A guide to the NBA All-Star game
A guide to the NBA All-Star game

A guide to the NBA All-Star game

February will see the NBA season pause for All-Star Weekend, which takes place just after that season’s trade deadline.

The highlight of the weekend is the NBA All-Star game: an exhibition match between the league’s best players that has been contested since 1951.

How does the NBA All-Star Game work?

The rosters for the game are selected in two ways. Firstly, votes from fans, players and the media are combined and the 10 most popular players – five from each of the two conferences – emerge as the starters. The reserves are then chosen by the coaches from each conference, who aren’t allowed to nominate their own players.

Until 2018, the match was played with all of the Eastern Conference players on one team and the Western Conference ones on the other. The way it has worked since then is that the two starters with the most votes are allocated as team captains, with the others forming a pool for them to pick from in a draft system.

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Which franchises have provided the most NBA All-Stars?

All 30 current NBA franchises have provided at least one All-Star in the last 10 years. The Golden State Warriors have been the most popular with 19 selections, followed by the Miami Heat (17) and Oklahoma City Thunder (15).

Although the Los Angeles Lakers have only had 12 nominations in total, they can boast the most starters in this period with 11.

Which players have had the most All-Star selections?

If selected for the 2022 All-Star game, LeBron James will equal Kobe Bryant’s tally of 18 selections and be just one behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time record of 19.

There are a further three currently active players who have been selected at least 10 times. Kevin Durant – last season’s losing captain – and Chris Paul have been chosen 11 times, with Carmelo Anthony on 10.

However, none of these three look likely to surpass LeBron, as the youngest of them (Durant) is already 33 years old.

Which All-Stars have received the most votes?

There are 11 players who have received at least 10 million total votes over the last 10 seasons, with LeBron collecting almost 27 million. The next highest tally is that of Giannis Antetokounmpo with just over 19 million.

The Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic is the league’s rising star with an average of over four and a half million votes per season since joining the NBA in 2018.

How many points are scored in the NBA All-Star game?

All-Star games are typically high-scoring affairs, with the last 10 having produced an average of 323 total points scored. This is almost exactly 100 more than the average regular season game in 2020-21, which saw 224 points.

The number of points scored has risen significantly over time. There have been 10 All-Star games in history in which at least 300 points were scored and eight of these were in the last decade.

The West is still winning

The change of format in 2018 marked the end of the traditional ‘East versus West’ clash in the All-Star game, but the rivalry still continues. Six of the final seven seasons under the old format had seen the Western Conference All-Stars prevail and its players are still coming out on top.

Team LeBron has won each of the four All-Star games played since 2018 and their captain has picked a total of 30 players from the West, compared to just 18 from the East. This includes 15 of his team’s 20 starters across these four games.

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