1) Michael Jordan’s freeze-out All-Star game
The All-Star game is the stage where the best players in the world get to showcase their talent, but the great Michael Jordan barely got to touch the ball in his first appearance. According to NBA lore, point guard Isiah Thomas ‘froze-out’ Jordan in the 1985 All-Star Game out of jealousy of Jordan’s skyrocketing fame.
2) Inaugural NBA fashion show
As we all know, the NBA’s athletes are known for their interesting wardrobes. This year, LeBron James used the All-Star game as an opportunity to produce the NBA’s first fashion show ever, starring James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook, and many of the league’s notable fashion trailblazers. LeBron’s new teammate J.R. Smith strutted down the runway in a fur-trimmed three-piece suit to narrowly beat out the Mavericks’ Chandler Parsons in the judges’ eyes and was crowned winner of the show.
3) Brotherly rivalry
Two of the most dominant post players in the league today—Marc and Pau Gasol—faced off in an epic battle of East vs. West on Sunday. It marked the first time in NBA history that two brothers started on opposing teams in an All-Star game. Bragging rights at the Gasol family table were on the line, and it looks like Marc will be serving up crawdad burgers for supper.
4) Short guys can dunk too
he Slam Dunk competition is a non-stop aerial assault on the rim, featuring some of the NBA’s most freakishly athletic leapers. We tend to think that the taller players generally have the advantage, but it will come as a surprise to many that the shortest player in the NBA today—the 5’9” Nate Robinson—has the most Slam Dunk trophies to his name, with three titles in all.
5) Concrete jungle
The city that never sleeps was buzzing this weekend thanks to all the All-Star related activities. Some of North America’s biggest celebrities gathered under one roof; there were wild after parties, and we’re betting KD and Russ challenged LeBron and Kyrie to a friendly game of two-on-two in Rucker Park at some point.
6) Sticker shock
Unless you’re an A-list celeb or a Russian oligarch, getting a ticket to the All-Star game is no easy feat. Would you like to sit courtside with Kevin Hart, Rihanna, and Drake, and watch Steph Curry go bonkers from behind the three-point line? It’ll only set you back $9,000. If that’s too much, you can always sit up in the nosebleeds, where tickets go for $700 each.
7) Virtual reality
If those courtside tickets aren’t quite in your price range, or are not immersive enough for you, fear not! The NBA is filming the All-Star weekend with virtual reality cameras, so if you happen to own a pair of virtual reality glasses, then you can experience highlights of the All-Star weekend in virtual reality for free.
8) Vintage jerseys
The 2015 NBA All-Star jersey was designed to reflect New York City’s rich culture and age-old relationship with basketball. The five stars represent each of New York’s five boroughs, and each star has unique patterns meant to demonstrate the boroughs’ main characteristics, such as the vinyl record patterns on one star to pay homage to the great hip-hop scene of the Bronx.
9) The Riley rule
Every year, the head coach with the best record at the break is chosen to represent his respective conference in the All-Star game. Ever since the 1990s, however, the ‘Riley Rule’ has been in place, barring a coach from making consecutive all-star appearances. The rule, of course, is named after Pat Riley, whose incredible Lakers teams in the 1980s earned him eight All-Star nods in nine seasons.
10) What All-Star weekend?
When the All-Star game was conceptualized in 1951, NBA President Maurice Podoloff was skeptical about the idea of having an exhibition match featuring the best players in the league. He was on the verge of nixing the idea, but Walter Brown, the owner of the Boston Celtics, promised to assume all costs if the project failed. Today, in part thanks to Brown’s daring confidence, it is one of the most popular annual sporting events in North America.