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Only 5 Players In NBA History Have Been All-Stars Every Single Season They Played: Jerry West, Julius Erving, Yao Ming, Paul Arizin, And Bob Pettit

all-stars every year

Being an All-Star is often considered a high honor for that player. There are only 24 All-Stars in any given season, and a player being selected as one generally means that that player is having an outstanding year.

Recently, Reddit user marauders_footsteps revealed that there have only been five players that have been selected as All-Stars every single year that they have actually played in an NBA season. Those 5 players are Jerry West, Julius Erving, Yao Ming, Paul Arizin, and Bob Pettit. Notably, all-time greats like Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and LeBron James did not achieve this feat, being one season away from doing so.

Only 5 players in NBA history were all-stars in every year they played: Paul Arizin, Bob Pettit, Jerry West, Julius Erving and Yao Ming

Dr. J holds the record for longest career while being selected an all-star each season, playing in 16 seasons between 1971 and 1987.

Jerry West played for 14 season from 1960-1974, Bob Pettit played for 11 seasons from 1954-1965, and Paul Arizin played for 10 seasons from 1950-1962 (with a 2 year hiatus fighting in the Korean War).

Yao Ming played in just 8 seasons and has 8 all-star selections. In his final year, he only played 5 games but still received an all-star nod because of fan voting.

Many were 1 season away from achieving this:

LaMelo Ball (2021) - Rookie season

Luka Doncic (2019) - Rookie season

Ben Simmons (2018) - Rookie season

Joel Embiid (2017) - Rookie season and only played 31 games

LeBron James (2004) - Rookie season

Michael Jordan (1995) - Missed all but 17 games of the regular season as he was coming out of his first retirement

Isiah Thomas (1993) - Last year in the league and missed 24 games that season, mostly due to breaking his shooting hand after punching Bill Laimbeer in the head during practice

Larry Bird (1989) - Required season-ending double Achilles surgery 9 games into the season

Magic Johnson (1981) - Sat out most of his sophomore year to recover from torn cartilage in his left knee

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1978) - Another one on this list who missed out due to breaking his hand fighting Buck's rookie Kent Benson in the first game of the season, missed the next 20 games

Wilt Chamberlain (1970) - Injured his knee 9 games into the season. Managed to return in time for the playoffs and made a finals run before losing to the Knicks

Bob Cousy (1970) - As the Cincinnati Royals head coach, he unretired for 7 games in an effort to boost ticket sales. Played a total of 38 minutes and recorded 1 field goal, 11 assists and 10 fouls.

Bill Russell (1957) - Rookie season, and missed the first 24 games

There is no doubt that a lot of names on this list are unexpected, but that doesn't mean those players weren't extremely talented. In particular, Jerry West and Julius Erving have both won championships during their careers, and Yao Ming was notably a beloved star among fans.

Hopefully, we will see some more players achieve this feat in the future. There is no doubt that it's tough to stay at the top for a long time, but it is clear that staying at an All-Star level throughout one's whole career is not impossible.