In the annual sporting calendar, there are few events that stir the imagination to quite the same extent as the NBA All-Star game does. Let’s see about the unexpected NBA All-Star game results.
Held across a dedicated NBA-All Star weekend, this three-day event is one of the most hotly anticipated match-ups in the NBA calendar. Forget your NCAA or NBA season finales – this is truly the pinnacle of sport.
And if you happen to be a sportsbook or DraftKings fan, this star-studded event is a particularly good time to indulge in some strategic betting. The unique match-ups that a combination of fan, player and media voting produce ensure that the odds will always be favourable!
With over 70 years of history now behind it – with the first All-Stars game having been played in 1951 – this unique tournament has hosted some of the most incredible moments in professional basketball history. From awe-inspiring displays of athletic dominance to dramatic upsets by underdogs, the NBA All-Stars game has truly seen it all!
But in a game series that can produce such unexpected results, which are some of the most unexpected results in NBA All-Star history?
Magic Johnson (1992)
Although the result might not necessarily have been unexpected, given the calibre of Johnson as a player, his appearance at the tournament itself was certainly unforeseen.
Having unexpectedly announced his retirement just three months earlier, following a shock diagnosis, Magic Johnson made his return to the basketball court when Orlando hosted the 1992 NBA All-Star game. And despite officially being a retiree, Johnson put in a performance that showed he was far from past his prime!
After putting in a workhorse performance filled with all the magic we had come to expect of Johnson, he led his All-Star team to a dominating 153-113 win, ending with a textbook three-pointer. In all, Johnson finished with 25 points and nine assists, earning himself an All-Star MVP award in the process. Not bad for a retiree!
Michael Jordan (1988)
Despite being one of the most promising players in the league at the time, Jordan had traditionally underperformed in All-Star games.
In fact, before his 1988 performance, Jordan had only averaged nine points in his first two All-Star games, which was a far cry from what we were used to seeing Jordan produce for the Bulls.
This background is what made his stunning 1988 All-Star game performance all the more unexpected. And in the 1988 game before a hometown crowd, Jordan put in an incredible shift on the day.
All in all, Jordan finished with 40 points, eight rebounds and three assists. In so doing, Jordan also earned an MVP award, which was the first of three MVP awards he would go on to win in his All-Star career. Despite all the criticism going into it, the 1988 game saw Jordan reminding all the doubters why he really was the greatest.
Wilt Chamberlain (1962)
Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball athletes of all time – and certainly one of the best centre players to ever grace the NBA – Wilt Chamberlain’s performance in the 1962 All-Star game is the stuff of legends.
What is unexpected about his 1962 performance, however, is not that he played well but that he put in one of the best All-Star performances and didn’t win!
Despite coming away from this match-up with a staggering 42 points and 24 rebounds, Chamberlain was somehow unable to lead his team to victory. Even more unbelievably, this is still a record for the most points scored in an All-Star game, and not only was it not enough to win the game, it didn’t even earn Chamberlain an MVP trophy!
Isiah Thomas (1986)
Now a hall of famer and widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA players ever, Isiah Thomas put in a number of great performances over the years, but perhaps his most memorable performance came in the 1986 All-Star game.
Although Isiah’s star-studded team lagged behind for most of the game, this future hall of famer dragged them to a 139-132 victory in one of the most unexpected late-stage turnarounds in NBA All-Star history. This performance saw Thomas awarded his second of three MVP awards for his 30-point, 10-assist performance. His performance on the court that day set his name firmly in All-Star history.