First played in 1951, the NBA All-Star Game has long been an exciting feature of the basketball calendar. Happening every February, the game is the feature event of a three-day-long celebration of basketball talent, and sees 24 of the league’s best players come together to compete. Over the years, this game has produced some stand-out performances and moments, with none better than those we cover below.
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Shaq and Kobe Rewind the Clock
It’s no secret that Shaq and Kobe did not get along well in the early 2000s.
The dynamic duo was one of the best-ever pairings to step on the basketball court, winning three straight NBA titles with the Lakers between 2000-2002. However, they did not see eye to eye personally, or in terms of the roles either played in the team, which would often boil over into locker room conflict. Eventually, the pair was split up with Shaq heading to the Miami Heat, ending one of the greatest combinations basketball has ever seen.
Then, in 2009, the two combined for one last game on the basketball court. The 2009 All-Star Game saw Kobe and Shaq peel back the years, with Kobe hitting 27 points and four steals, while Shaq bagged 17 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Lighting up the basketball court, the two were jointly awarded the end-of-match MVP honors. Speaking after the game, Shaq said, “It felt just like old times.”
This certainly was an NBA All-Star Game moment to remember.
The 1964 Locker Room Stand-Off
This next NBA All-Star Game moment is more about what happened off the court, than on it.
In 1964, basketball players were far from the multi-millionaires that they are today. They struggled to make ends meet, often having to work second jobs in order to make a living. When the NBA All-Star Game gained a broadcast slot on ABC in primetime television, Tommy Heinsohn decided to lead the players in a collective action to change their situation.
Demanding better pay and a union negotiation, the NBA All-Star players refused to step out on the court unless their requirements were met. NBA owners balked, and the All-Star Game was almost canceled, with the owners conceding at the last minute.
A Touching Moment With Magic Johnson
Perhaps the most moving moment ever to occur on a basketball court took place during the 1992 All-Star Game.
The match occurred after Magic Johnson had announced his retirement due to HIV, yet Johnson was still named in the team and voted in by the public. Naturally, the star blitzed the game, scoring 25 points and 15 assists. But it’s what happened before the game that moved basketball fans forever. Johnson’s arch-rival on the court, Isiah Thomas, instigated a procession of hugs and high-fives for the player, demonstrating to Johnson that his positive HIV result would not get in the way of their friendship.
Johnson captured it best himself after the game, saying, “Ours is a game of compassion. I’ll never forget those hugs and high-fives.”
More great action is soon to be unveiled as the season is well-underway with some players already looking to get a clear selection for the All-Star game in February 2023. Until then hundreds of great matches are coming up that will decide who will enter the playoff and be crowned winners of the Larry O’Brien trophy. To keep yourself even more entertained with the games you can try NBA betting online. Here you will be able to find great odds and tips to enhance your experience during the regular season and into the All-Star and play-off games, which might be an all-time great like these mentions.