who once scored an NBA record 100 points in a game. As such, he’s more than a legend. The Warriors’ icon is a myth. He played for a weak Eastern Conference in 1962 but still did enough to singlehandedly keep the game competitive.
He secured 42 points on the board with 24 rebounds. Eventually, the West ran out winners by a score of 150-130. But considering they had the likes of Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Bob Pettit and Oscar Robertson on their team, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Chamberlain took on the storm.
By all accounts, Johnson shouldn’t even have played in the 1992 All-Star Game. The year before he shocked the world by announcing he was retiring after contracting HIV. Despite this, he still had the love of the fans. Then the NBA allowed him to play after fans voted him in in overwhelming numbers.
It led to one of the greatest moments in All-Star history. Johnson played well, getting 25 points and nine assists. The statistics don’t tell the full story as he demonstrated the skills and tricks of a once-in-a-generation talent. With 14 seconds remaining, he scored a three-pointer. In sum, the benches cleared and both sides embraced him.
Could it have been anybody else? Jordan put on one of the greatest All-Star performances in front of his home crowd in Chicago. He’d already won the Slam Dunk Contest the day before, so he had a lot of momentum coming into this game. The Bulls star helped the East to a five-point victory over the West.
His stat line was incredible. Jordan scored 40 points with 16 coming in the final six minutes of the contest. He went 17-for-23 shooting, which is ridiculously prolific. The Bulls hero also brought in eight boards, four steals, four blocks, and three assists. It was unbelievable.