The NBA All-Star Game is a basketball exhibition that is hosted in February with the best of the best from the league. It showcases 24 of the NBA’s best players that are voted to the game by coaches, players, and fans. The first All-Star Game was played in 1951 and played a traditional East versus West format up until 2018.
Since 2018, the leading vote-getters for each conference are designated as the team captains and can choose from a pool of players to form their team. The teams also play for a charity of their choice to help keep the game competitive. At the end of the game, the player with the best performance is regarded as the All-Star Game MVP.
From shooting perfect to the field to set the individual scoring mark, there have been some special performances in this game. Sunday was another chapter to this long history. These are the last 30 All-Star Game MVP Award winners.
1981-82 - Larry Bird
Stats: 19 Points, 12 Rebounds, 5 Assists
Without Bird’s late heroics, the Eastern Conference would have likely lost. Bird finished the game with 19 points, including scoring 12 of the team’s final 15 points down the stretch. He shot 7-of-12 from the floor as well. With Bird’s help, the East was able to fend off a double-double from Moses Malone, as well as 22 points from Gus Williams.
1982-83 - Julius Erving
Stats: 25 Points, 6 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 2 Blocks
Erving was one of four players from the 76ers to play in the game, but it was Erving that shined the most. In front of a rowdy Los Angeles crowd at the Forum, Erving led the East to a 132-123 win with 25 points. The West was led by a double-double of 17 points and 16 assists by Magic Johnson, but it was Erving, as well as his teammates Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and the eventual season MVP Moses Malone who had the best night.
1983-84 - Isiah Thomas
Stats: 21 Points, 5 Rebounds, 15 Assists, 4 Steals
This featured a true guard versus guard matchup with Thomas and Johnson going head to head. Thomas’ double-double of 21 points and 15 assists led the East to a 154-145 overtime win over the West. Thomas found Erving multiple times, who finished with 34 points. Many believed that Johnson should have won MVP, who scored 15 points and added 22 assists, which included an All-Star game record of 13 assists in the first half.
1984-85 - Ralph Sampson
Stats: 24 Points, 10 Rebounds
Thanks to the playoff 7-foot-4 center Ralph Sampson, the West ended a long losing streak at the All-Star Game. Sampson led the West to a 140-129 victory to snap a five-game skid. Johnson led the West with 15 assists, as well as 21 points, but they believed it was the help of the big man down low that helped the West finally get a victory.
1985-86 - Isiah Thomas
Stats: 30 Points, 10 Assists, 5 Steals
Larry Bird and Moses Malone played their part, but it was Thomas that closed the game out. Down the stretch, coach K.C. Jones called for a one-guard offense and it was Thomas that led the East to a 39-point fourth quarter to seal the win. Thomas led the team with 30 points, while Bird added 23 points and Malone with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
1986-87 - Tom Chambers
Stats: 34 Points, 4 Rebounds, 4 Steals
The Western Conference topped the East 154-149 and this game set so many records. It set a record for combined points, free throws made (71), while the 51 combined offensive rebounds were the second-most ever. As for Chambers, he finished with 34 points. Chambers wasn’t even supposed to play in the game originally but was selected as a late roster fill-in for Ralph Sampson.
1987-88 - Michael Jordan
Stats: 40 Points, 8 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 4 Steals, 4 Blocks
Two legends went head to head in the 1988 All-Star Game. That featured Jordan in the East and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the West. Jordan scored 16 of his 40 points in the final 5:30 of the game to help the East top the West 138-133. He was just two points shy of breaking the single-game scoring record. It ruined the night of Abdul-Jabbar, who set the record for most points in the All-Star Game.
1988-89 - Karl Malone
Stats: 28 Points, 9 Rebounds, 3 Assists
They didn’t know it yet, but Michael Jordan and Malone would start being rivals now. Malone’s 28 points led the West to a 143-134 victory, but Jordan did all he could to keep it a game by scoring 28 points of his own. Malone shot 12 of 17 from the field, while his teammate John Stockton delivered 17 assists. It was the first time that the Jazz had ever sent three players to the ASG.
1989-90 - Magic Johnson
Stats: 22 Points, 6 Rebounds, 4 Assists
Despite the Eastern Conference winning 130-113, Magic Johnson of the West won All-Star Game MVP. Johnson scored a game-high 22 points, but a 17-point deficit in the first quarter was too much to overcome. One could make an argument that either Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, or Patrick Ewing should have won MVP.
1990-91 - Charles Barkley
Stats: 17 Points, 22 Rebounds, 4 Assists
Speaking of Barkley, he would win the 1991 MVP with his incredible double-double. This would ultimately be a fun game to watch as the East squeaked out a 116-114 win over the West. The East used a 45-35 second quarter to pull away. Barkley also won MVP over Michael Jordan, who led the East with 26 points and was playing in his home state of North Carolina.
1991-92 - Magic Johnson
Stats: 25 Points, 9 Assists, 5 Rebounds, 2 Steals
After coming out of retirement for one game, he led the West to a 153-113 win over the East. He scored 25 points and dished out nine assists in his final All-Star appearance. Before this season, Johnson retired due to an HIV diagnosis, but fans voted him in and he accepted to play. During the game, he playfully engaged in matchups with Jordan and Thomas, who were both longtime rivals. His best shot of the night was a three-pointer at the buzzer that was over Thomas.
1992-93 - John Stockton And Karl Malone (Co-MVP)
Stockton Stats: 9 Points, 6 Rebounds, 15 Assists, 2 Steals
Malone Stats: 28 Points, 10 Rebounds, 2 Blocks
With the game played in Salt Lake City, it was only natural that hometown heroes John Stockton and Karl Malone shared MVP honors. Malone scored 28 points, while Stockton generated 15 assists. The West also defeated the East 135-132 in overtime, so it was an absolute party for all Utah patrons that night.
1993-94 - Scottie Pippen
Stats: 29 Points, 11 Rebounds, 4 Steals
With Michael Jordan out of the picture, Scottie Pippen took advantage. Pippen scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, which both led all players, to pace the East to the win. Jordan had announced his retirement before the season, which left Pippen the king of Chicago. As part of his 29 points, he nailed five three-pointers and shot 45% from the three-point range.
1994-95 - Mitch Richmond
Stats: 23 Points, 4 Rebounds, 2 Assists
In his seventh year in the league, Richmond made his third trip to the All-Star Game. He scored 23 points on 10 of 13 shooting to lead all scorers. It was the first time a member of the Kings snagged an ASG MVP since Oscar Robertson won the award in 1964 when the Kings were based in Cincinnati (Royals).
1995-96 - Michael Jordan
Stats: 20 Points, 4 Rebounds
In his first All-Star Game since his return, Jordan scored 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting to win MVP. However, Jordan didn’t even have the best performance of the night. Shaquille O’Neal scored 25 points, while Damon Stoudamire scored 19 points and added 11 assists in a 94-92 victory.
1996-97 - Glen Rice
Stats: 26 Points, 2 Steals
After a slow start, the East came back to win thanks to an off-the-bench spark from Glen Rice. Leading all scorers, Rice scored 26 points, including four three-pointers, to help the East overcome a 13-point deficit after the first quarter. He also became the first Hornets player ever to win All-Star MVP.
1997-98 - Michael Jordan
Stats: 23 Points, 6 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 3 Steals
Before his second retirement, Jordan scored 23 points and dished out eight assists to earn his third and final All-Star Game MVP. Jordan helped his former rival from the 80s, Larry Bird, earn his first All-Star Game victory as a coach. Jordan also outdueled a young rookie by the name of Kobe Bryant, who scored 18 points in the loss.
1998-99 - No Game Played
Due to the lockout, there was no game played during the 1998-1999 season.
1999-00 - Tim Duncan And Shaquille O’Neal (Co-MVP)
Duncan Stats: 24 Points, 14 Rebounds, 4 Assists
O’Neal Stats: 22 Points, 9 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 3 Blocks
During the 1999-2000 season, there was a debate all season about who was better: Tim Duncan or Shaquille O’Neal? The All-Star Game didn’t help as both earned co-MVP. Duncan, fresh off the 1999 championship, shot 12 of 14 from the field with a double-double. Meanwhile, O’Neal added 22 points and had a 360-degree breakaway slam dunk. With 42 assists as a team, the West pulled away with the 137-126 win.
2000-01 - Allen Iverson
Stats: 25 Points, 5 Assists, 4 Steals
It’s a shame that Allen Iverson couldn’t pull off Finals MVP in 2001 to get the triple crown. Instead, he won the regular-season MVP, as well as the All-Star Game MVP by scoring 25 points in potentially the greatest comeback in ASG history. The East stormed back from a 21-point deficit in the final nine minutes to claim a 111-110 victory. Iverson scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter.
2001-02 - Kobe Bryant
Stats: 31 Points, 5 Rebounds, 5 Assists
While many anticipated Michael Jordan’s return to the All-Star Game, it was Kobe Bryant who returned to his hometown of Philadelphia to put on a show. Bryant paced the West to a 135-120 victory. However, it was a tough night for Bryant as the Philly crowd booed him throughout the night for his efforts in the 2001 NBA Finals, where the Lakers defeated the 76ers. Still, it was the first time that a player scored at least 30 points in the ASG since Jordan in 1993.
2002-03 - Kevin Garnett
Stats: 37 Points, 9 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 5 Steals
Garnett was used to carrying the Timberwolves, so it was natural to do it in this game as well. Garnett scored the second-highest points ever with 37 points to lead the West to a 155-145 win. The ASGS set records for defensive rebounds, points by a team, while the combined 300 points were just three points short of the 1987 record. It was also the last ASG for Jordan, who finished as the all-time leader in points, field goals, field goal attempts, and steals.
2003-04 - Shaquille O’Neal
Stats: 24 Points, 11 Rebounds, 2 Steals, 2 Blocks
Shaq was not selected to be a starter in this game but came off the bench to give his full impact. He finished 12 of 19 from the floor with 11 rebounds to lead the West to a 136-132 win. It was the third time in a row the West won.
2004-05 - Allen Iverson
Stats: 15 Points, 4 Rebounds, 9 Assists, 5 Steals
The last time the East had won the ASG, Iverson was named MVP. It was only fitting that once the East ended the short skid, it was Iverson at the top once again. The game was known for memorable dunks, but it was Iverson that had the best overall line for a game that didn’t feature a single 20-point scorer. Iverson was also the player to serve up an alley-oop pass to LeBron James for his first ASG dunk.
2005-06 - LeBron James
Stats: 29 Points, 6 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Steals
The game was filled with Detroit Pistons players with Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and Richard Hamilton. However, it was LeBron James that stole the show. LeBron, along with the Pistons foursome, clamped down defensively to rally from a 21-point deficit to win a 122-120 game. LeBron became the youngest MVP in ASG history.
2006-07 - Kobe Bryant
Stats: 31 Points, 5 Rebounds 6 Assists, 6 Steals
The NBA came to Las Vegas with a lot of hype but fell flat on their face. Fortunately, Kobe Bryant salvaged the weekend with a 31-point effort, which featured 17 points coming in the first half of a 153-132 blowout over the West. It was a battle of superstars at one point as LeBron James finished with 28 points for the East.
2007-08 - LeBron James
Stats: 27 Points, 8 Rebounds, 9 Assists, 2 Steals, 2 Blocks
James flirted with a triple-double before coming up two rebounds and one assist shy. The East nearly choked a fourth-quarter lead after the West outscored the East 35-28 in the final frame. Ray Allen scored 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, but James was voted MVP by the fans.
2008-09 - Kobe Bryant And Shaquille O’Neal (Co-MVP)
Bryant Stats: 27 Points, 4 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 4 Steals
O’Neal Stats: 17 Points, 5 Rebounds, 3 Assists
Five years later, the MVP seemed to officially reunite the former Lakers teammates. The feud that separated the two in 2004 was finally behind them and sharing the MVP trophy was a perfect indicator of that. Bryant, a starter, finished the game with 27 points, while O’Neal shot 8 of 9 from the field as the West blew out the East 153-132. The game was O’Neal’s last as an All-Star.
2009-10 - Dwyane Wade
Stats: 28 Points, 6 Rebounds, 11 Assists, 5 Steals
It was the largest crowd to watch an All-Star Game ever. Wade put on the best show in front of the massive crowd at Cowboys Stadium. A record of 108,713 fans packed the stadium, which was 30,000 more fans than the previous record set at Ford Field in 2003. The East narrowly defeated the West 141-139 with Wade putting up a double-double to lead the charge.
2010-11 - Kobe Bryant
Stats: 37 Points, 14 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 3 Steals
After sharing the All-Star Game MVP two years ago, it was all Kobe this time around. Bryant scored 37 points, which included 21 in the first half. He also finished with a double-double as he added 14 rebounds. With Bryant leading the way, along with teammate Pau Gasol’s 17 points off the bench, the West was able to fend off a triple-double from LeBron James to win 148-143.
2011-12 - Kevin Durant
Stats: 36 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 3 Steals
The East trailed by as much as 15 points in the game but made it an eight-point game in a matter of 85 seconds down the stretch. Then, with 1:44 to go, the East trailed 148-147. In the final minutes, the MVP was either going to go to James or Durant pending on who won. James had the ball in his hand three times down the stretch with a chance to win or tie but passed each time. In the end, the East won 152-149 with Durant scoring 36 points.
2012-13 - Chris Paul
Stats: 20 Points, 15 Assists, 4 Steals
Some believe that Durant had a convincing argument to win as the West defeated the East 143-138 and were led by Durant’s 30 points to lead all scorers. It was the third straight year that Durant had scored 30 points in the All-Star Game. Instead, it was Chris Paul, who made 7 of 10 shots from the floor and recorded 15 assists to register the double-double. “Lob City '' was on full display as he made six lob passes to Clippers teammate Blake Griffin for vicious dunks.
2013-14 - Kyrie Irving
Stats: 31 Points, 5 Rebounds, 14 Assists
Call it an audition if you want, but the year before LeBron James returned to Cleveland, Kyrie Irving impressed not just him but everyone in the room. Irving made 14 of his 17 shots to score 31 points and dish out 14 assists. He became the youngest player ever to win the MVP just two seasons after he won MVP at the Rising Stars Challenge.
2014-15 - Russell Westbrook
Stats: 41 Points, 5 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 3 Steals
For the first time since 1998, Madison Square Garden was the home to the All-Star Game. In the finale of the weekend, Russell Westbrook put on a show. Even though he was not a starter, Westbrook scored 41 points and was one point shy of setting the single-game scoring mark (Wilt Chamberlain - 42 in 1962) as the West defeated the East 163-158. Westbrook had 27 points in the first half. The combined 321 points broke the combined record of 218 set in 2014, while the 48 combined three-pointers set a new record too.
2015-16 - Russell Westbrook
Stats: 31 Points, 8 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 5 Steals
In Kobe Bryant’s last appearance in the All-Star Game, the West nearly scored 200 points. The record-setting 196-173 victory destroyed last year’s record of combined points. Meanwhile, Westbrook won his second straight MVP with 31 points and became the first player to ever do it. Paul George led all players with 41 points, coming up one point short of breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s record. The 369 combined points were 48 more than last season.
2016-17 - Anthony Davis
Stats: 52 Points, 10 Rebounds
It couldn’t have been a more perfect way to break Chamberlain’s record. Anthony Davis, playing in New Orleans, welcomed the home crowd with a gift of 52 points. It was a simple algorithm. Toss the ball up to Davis and let him work. It was a perfect ending for the league too, as they scrambled to find a location when they needed a replacement city for Charlotte. Davis led the West to a 192-182 victory.
2017-18 - LeBron James
Stats: 29 Points, 10 Rebounds, 8 Assists
This season marked the transition of a new format for the All-Star Game. For the first time in 67 years, the league abandoned the East-West format, which had been used since 1951. Instead, it elected two captains to pick their sides. In this case, Team LeBron and Warriors star Steph Curry picked their teams. Team LeBron rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final six minutes. James himself tied the game at 144-all before the team pulled away with a 148-145 victory. James nearly recorded a triple-double and won his first MVP in 10 years.
2018-19 - Kevin Durant
Stats: 31 Points, 7 Rebounds, 2 Assists
The two captains were LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Team LeBron was down by 20 points at one point before rallying to take a 178-164 win in Charlotte. Kevin Durant scored 31 points, who was James’ No. 1 overall pick. It was the second straight year that Team LeBron had won. It was Durant’s second MVP in his career and his first since 2012.
2019-20 - Kawhi Leonard
Stats: 30 Points, 7 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 2 Steals
For an exhibition game, the fourth quarter was just as intense as a playoff game. Both LeBron and Giannis ran it back as captains as Team LeBron came out with the 157-155 win. It was the closest finish in an ASG since 2010. Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points to lead the team, while James and Chris Paul added 23 points, and Chicago native Anthony Davis added 20 points in front of a packed crowd at the United Center.
2020-21 - Giannis Antetokounmpo
Stats: 35 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Assists
There was nobody more perfect than Giannis tonight. In the midst of a pandemic, the stands were mostly empty and the noise being played was electronic crowd noise. There were no celebrities courtside. Despite all of this, Giannis shot 16 of 16 from the field to lead Team LeBron to a 170-150 win over Team Durant. There were times that the announcers thought he was going to blow his 100% shooting percentage from deep, but Giannis nailed all three of his three-point shot attempts.
2021-22 - Steph Curry
Stats: 50 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists
One year after winning the scoring title, Curry upped the ante in the All-Star Game. It would have been easy to give LeBron James the MVP given that the game was played in Cleveland. He also hit the go-ahead three-point shot to give Team LeBron the 163-160 win over Team Durant. Instead, you couldn’t look past the greatness of Curry shooting the ball.
Curry took 30 shots on route to scoring 50 points, which was just two points away from tying the single-game record set by Anthony Davis. Curry made 16 of 27 shots from three-point range as well. Curry’s game was enough to stave off Joel Embiid’s 36 points. While Curry didn’t have much else in the box score, he stuck to what he does best. Shooting threes.