Lists

Ranking The Top 20 NBA All-Star Game Performances

Darren - February 14, 2020
Lists

Ranking The Top 20 NBA All-Star Game Performances

Darren - February 14, 2020

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. LeBron James  – 2011

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

6. Isaiah Thomas (1986)

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. LeBron James – 2006

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Kobe Bryant – 2011

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

3. Wilt Chamberlain – 1962

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.

Greatest off-season trades-Bill vs Wilt
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Magic Johnson – 1992

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Michael Jordan – 1988

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

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