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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

14. LeBron James – 2008

Could there be an All-Star list without LeBron? Arguably the player of the decade, James is a 16-time All-Star. One of his best performances was in 2008 when he blew the roof off in New Orleans. He almost recorded a triple-double, something that he did achieve in 2011.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But James still got 27 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists. James was 12-of-22 from the field overall and shot 2-of-7 from the three-point line. The two teams were level with just a minute to go when LeBron landed an epic slam dunk to ensure the East won. In short, it was brilliant performance from the Cavaliers hero.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

13. Allen Iverson – 2001

Iverson was the catalyst behind the East’s unlikely victory over the West in the 50th edition of the All-Star game. He scored 15 of his 25 points in the final nine minutes to help the East win by a score of 111-110. They were trailing 95-74 with less than 10 minutes left. In short, it was definitely one of the best games in the series.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant was a nightmare in the final seconds. He had scored 19 points in the game and could have added three more if he took the last shot. Instead, he passed it to Tim Duncan who missed. It was quite the meltdown for the West, but a great display by Iverson.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

12. Dwayne Wade – 2010

This was a notable All-Star game for a number of reasons. First of all, it smashed the attendance record, more than doubling it to 108,713. It was also the first time one of the teams didn’t wear white. With Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Pau Gasol all selected, it was going to be tough for anyone else to win the MVP award.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But Wade put on a masterclass to blow his rivals out of the water. He propelled the East to victory with 28 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds. Wade spent the overwhelming majority of his career with the Miami Heat. The three-time NBA champion was also a 13-time All-Star.

Garnett, Allen, Pierce-Celtics
Mandatory Credit: Boston Globe

11. Kevin Garnett – 2003

This was Michael Jordan’s 14th time to play in the All-Star game. After announcing his retirement, all eyes were on him throughout the exhibition. However, Garnett didn’t get the memo because he went on and stole Jordan’s thunder with one exceptional performance.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves star compiled 37 points, nine rebounds, and five steals in the West’s victory. The last game decided in overtime, his team won 155-145. Garnett’s brilliance was enough to earn him MVP honors. He should probably have apologized to Jordan for ruining his moment.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Tom Chambers – 1987

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.

Mandatory Credit: Daily Dose

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

9. Shaquille O’Neal – 1996

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Rick Barry – 1967

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.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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.

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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