Ever since the NBA was officially formed in 1946, it has been home to the best players, coaches and teams in the world of basketball. No other professional basketball league around the world can even begin to compete with the top-quality action and drama that the NBA regularly offers fans and spectators. This blog will tell you What does it take to be an NBA All-Star.
Like every sport, it took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many games were either postponed or cancelled altogether. In addition, the numbers of fans allowed to watch the games live were seriously restricted, if not banned completely. The lack of supporters watching on really did have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the games.
That’s not to say that some of the action in the 2020/21 season wasn’t compelling. As always, the playoffs threw up a number of intriguing matchups, none more so than the finals, which saw the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Phoenix Suns. It was exciting as neither side has won the championship in over 50 years, so whoever lifted the trophy, a whole new generation of fans got to see their team win the NBA for the first time. Throughout the 6 game series, fans were looking for NBA odds and scores on their favoured sports betting apps, to try to predict the outcome of the game.
In the end, it was the Bucks who picked up the famous trophy, sealing the series with a 105-98 win in game 6. The standout player in the finals was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was awarded the prize of NBA Finals MVP.
Of course, the regular season was full of excitement, but the NBA also treats fans to a different kind of entertainment each year, with the NBA All-Star Game, a mid-season exhibition match that takes place each February.
The most recent All-Star Game was held at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta and saw the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Chris Paul, whilst the other team saw the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal join forces. It was an incredibly high scoring game, which saw team LeBron come out on top, with the final score ending 170-150. In what was clearly a foreshadowing of what would happen in the NBA finals, Antetokounmpo was declared the MVP for the game.
With the 2022 edition of the All-Star Game only a few months away, now could be a good time to ask what actually makes an NBA player an All-Star? Are there certain criteria that they have to meet before they can be selected? Who are the players who have appeared the most? Let’s take a closer look at all of the above.
How do the teams get picked?
While the All-Star Game has been around since 1951, around 4 years ago it was decided that it needed to be refreshed. There had been a long series of non-competitive games, that fans were being less and less invested in. Therefore, the traditional roster method disappeared, and a new draft format was introduced.
24 players were voted as All-Stars, with 12 coming from the Eastern conference, and 12 from the Western. The 10 starters, made up of the three frontcourt players and the two guards, were chosen by a mix of fans (who had 50% of the vote) the basketball media (25%) and current players (25%). From there, the 30 NBA coaches select 14 reserve players.
By doing this way, mixing the voting across a number of different voting pools, it ensures that we, the fans at home, will be treated to a truly best vs the best match. It also means fans couldn’t completely dominate the vote and ruin the system by casting thousands of votes just for their favourite players.
Once the players were selected, the captains take turns in picking their team, first the starters then the reserves. The captains are also selected democratically, as they are the players who receive the most fan votes from their conference. For the 2021 All-Star game, it was LeBron from the Western Conference and Durant from the Eastern.
Which players have appeared the most in the All-Star Games?
Of the current active players in the NBA, LeBron is miles ahead of every other player on the list for selections to the All-Star Game. This is partly due to his longevity, but also due to his consistency, as he truly has been a great player for his entire career. He has been selected as an All-Star for 17 consecutive years, and as captain for the last 4. He has also been the MVP in 2006, 2008 and 2018.
Behind him, the closest current players are Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, who have both been picked 11 times, and Camelo Anthony, who has been selected 10 times.
The current all-time record is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was picked an amazing 19 times. Can LeBron top this? Given how well he is still playing, we feel he could well hold the record by the time he retires.