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1990 Eastern Conference All-Star Starting Team Was Stacked

1990 Eastern Conference All-Star Starting Team Was Stacked

The 1990 Eastern Conference included a slew of legendary players. Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan was the leading vote-getter among the NBA, while the rest of the lineup featured four more future Hall of Famers. The reserves included Celtics legends Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, as well as first-time All-Stars Scottie Pippen, Reggie Miller, Joe Dumars, and Dennis Rodman.

The Western Conference featured John Stockton, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, A.C. Green, and Akeem Olajuwon. The reserves consisted of Clyde Drexler, Tom Chambers, and Kevin Johnson, as well as Chris Mullin. The team was rounded out by David Robinson, Lafayette Lever, and Karl Malone. Rolando Blackman was later named to the team as injury replacement Malone. Green, Robinson, and Kevin Johnson were all making their first All-Star Game appearance.

The coaches included Chuck Daly for the East and Pat Riley for the West. This was the first of four consecutive games in which coaches of the previous year’s NBA Finals were the head coach for the All-Star Games. The game featured 11 of the 12 players that would make the 1992 Dream Team, as well as Coach Daly. Needless to say, this was a fun game indeed, which was controlled primarily by the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

Point Guard - Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas

All-Star Game Stats: 15 Points, 4 Rebounds, 9 Assists, 3 Steals, 0 Blocks, 1 Turnover

The Detroit Pistons were the reigning NBA champions. A lot of that success had to do with Thomas leading the way. The “Bad Boys” Pistons were one of the most hated teams in the league, but you couldn't deny how great Thomas was as a player. Well, that is unless you are Michael Jordan, who was a catalyst in keeping Thomas off the 1992 Dream Team. Had Thomas played in that game, all 12 players from the 1990 All-Star Team would have been in the Olympics.

Meanwhile, Thomas was a standout player this year, who averaged 18.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 9.4 assists. Thomas helped the Pistons defeat the Bulls in the Conference Finals and win their second straight championship. This season was the second to last high for the Pistons dynasty.

Shooting Guard - Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan 1990 All-Star Game

All-Star Game Stats: 17 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 5 Steals, 1 Block, 5 Turnovers

By far the best shooter in the league was Michael Jordan at this time. Jordan finished the season with 33.6 points per game to go along with 6.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.8 steals. By around this time in his career, Jordan was pretty tired of losing to Detroit. The Pistons, as well as Isiah Thomas, were his nemesis. He was going to do everything to beat them.

Jordan kept it together at the All-Star Game, where he tied Patrick Ewing for the most points for the team. Jordan missed out on the MVP Award despite the team winning by 17. That likely came from the high turnover count he had. In the end, Jordan would have one more “failure” against Detroit before the Chicago Bulls dynasty was born.

Small Forward - Larry Bird

Larry Bird 1990 All-Star Game

All-Star Game Stats: 8 Points, 8 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 3 Steals, 0 Blocks, 3 Turnovers

For a player that was as smooth as Larry Bird, this was one of his down years in the All-Star Game. After this season, Bird played in the league for just two more years. With that said, Bird was still playing at a high level. He ended the season with a line of 24.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.4 steals. The Celtics weren’t championship contenders, but Bird was still a top player in the league.

In the All-Star Game, Bird finished tied for second on the team in rebounds with his teammate Kevin McHale. Given that the West’s small forward in James Worthy scored only two points, Bird had a pretty solid game by the end of it.

Power Forward - Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley 1990 All-Star

All-Star Game Stats: 12 Points, 4 Rebounds, 0 Assists, 1 Steal, 1 Block, 2 Turnovers

Barkley had a respectable All-Star Game stat line. He did just enough on offense to reach double figures and grabbed a few rebounds. Barkley was in the middle of his NBA career. At the end of the year, Barkley averaged 25.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists for the 76ers. That included shooting an impressive 60.0% from the field.

The frontcourt of Barkley and Patrick Ewing could be one of the best in their primes. Both players were strong inside and could rebound at a high rate. The West had a small lineup outside Hakeem Olajuwon in their starting lineup, so that was going to be a long night on the board before the game even started.

Center - Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing 1990 All-Star

All-Star Game Stats: 17 Points, 10 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 1 Steal, 5 Blocks, 5 Turnovers

Patrick Ewing was not Patrick Ewing yet. He was in his fifth season in the league and starting to make a name for himself across the United States. In New York, he was a beloved star that finished the year averaging 28.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks per game. On top of that, he shot 55.1% from the field.

Ewing tied Jordan for the most points on the team but led the team in rebounds, as well as an impressive five blocks. There wasn’t a single player on the West that had more than one block. Maybe, Ewing had a really good case to be All-Star Game MVP but was robbed in the end.


Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Joe Dumars, Dominique Wilkins, Reggie Miller, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman

The bench features a variety of strong players that are all Hall of Famers. Starting with the Pistons, who had the most All-Star selections on the team, they underperformed. Joe Dumars finished the game with just nine points and shot the ball just four times. That included making both of his three-point baskets. As for Dennis Rodman, he played the least amount of minutes on the team and finished with a line of four points and four rebounds.

The best performances from the bench came from Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, and Dominique Wilkins. All three players scored in double digits, while McHale added eight rebounds. Reggie Miller played in only 14 minutes and took one three-point attempt, which is a shame when you look back. Up and comer Scottie Pippen played in just 12 minutes and scored four points.

The East Was Supreme

1990 Eastern Conference All-Star Team

The Eastern Conference came out strong by leading 40-23 after the first quarter. The Western Conference outscored the East in the second quarter 29-25, but because of the dominant first period, the East led 65-52 at halftime. The East led 100-83 at the end of the third quarter after a strong 35-point third quarter. The final period saw both teams go even at 30-30 apiece, which meant that the Eastern Conference came away with the victory 130-113.

Magic Johnson was named the All-Star Game MVP despite the Eastern Conference winning. Johnson led all scorers with 22 points. Hakeem Olajuwon led the way with a game-high 16 rebounds, while Isiah Thomas had the most assists with nine.

Jordan likely lost out on the MVP because of the five turnovers he had and that he didn’t score at least 20 points. On the bench for the West, Tom Chambers scored 21 points, while Fat Lever scored 16 points, and both David Robinson and Rolando Blackman each scored 15 points. In the end, the East had a more balanced scoring option with Jordan and Ewing finishing with 17 points, Thomas with 15 points, Parish with 14 points, and both McHale and Wilkins with 13 points. 


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