CHARLOTTE’S THREE DECADES OF NBA BASKETBALL HISTORY BUZZ BEGINNINGS A LOOK BACK AT THE INAUGURAL CHARLOTTE HORNETS TEAM OF 1988-89 ALL-STAR 1989 CHANGING OF THE GUARD ALL-STAR 1994 PIPPEN’S STAR TURN THE DEEP ROOTS OF CAROLINA BASKETBALL
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A LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER
Dear Fans, Thank you for being part of NBA All-Star 2019 in Charlotte, where you will see todayâ€™s brightest stars write the next chapter in NBA All-Star history and experience the power of basketball to bring people together. With the highest fan vote-getters serving as team captains and drafting their own teams, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will lead their rosters of fellow All-Stars and punctuate a weekend full of compelling storylines: veterans raising the bar of excellence, rising stars making their mark, and elite athletes displaying artistry, power and precision during All-Star Saturday Nightâ€™s dunk, skills and three-point contests. Along with the competition on the court, accomplished performers headline our in-arena entertainment, including artist Meek Mill introducing the All-Stars, Grammy-winner and Charlotteborn Anthony Hamilton singing the U.S. national anthem, singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen performing the Canadian national anthem, and artist, songwriter and North Carolina native J. Cole taking the court at halftime. Throughout the Charlotte community, more than 150 current and former NBA players will participate in several events, including our annual NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, where members of the NBA family will refurbish apartments, pack school supplies and sort food donations for families in need; Jr. NBA basketball clinics for local boys and girls; and a series of forums and events focused on long-held NBA values of equality, diversity and inclusion. We thank Michael Jordan, the Charlotte Hornets and the City of Charlotte for serving as extraordinary hosts. Enjoy the All-Star festivities and thank you again for being the best fans in sports. Sincerely,
NBA All-Star 2019 | 3
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CONTENTS Editor in Chief Ming Wong Design Director Kengyong Shao Associate Editor John Martin Copy Editor Trevor Kearney Contributing Writers Michael Bradley, Jon Cooper, Jammel Cutler, Jim Eichenhofer, John Fawaz, Darryl Howerton, Jeramie McPeek, Bob Ryan
NBA ALL-STAR 2019 COMMEMORATIVE PROGRAM FEBRUARY 15-17, 2019
Charlotte Basketball Timeline
As far as NBA basketball goes, Charlotte’s history might only date back 30 years, but the city has packed plenty of highlights in its three decades. Since its inception in 1988, the Hornets have maintained a buzz.
All-Star Flashback: 1991
Charlotte’s first NBA franchise was still in its infancy in 1991 when they played host to NBA All-Star. While the Hornets were still new to the NBA world, that didn’t stop the city from putting on one of the most memorable All-Star shows.
As expansion teams go, the Hornets were par for the course—the team took its lumps as the new kid on the block—but that didn’t stop the basketball-crazy city of Charlotte from fully embracing its new NBA squad. A few members of the inaugural Hornets team recount their first season in Charlotte that put the city on the NBA map. Professional Sports Publications
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The golden age of the ’80s—Magic Johnson’s Showtime Lakers and the rivalry with Larry Bird’s blue-collar Celtics— was coming to a close, but the League made sure to have a proper send-off to the decade with the largest All-Star audience watching the next wave of stars—Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and John Stockton—that would take the NBA to the next level.
While the NBA connection with the Carolinas only dates back 30 years, the area has always been a hotbed for hoops. From the many players that were birthed in the two states, the ones who interned as prep stars in the area, to the many who were produced in the area’s powerhouse college programs, Carolina players can hold their own against stars from any other region in the country.
All-Star 1994 was supposed to be a setback for fans. Missing from the festivities was a certain tongue-wagging superstar who was taking a break from shooting basketballs to focus on hitting baseballs. It was only fitting then that his former running mate would fill the Michael Jordan-sized void. Scottie Pippen showcased his all-around brilliance in Minneapolis and proved to the world how bright his star was.
Pearls of Wisdom
The streets of Philly is where Earl Monroe developed his flair-filled game, but it was in North Carolina where that game was honed. While playing for legendary head coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines at Winston-Salem State University, Monroe remembers the harsh realities of racism and civil unrest that took place during his college years before he became one of the flashiest players that set foot on an NBA court.
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NBA All-Star 2019 | 5
NBA DIGITAL By Jeramie McPeek
For NBA TV analysts Grant Hill and Kenny Smith, All-Star 2019 will be a homecoming of sorts.
Kenny Smith and Grant Hill
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during the ACC Tournament all four years at Duke, led the Blue Devils to back-to-back National Championships (1991, ‘92). “I’m very excited to be back in North Carolina for All-Star Weekend,” says the seven-time NBA All-Star. “Obviously, I have great memories and experiences in North Carolina, and in Charlotte... And it’s just a great basketball environment with great fans.” Smith, too, has fond memories of his college days at Chapel Hill, where he averaged 12.9 points and 6.0 assists a game over four seasons. It was here in North Carolina that “The Jet” played with Charlotte Hornets owner and chairman Michael Jordan, leading the Tar Heels to the Elite Eight twice. “It was life changing,” he says of his UNC days. “It kind of redirected my thought process on work ethic, adulthood—of what success and family, all of those things, were, in a positive way.” The 6-3 guard would take those life lessons and put them to good use over his 10-year NBA career, winning two NBA Championships with the Houston Rockets (1994, ‘95), before building an equally successful broadcast resume, as one of the stars of TNT’s Inside the NBA studio show. This weekend, though, the “studio” will be on location in Charlotte, and Smith and his cohorts will broadcast a very special edition of Inside the NBA on NBA TV immediately after the big game on Sunday. Hill, like his North Carolina rival, parlayed his NBA success into a broadcast career with TNT and NBA TV, a role he will be filling once again this weekend for NBA TV’s extensive All-Star coverage. “When I think of All-Star Weekend, I think of family,” he says. “Seeing players that were my contemporaries—guys who came before me, coaches, League officials, all these players in one place, coming together—it’s just a fun, fun weekend, and a fun celebration to be a part of.” On that subject, Smith agrees whole heartedly. “You walk in a room and you’ll see Deandre Ayton with Dr. J, you’ll see Luka Doncic with LeBron James, and you’re in the same 10-foot radius of all of these people that you admire,” he says. “It’s like watching your favorite trading cards just walking around.”
JOE MURPHY/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
BA All-Star is all about competition.Whether it’s the Rising Stars on Friday, the Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shootout or Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, or the main event itself, the 68th annual NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, the natural-born will to win inside these world-class athletes always rises to the top. But there will be another competition going on behind the scenes and TV screens this year, as the League’s midseason showcase comes to North Carolina, a state that both Kenny Smith and Grant Hill know quite well. The two Turner analysts each spent their college careers here, and return this week as commentators for NBA TV and TNT. Smith spent four years at the University of North Carolina from 1983-87 and Hill less than 10 miles away at rival Duke from 1992-96. “Every time we see each other,” Smith laughs, when asked how often the two debate the merits of their respective college hoops programs. “There is not one time that we see each other that we don’t mention the rivalry, even though, I know, in his heart he wanted to be a Tar Heel.” Smiling and nodding, Hill admits that Smith is, at least, partially correct. “Yes, Kenny is right, I grew up a Carolina fan. BUT...I saw the light and changed allegiances for the better at the age of 16 and my life could never have been better.” Hill’s four years at Duke were a special time in his life, no doubt, and the building blocks for a successful 18-year NBA career. The 6-8 forward, who actually competed here in Charlotte
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NBA G LEAGUE By Jon Cooper
A NEW SHAREEF IN TOWN
Former NBA All-Star Shareef Abdur-Rahim excited to take the reins as president of the NBA G League.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim (center) is focused on growing the NBA G League to 30 teams.
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REEF’S ALL-STAR MEMORY Shareef Abdur-Rahim made one career All-Star Game appearance, in 2002, in Philadelphia, as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. He shot a perfect 4-for-4, and with his 9 points, actually outscored all five Eastern Conference starters—Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo, Jason Kidd and Antoine Walker. He was the only player on either team to not miss a shot and kidded that he might have scored more, but “Ray Allen wouldn’t pass the ball.” Unfortunately, the East fell, 135-120. Of course, he remembers that his best shot—and memory—of the day came before the game even began. “Man, I got to take a picture with Muhammad Ali!” he says without a second’s hesitation. “He was my hero, he was sitting courtside and I was able to take a picture with him. I still have that picture. That was my best memory.”
DAVID SHERMAN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
hareef Abdur-Rahim has never been loud but has always been an impact-maker. A 42-year-old Marietta, Ga., native, Abdur-Rahim officially took over as the president of the NBA G League, the league’s developmental league, on Jan. 11. Previously, Abdur-Rahim was a highly celebrated player. He was back-to-back “Georgia Mr. Basketball” at Wheeler High School, was the first freshman to win Pac-10 Player of the Year while at Cal, was the third overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by Vancouver after one college season, and third-place finisher for Rookie of the Year after scoring a then-Grizzlies franchise-record 18.7 ppg. For the next 11 years, he’d be among the most durable and dependable power forwards in the NBA, averaging 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in 830 career games for Vancouver, Atlanta, Portland and Sacramento. More important, his character was such that before he even officially announced his retirement, he was approached by the Kings to work in the front office. “At the time, Geoff Petrie and Wayne Cooper were running the Kings,” he recalls. “I was going to retire. They immediately asked me about staying on with the team [as] an assistant coach. They opened the door to everything for me as it relates to managing the team and making decisions. That kind of gave me an itch to want to keep going.” After four years as assistant general manager/director of player personnel,including a year as GM for the NBA G League’s Reno Bighorns (now the Stockton Kings)—2013-14, where he oversaw an 11-game improvement—Shareef went to work in the NBA League office. By then he had gone back to school and earned his undergraduate degree in Sociology from Cal (with a 3.8 GPA) and his MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He came back east, doing an internship at the NBA offices as part of the Team Marketing & Business Operations department before earning a full time job in the NBA’s Basketball Operations department. On Dec. 11, 2018, he received the ultimate birthday present—being named president of the NBA G League, replacing Malcolm Turner. Turner, who left after four years to become athletics director at Vanderbilt University, has served as a great role model. “The thing that’s stuck out to me with Malcolm is how he’s able to manage so many different relationships in so many different arenas—in the basketball arena and in the business arena,” says Abdur-Rahim. “I’ve watched him move between these different worlds seamlessly and tell the story of the NBA G League. In short order that will be something I will have to pick up and do.” He’ll start in a good place, as last season the NBA G League set attendance records (1.6 million fans, up 11 percent from 2017-18), saw increased viewership on ESPNU and NBA TV, and became a huge social media presence, with some 150 million video views and 4 million actions—a reported increase of 47 percent and 25 percent. One of Abdur-Rahim’s directives will be completing the goal of a one-to-one NBA-G League
affiliation. Currently 27 NBA teams have their own NBA G league affiliate, up from 18 when Turner took over, with New Orleans having already announced the league’s 28th team for next season. “Thirty NBA G League teams is our top priority,” says AbdurRahim. “It’s close. I think we’re at a point now where it’s almost a disadvantage for teams not to have their own G League team.” Development remains top priority of the league. As a former player, Abdur-Rahim feels he can relate to hungry NBA G Leaguers and wants them to know he’s on their side in getting them to the next level. “I think players want to know that you have an idea of how to help them get better, so that’s what will give me credibility. If I can help guys get better, help deliver a platform for them to continue to develop and show their skills,” he says. “Call-ups and the signings are a huge part of this league, so as much as we can continue to celebrate that. From a business perspective just continue to grow the awareness and the ability to be able to tell this NBA G League story.” Abdur-Rahim believes another key aspect of the NBA G League story is its place as a laboratory for rule changes, like the 14-second shot clock reset following an offensive rebound, which is in its first year in the NBA after successfully working in the NBA G League. “A major tenet of the NBA G League is to be an R&D (research and development) center for the NBA,” he says. “We’re doing things now like the coaches’ challenge. We’re here to help improve the game. The NBA G League should be thought of as a league of innovation that thinks differently and takes chances. We have that ability. We have that mandate.” Abdur-Rahim knows that his name is known in basketball circles but is not content to live off that name. “The playing aspect gives me some recognition. The credibility is something that I’m planning on earning,” he says. “If I can show folks that I have a vision and I care about the product, I care about the league, I’m really interested in continuing to develop the league and the business, that will give me the credibility.”
NBA CARES By John Fawaz
ASSISTING IN THE COMMUNITY
The NBA & State Farm are using on-court assists to help off the court.
asketball is a team game, and no stat reflects that more than the assist: A player passes to a teammate, who shoots and scores. Most assists are routine, such as a bounce pass leading to a jump shot. Some are spectacular, such as a behind-the-back pass or an alley-oop lob. They all count the same in the box score. But what if they could also count off the court? This is the idea behind the NBA Cares State Farm Assist Tracker Program, which uses assists made on the court to fuel real world assists in the community. As part of this effort, the NBA and State Farm donate $5 for every assist made during a regular season game to youth-serving organizations in communities of need. For the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, the NBA and State Farm will donate $1,900 per assist to represent the 19,000 State Farm agents across the country. The Assist Tracker program began in the 2015-16 season, when the NBA and State Farm partnered with Chris Paul and the Chris Paul Family Foundation to further their joint commitment to making safer and stronger communities. In its first three years, the NBA Cares State Farm Assist Tracker program has donated more than $1.3 million. To date, the NBA and State Farm have built ten learn and play centers, including the creation of basketball courts, libraries, and classrooms. In addition, these spaces have been outfitted with the newest technology, such as SMART boards, tablets, 3D printers, and laptops. Community organizations and schools are now equipped with the latest educational tools to enhance learning for underserved youth. As part of this yearâ€™s NBA All-Star efforts, three schools across the greater Charlotte area will receive donations generated by the NBA All-Star Game on-court assists. These donations will power up refurbished learning centers, provide new technology, and give children educational resources. The positive contribution of these donations will leave immeasurable impact on these Charlotte schools and help teachers assist students for years to come.
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Her Time to Play provides girls with equal opportunities to play basketball and learn life skills. The NBA and WNBA are dedicated to improving access to sports among girls ages 7-14, and through Her Time To Play, will provide hundreds of youth organizations with resources to foster fun and safe environments to teach girls life skills and the fundamentals of the game.
HER TIME TO PLAY
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Retired players may no longer be shooting and dunking on the court, but thanks to the National Basketball Retired Players Association, they’re still making plenty of plays off of it.
Isiah Thomas, Dikembe Mutombo, Marcus Camby, Ronny Turiaf and John Amaechi
he growth of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and its rising international appeal have contributed to more opportunities for former players to make lasting change. The spotlight has never been brighter; the opportunity never greater. The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), representing more than 1,000 former professional basketball players in both the NBA and WNBA, is the only alumni organization of its kind that is directly supported by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). The NBRPA has a two-pronged mission to help former professional basketball players and their families transition to life after the game, while also impacting communities through sports. As the needs of retired athletes continue to change, so has the association’s collective focus. Newly retired NBA and WNBA players are transitioning to second careers where they can use their resources, knowledge and experience to make lasting change in their communities. In 2018, the NBRPA struck major partnerships and sponsorship deals with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and many other world-renowned brands. The NBRPA is leveraging these partnerships to create new
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opportunities for former players in business, media, philanthropy and more. Through the creation of a new content platform, Legends Studios, brands and companies are now able to partner with the best former players in the world and create unique branded content and original programs. The NBRPA continues to make strides in offering health benefits, higher education and financial assistance, with the goal of building a community for former players to thrive and prosper. The association has expanded current partnerships with AthLife and Purdue University Global and has continued to fund major projects and initiatives through the Member Grant Program. Over the past two years, the NBRPA has distributed 133 scholarships, as part of the association’s Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund. To date, the NBRPA has awarded members and their families more than $1.6 million in scholarships through the cornerstone initiative. In addition, the NBRPA will continue to expand its signature events and programs, including NBA All-Star Weekend, Legends Conference, Full Court Press: Prep for Success and its newest initiative, the Players Party Series. As part of the association’s global mission, the NBRPA has funded trips for players to visit international destinations, including South Africa, China, Haiti and Panama, over the past 24 months. The growth of the League on an international level has played a major role in the number of trips Legends have taken abroad. 2018 was a year of change for the NBRPA. The association has refined its mission, goals and outlook and is better prepared to serve today’s retired players than ever before.
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CHARLOTTE BASKETBALL APRIL 1987
When the NBA announced plans to expand, Charlotte was a longshot. One columnist wrote that the only franchise awarded to the city would have golden arches. Many viewed it as too small, a college basketball hotbed that wouldn’t take to the pro game. But an ownership group headed by George Shinn secured the city’s first major pro sports franchise thanks to a new arena (23,500-seat capacity, largest for a basketball-only facility) and more than 10,000 season ticket purchases.
The Charlotte NBA franchise, tentatively called the Spirit, officially became the Hornets after fans voted in a newspaper poll. The nickname’s origin came from the Revolutionary War, when, according to legend, British General Charles Cornwallis had described Charlotte as a “hornet’s nest of rebellion.”
JULY 20, 1988
T he Hornets made history before they ever played a game. Their teal and purple uniforms, designed by renowned fashion designer (and North Carolina native) Alexander Julian, were unlike anything ever seen in pro sports. They sported the NBA’s first pinstripes, pleated shorts, and a “mean bug” at the belt buckle. They were a huge hit, both among fans (the Hornets were one of the NBA’s top sellers) and other pro teams that soon emulated the designs.
NOVEMBER 4, 1988 In their first regular-season game, the Hornets hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers in front of 23,338 fans at the Charlotte Coliseum (aka “The Hive”). Many of those in attendance donned formal wear, some with teal bowties. Though the results were not a surprise (Cleveland won 133-93), the crowd gave the Hornets a standing ovation after the final buzzer. NOVEMBER 8, 1988 T he Hornets recorded their first victory in their third game, defeating the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 117-105. Five Hornets scored in double figures, led by Kelly Tripucka (24 points) and rookie Rex Chapman (18), Charlotte’s first-ever pick in the NBA Draft.
DECEMBER 23, 1988 Michael Jordan, who had led the Tar Heels to the 1982 NCAA title, returned to North Carolina for the first time as a pro. The game began with a nice ovation for the Bulls’ guard and ended with the crowd in delirium after Kurt Rambis’ put back at the buzzer gave Charlotte a 103-101 victory. That night marked the first of 364 consecutive sellouts, a streak that lasted until 1997.
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AP IMAGES; ROCKY WIDNER; LOU CAPOZZOLA; NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
DECEMBER 14, 1988 Kelly Tripucka authored the Hornets’ first 40-point game, in a victory over Indiana. His reward? He got to do the weather on a local newscast, a perk offered by the station for the Hornet’s first 40-point scorer. Tripucka had two more 40-point games during the season, both victories, and after each one he was back on TV predicting warm fronts and rainstorms.
By John Fawaz
L ike most expansion teams, the Hornets struggled, going 20-62 in 1988-89. Unlike most expansion teams, they were honored with a parade at season’s end. Charlotte so loved its team that the Hornets topped the NBA in attendance (though they were the NBA’s smallest market). Kelly Tripucka (22.6 ppg) paced the team in scoring, and fan favorite Muggsy Bogues (at 5 feet 3 inches the shortest player in NBA history) led the team with 620 assists.
NOVEMBER 17, 1989 Dell Curry hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Hornets a 99-98 victory over the Warriors. Curry finished with 16 points off the bench and Muggsy Bogues had 13 points and 17 rebounds.
ROCKY WIDNER; ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN; LOU CAPPZZOLAANDY HAYT; NATHANIEL S. BUTLER; DICK RAPHAEL/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
FEBRUARY 9-10, 1991 The NBA’s biggest stars came to Charlotte in 1991 and they did not disappoint. On Saturday, Boston’s Dee Brown won the Slam Dunk contest with a “blind” left-handed dunk in which he covered his eyes with his right arm, while Chicago’s Craig Hodges made 19 straight treys en route to his second consecutive victory in the Three Point Contest. On Sunday, the East edged the West 116-114 when a potential game-winning three was waived off because of basket interference. Philadelphia’s Charles Barkley (17 points, 22 rebounds) was named MVP. JUNE 26, 1991
JANUARY 14, 1992 R ookie forward Larry Johnson hit a turnaround jumper with 0.7 seconds left in overtime to give Charlotte a 117-116 victory at Seattle. Johnson finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds. JUNE 24, 1992
C harlotte, with the first pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, chose forward Larry Johnson from Nevada Las Vegas. Generously listed at 6 feet 7 inches, Johnson’s tenacity and strength made him a force at both ends of the court. In five seasons with the Hornets, he averaged 19.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, won the 1992-93 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and was Charlotte’s first All-Star (1993).
E ven with a 7-game improvement, the Hornets found themselves back in the Lottery. They fell short of the top prize in Shaquille O’Neal, but still drafted a franchise cornerstone in Alonzo Mourning with the second pick to join forces with Johnson in the Charlotte frontline.
MARCH 18-19, 1993 Larry Johnson (11 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists) recorded the Hornets’ first triple-double in a win over Minnesota. The next night he did it again, tallying 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in a loss to Indiana. MAY 1, 1993
T he 1992-93 season saw the Hornets compile their first winning record (44-38) and make their first playoff appearance, against Boston. Just happy to be there, right? Guess again. In Game 2 of the teams’ First Round series, Charlotte outlasted the Celtics 99-98 at the Boston Garden to even the series. Larry Johnson’s jumper was the only basket in the second overtime, but it was enough for the Hornets to record their first playoff victory. NBA All-Star 2019 | 19
CHARLOTTE BASKETBALL TIMELINE MAY 5, 1993
C harlotte, up 2-1 in the First Round of the 1993 NBA Playoffs, was on the verge of ending the series in Game 4—until it blew an 88-70 lead. Trailing by 1 point in the final seconds, the Hornets were facing a return trip to Boston. Up stepped rookie Alonzo Mourning, whose jumper from the top of the key gave Charlotte a 104-103 victory and a trip to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
MARCH 25, 1994 M uggsy Bogues recorded his first assist-rebound double-double by dishing out 18 assists and pulling down a career-high 10 rebounds in a 106-92 victory over Detroit. MAY 12, 1994
D ell Curry won the 1993-94 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, altogether appropriate considering how he helped define that role. Curry averaged 16.3 points that season while coming off the bench in all 82 games. The three-point specialist ended up playing 16 seasons in the NBA, including 10 in Charlotte, where he was a fan favorite. His 9,839 points rank second on the Hornets’ all-time list.
T wo years after the “Dream Team” dominated in the 1992 Summer Olympics, NBA players participated in the World Championships for the first time. The 1994 squad was no less impressive, rolling to the gold medal. Hornets’ big men Alonzo Mourning (10.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Larry Johnson (6.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) helped the U.S. win all eight games by an average of 37.7 points per game.
DECEMBER 27, 1994 Hornets guard Muggsy Bogues surpassed 5,000 career assists in a game against the Spurs, becoming the 27th NBA player to achieve that milestone. Bogues, who played 10 seasons for Charlotte, is the franchise’s all-time leader in assists (5,557) and steals (1,067). FEBRUARY 12, 1995 J ohnson and Mourning were selected to represent the East for the All-Star Game in Phoenix. The pair combined for 17 points and 12 rebounds in the game.
NOVEMBER 2, 1996 D ell Curry, making a rare start, helped the Hornets get off to a fast start in 1996-97 by scoring 38 points in the team’s opener. Curry made 15 of 23 shots, including 6 of 11 from three-point range, to propel Charlotte to a 109-98 victory over Toronto. FEBRUARY 9, 1997 A t the 1997 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, the Hornets’ Glen Rice had trouble finding the hoop on Saturday during the Three-Point Contest. On Sunday, he atoned. Rice scored 26 points, setting records for most points in a quarter (20) and a half (24), to lead the East to a 132-120 victory. “Sometimes you see the basketball going in before you release it; you feel everything you throw up is going in,” Rice said after collecting the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award. “And it’s one of the greatest feelings you can imagine.”
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1995 1995 1996
GREGG FORWERC (2); ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN (2); FERNANDO MEDINA; NATHANIEL S. BUTLER; ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
NOVEMBER 22, 1995 Larry Johnson set a franchise record by scoring 44 points in Charlotte’s 129-124 loss to Boston. He made 15 of 27 shots, including 3 of 6 from three-point range, and all 11 of his free throw attempts.
CHARLOTTE BASKETBALL TIMELINE
FEBRUARY 12, 1997 N ew Jersey had Shawn Bradley, one of the NBA’s premier shot blockers. But this night belonged to the Hornets’ Vlade Divac, who set a franchise record by blocking 12 shots. Divac also tallied 18 points and 9 rebounds in Charlotte’ 113-100 victory. “You have to go strong on him, and I did,” Divac said. “But he’s the best shot blocker. So it was a good night for me, bad night for him.” MARCH 6, 1997
APRIL 20, 1997
O n March 6, 1997, Glen Rice set franchise records for points (48) and field goals (18), and Anthony Mason tallied his third triple-double in five games to vault the Hornets over the Celtics in a 122-121 overtime thriller. Rice made 18 of 27 shots in the game while playing 52 minutes; Mason had 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists in 51 minutes. The Hornets went on to finish the season with a record of 54-28, the top mark in franchise history.
G len Rice scored 21 points in the Hornets’ final game to finish with 2,115 for the season, the franchise’s first 2,000point season. His point total ranked third in the NBA, as did his scoring average (26.8 ppg).
NOVEMBER 25, 1997 A victory over Detroit marked the first of 337 consecutive games (all starts) for Hornets guard David Wesley. His streak, which ran through November 17, 2001, is a franchise record. JANUARY 2, 1998 C harlotte beat Miami 99-88 in overtime thanks to a prolific performance by Glen Rice, who scored 42 points. Rice’s 28 second-half points tied a Hornets record.
MARCH 13, 1998 T he Hornets beat the Magic 100-82 in Orlando to run their winning streak to 10 games, the longest in franchise history. Glen Rice scored a team-high 24 points while Charlotte’s defense limited Orlando to 39.3 percent shooting. MAY 1, 1998
C harlotte defeated Atlanta 3-1 in the First Round of the 1998 NBA Playoffs, closing out the series in Game 4 thanks in large part to Anthony Mason. The Hornets’ forward notched career playoff highs in points (29) and rebounds (14) in the Hornets’ 91-82 victory.
1998 NBA PHOTOS (2); NATHANIEL S. BUTLER;; GARRETT ELLWOOD; ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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CHARLOTTE BASKETBALL TIMELINE NOVEMBER 4, 1999 G uard Eddie Jones set a Hornets record by making nine steals to help Charlotte defeat Indiana 98-89 in the season’s second game. Jones also chipped in 22 points to help Charlotte start 2-0.
FEBRUARY 9, 2000 T he Hornets retired number 13 in honor of guard Bobby Phills, who died tragically in a car accident in January 2000. FEBRUARY 17, 2001 C harlotte, in Milwaukee to play the Bucks, led 73-67 as the third quarter wound down. The Hornets inbounded the ball with seven-tenths of a second left, and guard Baron Davis heaved it the length of the court, as players often do. Only this one went in. Davis’ 89-foot shot is recognized as the longest ever in an NBA game. “He called for it and said he was going to make it,” Hornets forward Jamal Mashburn said after Charlotte’s 103-93 victory. FEBRUARY 2001
L ast-second game winners in back-to-back games? David Wesley lived that dream for the Hornets. On February 22, his three-pointer with 16.8 seconds left lifted Charlotte over Golden State 93-91. Two nights later, he victimized Philadelphia, hitting a trey with 5.6 seconds left to give the Hornets an 86-85 victory.
In the First Round of the 2001 NBA Playoffs, the Hornets recorded their first sweep in impressive fashion. Charlotte beat Miami by 26 points in each of the first two games (106-80 and 102-76) and by 15 in the clincher (94-79). The Hornets set an NBA Playoff record for fewest points allowed (235) in a three-game series.
NOVEMBER 28, 2001 Charlotte defeated Detroit 104-96 as Baron Davis scored 38 points for the Hornets. But that wasn’t the headline this night: Charlotte forward P.J. Brown notched 20 rebounds, 2 more than the entire Pistons teams. Detroit’s 18 rebounds were an NBA record (since broken) for fewest in a game. JANUARY 11, 2002 B aron Davis capped a Hornets comeback by driving and banking in the winning shot with 1.5 seconds in overtime to give Charlotte a 92-91 victory over the visiting Clippers. The Hornets, who had trailed by as many as 17, rallied to tie the game on Bryce Drew’s three-pointer with 7.7 seconds left in regulation. APRIL 27, 2002
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GARRETT ELLWOOD (3); FERNANDO MEDINA/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
In the First Round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs, Charlotte took a 2-1 series lead over Orlando thanks to a spectacular Game 3 performance by Baron Davis. The Hornets’ guard played 52 minutes and recorded the franchise’s first playoff triple-double (33 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists) to lead Charlotte to a 110-100 overtime victory. The Hornets went on to clinch the series in Game 4 thanks to another triple-double by Davis.
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CHARLOTTE BASKETBALL TIMELINE
DECEMBER 18, 2002 Seven months after the Hornets moved to New Orleans, the NBA awarded an expansion franchise to Robert L. Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET). “I’m real proud to be an African-American, to be the first African-American owner of an NBA franchise,” said Johnson. The Charlotte Bobcats were the NBA’s 30th franchise. NOVEMBER 4, 2004 In their first regular-season home game, the Bobcats led 75-74 after three quarters before falling to the visiting Washington Wizards 103-96. Two nights later, the Bobcats won their first game, 111-100 over the visiting Orlando Magic. Primoz Brezec scored 20 points to lead Charlotte.
NOVEMBER 23, 2004 The Bobcats only managed 18 victories in their first season, but they did make history by becoming the first expansion team since the 1970-71 season to defeat the reigning NBA champions. Brevin Knight (19 assists) and rookie Emeka Okafor (22 points, 15 rebounds) propelled Charlotte, which built up a 21-point lead and then held on for a 91-89 victory over Detroit.
JANUARY 1, 2005 E meka Okafor tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds in a game against Miami, his 19th consecutive double-double (a franchise record that still stands). His streak was the longest by a rookie since Elvin Hayes notched 60 straight double-doubles in 1968-69. JANUARY 11, 2005 B obcats guard Brevin Knight dished out 20 assists to break his own franchise record in a 100-98 overtime loss to Cleveland. MAY 5, 2005
H ornets forward Emeka Okafor won the 2004-05 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, receiving 77 of 126 first-place votes. Okafor, the second player picked in the 2004 NBA Draft, led all rookies in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (10.9 rpg).
2005 KENT SMITH (2); SCOTT CUNNINGHAM; ROCKY WIDNER; JOHN GRIESHOP/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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CHARLOTTE BASKETBALL TIMELINE NOVEMBER 5, 2005 The Bobcats’ first regular-season game in their new home (then known as Bobcats Arena) proved to be a success, as Charlotte defeated Boston 107-105. Not that it was easy. The Bobcats trailed 101-91 with 3:38 left before scoring 11 straight points. After the Celtics forced overtime, Gerald Wallace (25 points) hit the go-ahead bucket in the extra period in front of 19,026 fans. APRIL 17, 2008
T he Bobcats’ Jason Richardson made an NBA-high 243 three-pointers in 2007-08. At the time, it was the fourth-highest single-season total in League history.
FEBRUARY 27, 2010 B obcats owner Robert Johnson agreed to sell his interest to Michael Jordan, who became the first former player to be the majority owner of an NBA franchise. “If you had asked me five, 10 years ago if I would be here with the opportunity to own a basketball team, I would have never believed it,” said Jordan, who had bought a minority stake in the franchise in 2006. “Yet it’s a dream come true for me.” MAY 5, 2010
B obcats forward Gerald Wallace was named to the 2009-10 NBA All-Defensive First Team, becoming the first player in franchise history so honored.
MARCH 30, 2011 T he Bobcats’ D.J. Augustin (12 assists) and Boris Diaw (11 assists) became the first set of teammates to each record 10 or more assists without committing a turnover since the NBA began compiling turnovers in 1977. Charlotte defeated Cleveland 98-97. NOVEMBER 9, 2012 B obcats guard Ben Gordon scored 34 points against the New Orleans Hornets to set a franchise record for most points off the bench. Gordon’s performance surpassed the mark of Dell Curry, who scored 33 against Washington in 1993. MAY 20, 2014
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GARRETT ELLWOOD; VICTOR BALDIZON; KENT SMITH (2); FERNANDO MEDINA; GREGORY SHAMUS/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
T he NBA made it official when it announced that the Charlotte Bobcats would be renamed the Hornets, reclaiming not only the name but also the records and history of the franchise from 1988 to 2002. “I know what it felt like in the old Hive and the energy and excitement that happened to be there,” said Fred Whitfield, president of the now re-christened Hornets.
CHARLOTTE BASKETBALL TIMELINE OCTOBER 29, 2014 A fter 12 years, the Charlotte Hornets were back. The new Hornets started slow but finished fast. Charlotte rallied from a 24-point third-quarter deficit to defeat Milwaukee 108-106, as Kemba Walker hit a three to force overtime and then hit the game-winner in the extra period.
JANUARY 18, 2016 T he Hornets’ Kemba Walker scored 52 points—the most ever by an NBA player on Martin Luther King Jr. Day—to lead the Hornets to a 124-119 victory over the Jazz. Charlotte needed all of his points to overcome Utah, as Walker scored 8 in the first overtime and 9 in the second extra period. The fifth-year guard, whose previous best had been 42 points, broke the franchise record of 48 points set by Glen Rice in 1997. MARCH 21, 2018 C harlotte, trailing 82-59 in Brooklyn, mounted the greatest road comeback in franchise history. The Hornets outscored the Nets 52-23 over the game’s final 17 minutes to win 111-105. Center Dwight Howard led the way with 32 points and a franchise-record 30 rebounds, becoming just the ninth player since 1963 to post a 30-30 game. MARCH 22, 2018 O ne night after the biggest road comeback in franchise history, the Hornets returned home and kept rolling. Charlotte raced to a 37-14 first-quarter lead and went on to rout Memphis 140-79. The 51-point margin is the largest in franchise history (sixth-largest ever in the NBA), and the point total was just one shy of the club record of 141, set in a 1993 game against the Lakers.
MARCH 28, 2018 In a game against the Cavaliers, Kemba Walker surpassed Dell Curry (9,839) to become the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer. “It’s super special because of all the doubt I’ve gotten throughout my career and all of the criticism,” said the 6-1 Walker, “but I just continue to prove them wrong..”
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SCOTT CUNNINGHAM; KENT SMITH (2); NATHANIEL S. BUTLER; BROOCK WILLIAMS-SMITH/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
NOVEMBER 17, 2018 Kemba Walker scored 60 points against the Sixers—1 more than the rest of the Hornets combined—in a 122-119 overtime loss to Philadelphia. Walker made 21 of 34 shots, including 6 three-pointers, and all 12 free throws. “That’s an unbelievable thing to do right there,” Walker said. “I’m just mad that we lost.”
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ALL-STAR FLASHBACK: 1991
t was the franchise’s third season in the NBA but that didn’t stop Charlotte from playing host to the League’s midseason showcase in the Charlotte Coliseum. The weekend started off with the Legends Classic, in which the East was led to victory by local Carolina product David “Skywalker” Thompson. In the Three-Point Contest, Chicago’s Craig Hodges repeated as the long distance shooting champion (he would make it three in a row a year later). In the Slam Dunk, Boston’s Dee Brown pumped his sneakers and covered his eyes before delivering a no-look dunk. When he did open his eyes, he was crowned the Slam Dunk champ. For the main event on Sunday, Philadelphia’s Charles Barkley outshined 10 of his eventual Dream Team teammates—including his pal Michael Jordan—in the All-Star Game. He was third in scoring in the East with 17 points, but Barkley’s dominance on the glass—he secured 22 boards—helped the East win a nail-biter (the West’s Kevin Johnson hit a three-pointer that was nullified by the basket interference of Karl Malone), 116-114.
NBA All-Star 2019 | 35
By Jim Eichenhofer
On oral history of how the Hornets made a mark in Charlotte with their NBA debut 30 years ago.
he 2019 NBA All-Star Game not only marks the second time Charlotte has hosted basketball’s midseason showcase event, but also the 30th anniversary of the city’s very first major professional sports team. Like most first-year expansion teams, the 1988-89 Charlotte Hornets didn’t enjoy much success on the court, posting a 20-62 record in their inaugural season, but they experienced one of the most unique start-ups for any sports franchise of this era. The following is an oral history of that first year, as told by players and staff from a season that left an indelible impression on those who were part of it.
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Kelly Tripucka (Charlotte’s leading scorer in 1988-89): The majority of us didn’t know anything about it. We knew it was new and it was in the South. When you mentioned Charlotte, a lot of people had no idea where it was. Was it in Florida? Was it in Alabama? Where is it? No, it’s Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a different scenario compared to the other expansion cities—everyone pretty much knew what those places were about. Rex Chapman (second-leading scorer, the team’s first draft pick in ’88 from the University of Kentucky): I didn’t know anything about Charlotte; I’d never been there before. I grew up in Kentucky, coming from Owensboro, a town of 60,000 people. Lexington may have had 350,000 people. So I had a little different perspective—Charlotte seemed like a bigger city to me. But then once I started going to other NBA cities on the road, I realized Charlotte was a lot smaller, at least at that point in time. There was not even a downtown or uptown to speak of where anyone went out. It was more of a college atmosphere, where everyone had their allegiances to Duke, North Carolina, South Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest. David Jovanovic (equipment manager for Charlotte’s entire first tenure in NBA, 1988-2002): People would get Charlotte confused with Charlottesville, Virginia. I went to college in the area, and when Charlotte got an NBA team, it was kind of out of the blue. Among the four teams that started up, it was the one city no one knew, the dark horse to get a franchise. But it ended up being one of the
COURTESY OF CHARLOTTE HORNETS
On April 23, 1987, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that four U.S. cities were being awarded expansion franchises – Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando and Charlotte. The first three cities were already well-known nationally, with Miami and the state of Minnesota already home to pro teams in other sports, while Orlando was Disney’s headquarters. Charlotte? In the mid-80s, it was a growing city, but most Americans needed help figuring out exactly where it was located on the map. That was also true for the Hornets’ first-year roster.
The inaugural 1988-89 Charlotte Hornets
The unveiling of the teamâ€™s uniform, which would become one of the most popular in the NBA.
NBA All-Star 2019 | 37
In their first season, the Hornets were comprised of many journeyman veteran players like Tim Kempton.
Taken in the expansion draft, Muggsy Bogues would go on to play 10 years for the Hornets and establish the franchise record for assists.
strongest franchises initially. Before the team came in, a lot of the people who lived in Charlotte were locals who’d been there. Then the banking industry took off, so that made the city more recognized. That all happened at the same time. Dell Curry (fourth-leading scorer, Charlotte’s top reserve and current Hornets TV analyst): I grew up about a five-hour drive away (in Virginia), but I didn’t know much of anything about Charlotte. But being awarded a team made the rest of the League say, “Wait, where is Charlotte? Where are we going to be playing?”
THE WARMEST WELCOME On Nov. 4, 1988, the Hornets officially began play in the NBA by hosting the formidable Cleveland Cavaliers in Charlotte Coliseum. A sellout crowd of 23,338 was excited to watch their new local squad hold their own against one of the NBA’s top teams—but then the game started. Charlotte played a competitive first quarter before Cleveland dominated the second period 40-16, en route to a 133-93 rout. After the final buzzer, dejected Hornets players trudged to the home locker room, before a rising sound stopped them in their tracks. It was the home fans bellowing their appreciation for their effort, despite it being a 40-point loss.
Dell Curry was Charlotte’s top reserve, putting up 11.9 points per game off the bench.
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Curry: I really got to soak it in, almost as a fan would experience it, because I broke my wrist in the very first Hornets practice and had to sit out the first part of the season. I remember it like it was yesterday—we lost by 40 to Cleveland and got a standing ovation walking off the floor. A lot of us thought, “Wow. What’s going to happen when we actually win a game?”
DICK RAPHAEL (2); ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Tripucka: You want to do well on opening night in front of your home crowd, but it didn’t go well, to say the least. Without a doubt, the cheering surprised me. I still remember it. You play to win. You don’t like losing, but you really don’t like getting your doors blown off. Then all of a sudden, people started cheering. My first thought was, “Wow, they’re cheering for the Cavaliers, because they won by 40.” We had our heads down. But then the Cavs were gone to their locker room and we’re still on the court, and the cheering continued.
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Chapman: I was blown away. Even though we got blasted by 40 points, not one fan left—or at least it didn’t seem that way. It was like that for many years for that franchise. Tripucka: Regardless of the score, the fans wanted to show their appreciation. That kind of registered for a lot of the guys as something you don’t see every day. It made us think, we have to come with the kind of effort every night (that is worthy of that fan reaction). We wanted to take advantage of that crowd, because it was so loud. We thought if we could ever establish a homecourt advantage, that could go a long way. For the rest of the season, it became a tough place for other teams to play. Kurt Rambis (Charlotte’s leading rebounder, signed as a free agent after winning four NBA titles with the Lakers): I remember walking into a restaurant after the game. Everyone gave me a standing ovation, welcoming me. At the beginning, they embraced us good or bad. They were happy we were there and excited that we had good guys on our team. (Hornets players) treated it like, “We’re playing for you guys,” and the fans gave us a lot of love.
MORAL VICTORIES Kurt Rambis was the only player on the roster with championship experience.
The first-year Hornets earned praise around the NBA for their grittiness and knack for playing competitive games against more talented opponents, but the harsh realities of being a new team set in quickly. With a roster comprised of a mishmash of veterans approaching the end of their careers, castoffs from other NBA teams left unprotected in the 1988 expansion draft and various unproven pros, Charlotte players understood what they were up against. The Hornets may have been a tough out in Charlotte Coliseum, but they dropped 15 of their first 16 road games and went 5-23 in their final 28 games overall. Chapman: We didn’t know exactly what to expect, but we knew we weren’t going to be very good. The veterans had told me, “Look, we’re going to lose three out of four games.” I was coming from the perspective of I never lost in high school, hardly ever lost in college. That was hard. Curry: We knew it was going to be an exciting time, but we knew we weren’t going to win a lot of games. I remember getting together with some veteran guys who were kind of on their way out of the League, who warned us what to expect. Tripucka: Losing is kind of a reality for an expansion team. But you never go into a game thinking you’re not going to win. Curry: The losing was tough, but we all had great chemistry and got along together. That was a big part of making those first few years a lot of fun, because we didn’t win a lot. But we had a great group of guys. We liked being with each other, traveling commercial (flights) back then. We had a great time and a lot of fun together. I’m still good friends with a lot of those guys.
Chapman: I played 12 years in the NBA, for four different franchises. That team was one of the funniest, brightest, sharpest-witted teams you’ll ever come across. One of the most fun 20-win teams you can find in NBA history. [laughs] There were just a lot of electric personalities. Rex Chapman was the Hornets’ first ever draft pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.
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Curry: There were a lot of bright guys in that locker room. [Ed. note: numerous 1988-89 Hornets went into TV and radio broadcasting when their playing careers ended, including Chapman, Curry, Tripucka, Tim Kempton and Tom Tolbert.] We
DICK RAPHEL; ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Rambis: I liked the guys they acquired. We had talented guys, some of them a little bit older who hadn’t been getting playing time on their previous team. We had a good group of guys who were fun to play with.
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Hugo the Hornet quickly became one of the League’s most recognizable mascots.
Kelly Tripucka led the team in scoring with 22.6 PPG.
understood that the main thing was to compete and try to win, but also to have fun. We created relationships that have lasted a lifetime. They were charismatic, articulate, smart, funny guys.
MEN OF TEAL In at least one regard, the Hornets joined the NBA at an ideal time, just as the League was skyrocketing in popularity across the globe. Sports merchandise experienced a boom in the late-80s and early-90s across the board, but particularly in basketball, due to the popularity of stars such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. From a fashion and trends perspective, Charlotte’s NBA franchise made major waves before it even played a game, bringing in famed designer Alexander Julian to design the team’s uniforms. A North Carolina native, Julian’s trademark color was teal – which turned out to be a perfect fit. Charlotte gear and the Hornets logo both became among the hottest-selling of any sports team. But not before some experimentation and trial-and-error, as it turns out.
Rambis: I’m not into fashion or anything, but I do appreciate that the colors were bold, the colors were exciting. It was also a good nickname, and the mascot (Hugo the Hornet) was really embraced by the kids down there.
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TIME TO CELEBRATE? On April 23, 1989, Charlotte wrapped up its first season as a member of the NBA with a 120-110 loss in Boston Garden to the Celtics. Soon after, the news began reaching Hornets players that the city of Charlotte was planning to hold an end-of-season parade to celebrate the 1988-89 campaign, even though they’d authored the League’s second-worst record (ahead of only fellow expansion team Miami, which went 15-67). A visceral response was immediate. Tripucka: My reaction was, “What? They want to do what?!” They wanted to hold something like a championship parade, but we didn’t win any championship! [laughs] Most of the guys probably thought it was silly. Because as an athlete and professional, there’s a fine line somewhere, where you want to say, “Let’s not get carried away with ourselves here.” Curry: We were wondering what the other players in the league were going to think of us winning 20 games and throwing a parade, while they were in the playoffs and having good years. Jovanovic: The players probably thought it was pretty silly. I mean, Kurt Rambis had been in championship parades with the Lakers. Rambis: Admittedly, I was embarrassed by it. I was used to a parade celebrating winning a championship. But I understood. We ended up having fun with it and embracing it. There was a big crowd out there. But I remember thinking at first, this is embarrassing, because we didn’t have a good year record-wise.
DICK RAPHAEL; ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Jovanovic: Our original logo included a large “CH,” but it looked too much like the Montreal Canadiens’ “CH” logo in hockey. We ended up tweaking it. We also had a different-looking hornet in our logo—kind of almost metallic-looking—and then went back and changed that as well. But there’s no doubt that what made the Hornets unique was the color teal. Afterward, a lot of teams started incorporating teal into their color schemes. It was interesting because they were copying us, thinking it was going to help with their sales, and I think it did for some teams. In hockey, with the (San Jose) Sharks, their merchandise was popular. But the craziness over teal started with the Charlotte Hornets. It set the standard for using that color. We were one of the top-selling franchises in merchandising very quickly, second in the NBA to maybe only the Bulls.
Jovanovic: It was incredible to see how popular everything got, with the jerseys and the colors. I mean, we were an expansion team that only won 20 games that first year, but we were selling out every home game and very quickly we started seeing fans on the road wearing the jerseys of our players. We became this phenomenon. You started seeing fans in other cities wearing Muggsy (Bogues), Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning jerseys all the time.
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The Hornets finished their first season 20-62 but led the League in attendance.
Chapman: I remember being mortified. I couldn’t believe they were going to put us on the backs of trucks, or fire engines, and parade a 20-win team through Charlotte. But they sure did. Curry: We understood the excitement of the city about having a team, so we went along with it. Looking back on it, it is pretty funny to think about. Rambis: It was a chance for us to show our appreciation to the fans, and for the fans to show their appreciation for us. And I got to ride in an open-air car, so that was cool. [laughs] Chapman: Once we were there, it was awesome. But at first it was like, “Look man, we’re a professional basketball team that had only won 20 games in an entire season. That’s our job, and we weren’t very good at our job.” Curry: I remember (guard and third-leading scorer) Robert Reid probably enjoyed the parade more than anybody. He gave a speech at the podium where he said, “This year we were knocking on the door, but next year, we’re going to kick the damn thing in!” That got a laugh from all of his teammates. Chapman: After Robert’s speech, we followed that season up with even fewer wins. We won 19 the next year. [laughs]
A LASTING LEGACY
Curry: Absolutely if the Hornets aren’t there, fan-wise and community-wise, it would’ve been hard for the city to get an NFL franchise in the Panthers. We kind of set the table for that. Watching the city grow from the Hornets being the only show in town, to now having the Panthers and Triple-A baseball, I’ve really enjoyed my family growing up there. [Ed. Note: Including son and
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Rambis: When the Hornets first started, Charlotte was still growing at that time. It didn’t look anywhere near what it looks like now. Tripucka: There was no downtown, or as they call it, uptown. You didn’t go there. I’d never been to downtown in the four years I played there, because there was nothing to go to. Now it’s the center of the city, and you’ve added football, a minor-league baseball team, lacrosse. The hotels have grown. You were a part of that and watched it grow. I’m glad to see it, because Charlotte’s a great city and the people are so friendly. It’s my second home, because two of my kids were born there. I have a real affinity for it. Chapman: Charlotte had none of the four major professional sports when we got there. Now you can’t imagine the city without its basketball and football teams. I was traded (to the Washington Bullets) before the football team got there, but years later I remember seeing that stadium while driving by it for the first time and thinking, “Man, this is a game-changer.” Were it not for the Hornets, I’m not sure Charlotte could have lured an NFL franchise. So I don’t know that you can really measure everything that’s taken place or taken root in the city, because the Hornets showed up in 1988. Tripucka: The Hornets starting up was really a grassroots thing. It was like, “How do we make this work? Are the fans going to receive us well and take to pro basketball?” The team was new, and no one knew for sure whether it was going to work there. Now it’s one of the great cities in the United States. To think about where that city came from, it’s important to recognize that.
BRIAN DRAKE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Over the past 30 years, the city of Charlotte has changed in countless ways, including in terms of how it’s viewed by the rest of America. Much like in the case of Oklahoma City and the Thunder, an NBA franchise marked the beginning of a new era for North Carolina’s largest city, one that brought global recognition. In ’93, Charlotte was awarded an NFL franchise, the Carolina Panthers, who’ve twice reached the Super Bowl and brought additional immeasurable publicity to the region.
perennial NBA All-Star guard Stephen Curry, born March 14, 1988.] To still be a part of it, I’m really blessed to call Charlotte my home and be involved with the Hornets.
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Indication XOFLUZA is a prescription medicine used to treat the flu (influenza) in people 12 years of age and older who have had flu symptoms for no more than 48 hours. It is not known if XOFLUZA is safe and effective in children younger than 12 years of age or weighing less than 88 pounds (40 kg). Important Safety Information Do not take XOFLUZA if you are allergic to baloxavir marboxil or any of the ingredients in XOFLUZA.
Before you take XOFLUZA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you: • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if XOFLUZA can harm your unborn baby • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if XOFLUZA passes into your breast milk Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Talk to your healthcare provider before you receive a live flu vaccine after taking XOFLUZA.
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Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What is XOFLUZA? XOFLUZA is a prescription medicine used to treat the flu (influenza) in people 12 years of age and older who have had flu symptoms for no more than 48 hours.
Talk to your healthcare provider before you receive a live flu vaccine after taking XOFLUZA.
It is not known if XOFLUZA is safe and effective in children less than 12 years of age or weighing less than 88 pounds (40 kg). Do not take XOFLUZA if you are allergic to baloxavir marboxil or any of the ingredients in XOFLUZA. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in XOFLUZA. Before you take XOFLUZA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you: • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if XOFLUZA can harm your unborn baby. • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if XOFLUZA passes into your breast milk.
How should I take XOFLUZA? • Take XOFLUZA exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to. • Your healthcare provider will prescribe a single dose of XOFLUZA (which may be more than one tablet). • Take XOFLUZA with or without food. • Do not take XOFLUZA with dairy products, calcium-fortified beverages, laxatives, antacids or oral supplements containing iron, zinc, selenium, calcium or magnesium. • If you take too much XOFLUZA, go to the nearest emergency room right away.
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Take XOFLUZA with or without food. Do not take XOFLUZA with dairy products, calcium-fortified beverages, laxatives, antacids, or oral supplements containing iron, zinc, selenium, calcium, or magnesium. The most common side effects are diarrhea, bronchitis, nausea, common cold symptoms (nasopharyngitis), and headache.
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XOFLUZA is not effective in treating infections other than influenza. Other kinds of infections can have symptoms like those of the flu or occur along with flu and may need different kinds of treatment. What are the possible side effects of XOFLUZA? The most common side effects of XOFLUZA in adults and adolescents include: • diarrhea • headache • bronchitis • nausea • common cold symptoms (nasopharyngitis) XOFLUZA is not effective in treating infections other than influenza. Other kinds of infections can appear like flu or occur along with flu and may need different kinds of treatment. Tell your healthcare provider if you feel worse or develop new symptoms during or after treatment with XOFLUZA or if your flu symptoms do not start to get better. These are not all the possible side effects of XOFLUZA. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. How should I store XOFLUZA? • Store XOFLUZA at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). • Store XOFLUZA in the blister package that it comes in.
Keep XOFLUZA and all medicines out of the reach of children. General information about the safe and effective use of XOFLUZA. Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use XOFLUZA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give XOFLUZA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask for information about XOFLUZA that is written for health professionals. What are the ingredients in XOFLUZA? Active ingredient: baloxavir marboxil Inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, sodium stearyl fumarate, talc, and titanium dioxide. XOFLUZA™ is a trademark of Genentech, Inc. © 2018 Genentech USA, Inc. For more information, go to www.XOFLUZA.com or call 1-855-XOFLUZA (1-855-963-5892).
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By Michael Bradley
NBA All-Star 1989 represented a close to a decade and changing of the guard in the League, but it remained every bit the spectacle.
or Dominique Wilkins and many other NBA standouts, the 1989 All-Star Game was not about the record crowd or the chance to hang with other greats away from the furious competition they waged the rest of the year. It was about the offseason. “Of course we wanted to win,” Wilkins says. “We wanted bragging rights for the summer.” Wilkins was in the middle of a nine-year run of All-Star appearances when he and his East mates met the West in Houston’s Astrodome for the 1989 edition. The NBA was changing, but the players on both teams still saw the winter interlude as more than just a chance to entertain. “We absolutely wanted to win the basketball game,” says Tom Chambers, who played in the ’89 game while with the Suns. “It was very competitive. When I first started out, Pat Riley was the coach, and Magic was on the team, and all they cared about was beating the East. “We played defense. We talked about how we wanted to rotate and where we wanted to push people to get them away from their spots.” Johnson didn’t play in ’89, thanks to a hamstring injury, but Riley was coaching the West, and with Michael Jordan playing on the East roster, the competition meter was bound to be registering some high numbers.
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1989 Western Conference All-Star team
1989 Eastern Conference All-Star team
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NBA PHOTOS; ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
The scoreboard was a primary focus, but there were some intriguing subplots. It was an interesting time in the NBA. It was the close of a decade and all the big names that had carried the League to dizzying levels of popularity in the early to mid-‘80s were moving toward the ends of their careers. Johnson, who was elected a starter but couldn’t play because of a torn hamstring, would play just two more seasons before a diagnosis of HIV forced him to step away. (He would return for 32 games in 1995-96.) Larry Bird played only six games during the 1988-89 season, due to foot surgery, and over the next three seasons—his last—he didn’t approach the caliber of play that netted him three straight League MVPs from 1984 through 1986, a feat that hasn’t been duplicated since and only happened two other times (Wilt Chamberlain, 1966-1968, and Bill Russell, 1961-1963). With Bird’s decline—along with their other aging stars Kevin McHale and Robert Parish—the era of the Boston Celtics as an 80s powerhouse was coming to an end. The Lakers, and the dynasty of five titles during the 1980s, were about to lose their spot atop the League’s hierarchy to Detroit’s Bad Boys and then Jordan’s Bulls. And the mighty Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then in the last of his 20 NBA seasons, received a chance to play in his final All-Star classic. After being
left off the roster, he was named as a replacement for Johnson, making him an All-Star for the 19th time— the most ever. As the 1990s dawned, the NBA was transitioning from its decade of awakening to a period of even greater ascendancy. “We were right in the middle of the Michael Jordan era,” says Charles Barkley, who was with the Sixers in 1989. “I compare it to the Tiger Woods era in golf. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were the men in that sport. Tiger took it to another level. “In the NBA, Magic and Bird brought it forward, and Michael took it through the roof.” As the NBA continued to grow in popularity, the desire to win the All-Star Game remained strong among many of the players. As Wilkins says, bragging rights were at stake, especially because players interacted with each other more frequently at that time than they had before. Having the opportunity to remind a rival about his conference’s shortcomings was quite appealing. And even though salaries were soaring, there was still a matter of a little extra dough for the winners. “Most of the time when I played in the game , Pat Riley was the coach [Ed note: the NBA had not yet adopted the rule change that prohibited head coaches from coaching the All-Star Game in consecutive seasons],” says smooth forward Alex English, who was with Denver from 1979-89. “He realized there was a lot of pomp and circumstance associated with the game, but he also realized most of the guys wanted to play and win. “Back then, we also wanted to have a some more money in our pockets. It was just $15-20,000, but it’s not like any of us were making $30 million.” The weekend began with the popular Slam Dunk and Three-Point Shooting competitions. Although Wilkins and Jordan weren’t squaring off in an aboverim summit, as they had the year before, and Bird was unable to defend the titles he had won in the first three iterations of the longball test, there were still some formidable competitors available. The Dunk Contest came down to a final matchup between the Knicks’ young high-flyer 6-9 Kenny Walker and Portland’s Clyde Drexler, whose Phi Slama Jama credentials had preceded him into the NBA and whose high-flying wonders during his professional career made him a favorite, especially with Jordan and Wilkins absent. However, the 1986 winner, 5-7 Hawks guard Spud Webb, was also in the field and made it to the second round. Walker was a last-minute entrant into the contest and was competing just a few days after his father had died. He earned a spot in the final primarily with a 360-degree cup dunk that earned a 49.5 from the judges—and some boos from fans who thought he should have been awarded a 50. The final was anticlimactic, because Drexler missed his first two dunks, and Walker was able to slam home a trio of high-scoring numbers to take the title and earn him a new nickname of “Skywalker.” “Walker was a great dunker,” Wilkins says. “He could freaking fly. He could get off the floor, and he was a power dunker.” Bird had won the NBA’s first three Three-Point Shootouts, but since he was hurt, the competition was wide open. Almost from the outset, it was obvious that Seattle’s Dale Ellis and Chicago’s Craig Hodges would duel for the title. Hodges
scored 20 points in the first round, while Ellis registered 19. In the semis, each put up 18, leaving Gerald Henderson and Reggie Miller behind. In the final, Ellis stepped forward and won, 19-15. It represented the completion of a remarkable transition for the 6-7 wing, who while playing at Tennessee was rarely found on the perimeter. As Ellis’ NBA career progressed, he became better and better from long range. He finished his career with a 40.3 percent success rate from behind the arc and in 1997-98 led the League by making 46.4 percent of his shots from long range. “Dale Ellis is one of the greatest stories in NBA history,” says Barkley, who played against Ellis while at Auburn. “He played the post in college. He never
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NATHANIEL S. BUTLER; NBA PHOTOS/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
biggest drama leading into the All-Star Game surrounded Abdul-Jabbar, who was in the last season of his outstanding 20-year career. Because his minutes and production were waning (he would finish the season with 10.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg), Abdul-Jabbar was not chosen as a reserve for the game. Instead, Portland’s Kevin Duckworth and Utah’s Mark Eaton were selected as the centers behind the Rockets’ Hakeem Olajuwon. In the past, special considerations were made for star players who were in their final seasons, but according to then-deputy commissioner Russ Granik, Abdul-Jabbar had expressed wishes not to receive any extraordinary treatment. In fact, when the NBA mentioned that it would honor Abdul-Jabbar at the banquet the night before the game, the Lakers center said, “I don’t think I’ll go.” However, things changed when Johnson suffered a partially torn hamstring, and a position opened on the West roster. The NBA reached out to Abdul-Jabbar, and he dropped his disinterested stance to take a victory lap among the League’s best and for the assembled—and TV viewing—crowd. He played only 13 minutes, but he provided perhaps the most dramatic of the game. With 1:31 remaining, Riley inserted AbdulJabbar into the game, hoping to give him one more skyhook. With 0:24 left, the big man took a pass from Drexler and flicked an eight-foot hook into the bottom of the net, adding an emotional exclamation point to the West’s 143-134 victory and adding to his all-time All-Star point total of 251. “I was just pleased and privileged to participate,” Abdul-Jabbar said after the game. It was a fitting farewell to the All-Star experience for the League’s Karl Malone (#26) and Charles Barkley (#34) Dominique Wilkins (#21) and Michael Jordan (#23) all-time leading scorer and one of its most thoughtful, fascinating players. Basketball was AbdulJabbar’s profession and one of his passions, but he always understood how shot threes or anything that deep. He was a small forward-power forward. To make the transition to become a three-point shooter is remarkable. He’s one of much there was that mattered off the court, and he did plenty to prepare himself the best shooters ever.” to participate in it. Even though the host Rockets played in The Summit, the All-Star Game was “I remember when we played [the All-Star Game] in Seattle [in 1987],” Chambers played in the Astrodome, which was dubbed “The Eighth Wonder of the World” when says. “[Kareem] was a different person. At halftime of the game, I was excited to it opened in 1965 as the world’s first domed stadium. It was never the full-time be playing, and he walked into the locker room and read a book. “That’s who he was.” home of any basketball team—the MLB Astros and NFL Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) were its primary tenants—but in 1968, it hosted the “Game of the Century” With Johnson out, Riley had only one pure point guard on the roster, Utah’s John between UCLA and Houston. The Bruins entered the game on a 47-game winning Stockton, and that meant plenty of work for the Jazz star. Stockton played a teamstreak and boasted a lineup anchored by Lew Alcindor, who would change his high 32 minutes, and though he scored just 11 points—on 5-of-6 shooting—he name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shortly after graduating from UCLA. handed out 17 assists, including nine in the first quarter to set a new All-Star A throng of 52,693 packed the Astrodome, and independent network TVS record. Twelve of Stockton’s dimes went to Jazz teammate Karl Malone, who scored broadcast the game nationally across 120 stations, a rarity at the time for any a game-high 28 points, on his way to MVP honors. contest. Even the NCAA tournament final wasn’t televised by a major network. “They knew each other so well,” Wilkins says. “They had an aura and a connection Houston won, 71-69, but Alcindor was limited because of an eye injury he sustained that you just didn’t see throughout the League. They did it for a long, long time.” in an earlier game, against California. The Bruins exacted revenge later in the In 1989, the Stockton-Malone tandem, and the Jazz themselves, were still season during the NCAA tourney, when they dumped the Cougars, 101-69, in the growing into the contender that would reach five consecutive conference finals national semifinals, which were played at the LA Sports Arena. UCLA went on to in the ‘90s. The team’s national profile was hardly robust. At the press conference win the national title, its fourth in five years. after the game, Malone related a story about being in an elevator with some Although the dunking and shooting were fine appetizers to the game itself, the teammates one time and meeting some people who asked what the players did
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for a living. When they mentioned they played for the Jazz, the other passengers thought they were musicians. But the anonymity didn’t last for long, especially with Stockton and Malone leading the way “Malone redefined the power forward position with the way he played inside and out,” Wilkins says. “He could really run the floor.” The game was really decided by halftime, when the West built an 87-59 lead by shooting 60 percent from the field, in comparison to the East’s 41 percent accuracy, and setting an All-Star record for points in a half. While Malone was rolling to his MVP award, and Stockton made sure his teammates were wellfed, Ellis continued the shooting spree he began at the Three-Point Shootout by converting 12-of-16 attempts, en route to 27 points. English, who was making
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Just as Wilkins and his Atlanta teammates spent their prime in the shadows of Eastern powers Boston, Detroit and Chicago, so too did Cleveland’s talented team toil just below the top reaches of the conference. The team won at least 54 games three times from 1989-93 but never made it past the Conference Finals. The Cavs had three players—Nance, point guard Mark Price and center Brad Daugherty—on the ’89 All-Star squad, and though all were reserves, East coach Lenny Wilkens, who directed Cleveland from 1986-93, made sure they saw time together. “That Cavalier team was one of the closest teams I was ever on,” Nance says. “None of us was a starter in the game, so we went in together, ran some plays and got shots for me and Brad. Any time you can play in a game like that together, it’s great. “I have conversations all the time about point guards, and I’ll take Mark Price any time. People didn’t realize how good he was at running the team and making sacrifices. Mark made a lot of sacrifices to get me and Brad and Hot Rod [John Williams] the ball.” Although the Cavs trio helped the East narrow the deficit in the second half, it was unable to overcome the Malone-Stockton tandem and the West, which claimed the nine-point victory. And the bragging rights.
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN (3)/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
his last All-Star appearance, played his usual, quietly-efficient game. He finished with 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting. “He always was moving, and he always threw something different at you,” Wilkins says. “You would play the game and then look at the box score, and he had 30 points.” Many thought the East would win the game, thanks to a starting lineup that included Jordan, Barkley, Isiah Thomas, Wilkins and Moses Malone—and especially with Johnson sitting at home watching the action. Jordan was ascendant individually, but his Bulls still had to spend a couple more seasons fighting to reach the East’s top spot. Although Barkley insists Jordan was “there to have fun,” he tied Malone for game-high scoring honors with 28, although he took 23 shots to get there. Thomas scored 19 and handed out 14 assists. Though he was the only Piston on the East squad, he and his Bad Boy mates were ready to end the Lakers’ primacy and establish themselves as the NBA’s alpha dog. “I think Isiah has gotten the baddest rap of all the players in the NBA,” Barkley says. “I sent him a text on Christmas Day. I was watching the Bad Boys [30 For 30] film, and people forget what they went through to get to the top. I just told him he deserves more credit.”
Wilkins agrees that Thomas was one of the foundational players of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and cautions fans against mistaking the point guard’s ready smile with a lack of competitive fire or desire to demolish opponents. “That smile was all a front,” Wilkins says. “He was trying to take your heart. I have known him since 11th grade, and that smile was a front.” Barkley is quick to add Wilkins to his list of underrated NBA performers from that era. In 1989, “The Human Highlight Film” was in the middle of a run of nine straight All-Star Games, during which he averaged at least 25 points every season. Because Wilkins matched up so frequently with Jordan—even in dunk contests—he was overshadowed by the more decorated Bull. But make no mistake: Wilkins was “a helluva player,” as Barkley puts it.
By Darryl Howerton
Basketball mightâ€™ve begun elsewhere, but its roots are firmly planted in Carolina soil. 56 | NBA All-Star 2019
DICK RAPHAEL (2); ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
ames Naismith begat Phog Allen who begat Dean Smith. Thatâ€™s right: The inventor of basketball mentored the father of basketball coaching who mentored the legendary North Carolina basketball head coach who in turn gave us The Carolina Way, which branched Tar Heels and basketball Hall of Famers Billy Cunningham, Larry Brown, Charlie Scott, Bob McAdoo, James Worthy and Michael Jordan himself.
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Larry Brown and Dean Smith
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Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN; NATHANIEL S. BUTLER; DICK RAPHAEL/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Take that in for a moment, if you will. Basketball’s inventor from Canada took his peach basket to the University of Kansas and left his hoop in the hands of Phog, who passed his college knowledge on to Dean, who then grew the game as the University of North Carolina head coach from 1961 through 1997. During that timespan, the late, great Dean Smith would brand his philosophy The Carolina Way, which was basically his credo showing players and coaches alike how to attain success through selflessness and sportsmanship. “Play the game the right way” was how one of his pupils, Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown, described it. “Keep the game simple,” Brown said. “Make the easy pass, not the fancy one. Make the extra pass to the man who is more open than you. No one player is more important than the team.” Soon, The Carolina Way seeped into the mindset of an entire region of hoop followers, transforming the state into both an NBA pipeline and the nation’s college basketball capital. Oh, sure. North Carolina had won a college title back when Dick Maguire—the head coach who hired Dean as an assistant in 1958—ran the program in the 1957 championship season. But North Carolina had yet to become the conduit to the NBA it soon would become in Coach Smith’s later years. For upon winning his first NCAA championship in 1982 with Jordan, Worthy and Sam Perkins, Coach Smith thus began a basketball championship tradition that slowly remade North Carolina into America’s top-producing college-championship state, evidenced by the state’s 11 NCAA title-winning teams in the past 37 seasons (North Carolina in 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009 and 2017; Duke in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015; North Carolina State in 1983). The next closest state—Kentucky with five NCAA championships in the past 36 years (Kentucky, 3; Louisville, 2)—paled in comparison. Better still, these championship players and coaches soon would take their college knowledge to the pro ranks and expand the overall skill, athleticism and basketball IQ of the entire NBA. Pro coaches galore sprang forth from Dean’s North Carolina family tree, including most notably Hall of Famers Cunningham and Brown, along with NBA lifers Doug Moe and George Karl, among others. The Carolina cult became a tight-knit pipeline where Tar Heels looked out for one another. When one head coach lost a job, there was always another Carolina Guy propping his fellow coach up, making the necessary phone calls to put in a good word for his fellow Tar Heel. Why not? Coach Smith always preached loyalty, which carried on past college through the NBA. Dean also installed a basketball core value system in each player/coach he
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NORTH CAROLINA ALL-STARS North Carolina-Born Players Who Became All-Stars ALL-STAR Walt Bellamy* Mel Daniels* Brad Daugherty Lee Davis# Walter Davis Sleepy Floyd Josh Howard Lou Hudson Bobby Jones Sam Jones* Bob McAdoo* Chris Paul Jerry Stackhouse David Thompson* John Wall Buck Williams James Worthy*
BORN New Bern Lincolnton Black Mountain Raleigh Pineville Gastonia Winston-Salem Greensboro Charlotte Wilmington Greensboro Winston-Salem Kinston Shelby Raleigh Rocky Mount Gastonia
CITY (HS) New Bern (Barber) Detroit, MI (Pershing) Swannanoa (Owen) Raleigh (Ligon) Charlotte (South Mecklenburg) Gastonia (Huss) Chatham VA (Hargrave) Greensboro (Dudley) Charlotte (South Mecklenburg) Laurinburg (Laurinburg Institute) Greensboro (Smith) Clemmons (West Forsyth) Mouth of Wilson VA (Oak Hill) Shelby (Crest) Raleigh (Word of God) Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount) Gastonia (Ashbrook)
COLLEGE Indiana New Mexico North Carolina North Carolina Central North Carolina Georgetown Wake Forest Minnesota North Carolina North Carolina Central North Carolina Wake Forest North Carolina North Carolina State Kentucky Maryland North Carolina
All-Stars Born Elsewhere But North Carolina Prepped Stephen Curry Antawn Jamison Michael Jordan* Pete Maravich* Tracy McGrady* Charlie Scott* Jimmy Walker David West Dominique Wilkins*
Akron OH Shreveport LA Brooklyn NY Aliquippa PA Bartow FL New York NY Amherst VA Teaneck NJ Paris, France
Charlotte (Charlotte Christian) Charlotte (Providence) Wilmington (Laney) Salemberg (Edward Military Institute) Durham (Mount Zion) Laurinburg (Laurinburg Insititute) Laurinburg (Laurinburg Institute) Garner (Garner) Washington (Washington)
Davidson North Carolina North Carolina LSU NBA North Carolina Providence Xavier Georgia
Source: Basketball-Reference Cities are located in North Carolina unless otherwise noted; * denotes Hall of Famer; # denotes ABA All-Star
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not allow black players on its university team. It was not until 1966 that Coach Smith convinced North Carolina to accept a black scholarship player. In turn, that player—future Hall of Famer Charlie Scott— sparked the 1968 and 1969 North Carolina teams to Final Four finishes, while a few years later, another African-American and future Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo led the 1972 Tar Heel Final Four squad. It was with these successes the state began to welcome black players Dean recruited, which led to Carolina prep stars staying in-state to play college ball. The movement eventually stretched further down south, starting with Alex English, as the South Carolina born-and-bred product exploded on the college scene in the early-to-mid-’70s, showcasing the same scoring exploits as a South Carolina Gamecock that McAdoo had previously showcased as a Tar Heel. From there, the movement spread throughout The Carolinas, going beyond college basketball, with the NBA later feeling the states’ impact as a region filled with scoring, style and slams. The late “Pistol” Pete Maravich, a teenage wonder boy who played high school ball in both North and South Carolina, embodied this movement, later taking his basketball wizardry mainstream to the NBA in the ’70s. Perhaps an even greater example of North Carolina’s stamp on style came in the form of slam-dunk legends birthed by North Carolina, making good on the “First in Flight” state motto. From the inaugural 1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest, North Carolina State product
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encountered—so much so that they could not help becoming Dean clones, as the fell in line in the lineage of Naismith and Phog and Dean. Shoot, even their own mantras seem to be spinoffs from Coach Smith’s sermons. Larry Brown’s “Play basketball The Right Way” speeches seemed to be his own remix of Dean’s The Carolina Way. When The Carolina Guys enjoyed each other’s successes, they were just following their leader’s example. “When the Philadelphia 76ers won the NBA championship in 1983, the first person to call me was Dean Smith,” said Billy Cunningham at Dean’s Chapel Hill memorial service in 2015. “You would have thought he won the championship. He was so excited for me and so happy for me. I was at a loss for words.” Dean was everything that was good about sports, and by association, The Carolina Way became a higher way of living, on and off the court. One of the first institutions Coach Smith confronted as a college head coach in the ’60s was racism, a subject he previously dealt with as a Topeka, Kansas high school player a decade earlier when he convinced his school principal to merge the black and white varsity teams together in 1951. You must remember, this was a time when African-Americans were not readily accepted in college basketball, much less high school ball. In the ’50s, state legends and future basketball Hall of Famers Sam Jones (North Carolina Central) and the late Walt Bellamy (University of Indiana) enrolled at historically black colleges or at colleges elsewhere because North Carolina did
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SOUTH CAROLINA ALL-STARS List Of South Carolina-Born Players Who Became All-Stars ALL-STAR Alex English* Kevin Garnett Xavier McDaniel Larry Nance Jermaine O’Neal Jayson Williams
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CITY (HS) Columbia (Dreher) Chicago IL (Farragut) Columbia (Flora) Anderson (McDuffie) Columbia (Eau Claire) Middle Village NY (Christ the King)
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All-Stars Born Elsewhere But South Carolina Prepped Ray Allen*
Source: Basketball-Reference Cities are located in North Carolina unless otherwise noted; * denotes Hall of Famer; # denotes ABA All-Star Charlie Scott
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Smith coaching the North Carolina Tar Heels during their 1982 championship season.
make ourselves better every day,” says Jamison, who played on Smith’s 1997 NCAA Final Four team in Dean’s swan song, and then played for Dean’s right-hand-man successor Bill Guthridge and his 1998 NCAA Final Four Tar Heel team. “I could do things Vince could not do, and Vince—for sure—did things I could never do. When I talked to the players on the 1982 team—Michael, James, Sam—they’d say the same things about their guys. There’s nothing quite like it.” The Carolina Way not only carried on through Coach Smith’s successors—from Guthridge to Matt Doherty to Roy Williams today—but it also seemed to extend to rival coaches at other institutions as well: From the late North Carolina State head coach Jim Valvano and his nevergive-up beliefs to Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who brought his own flair—as Coach K—to the college and pro game as a national title-winning coach at Duke and Olympic goldmedal winning coach for USA Basketball. Even outside The Carolina Way, one can see similarities between Dean’s system and Coach K’s program, especially on the USA Basketball level where the team adopted 14 standards of living that are reminiscent of Carolina Way code. Such as: represent something bigger than yourself; respect one another; do not be late; be flexible; have each other’s back; look each other in the eye; tell each other the truth; keep a strong face; no excuses; no bad practices, among others. “Coach K made a difference in all of us,” said former Duke great and NBA veteran Shane Battier, “whether we were freshmen on the bench at Duke, or starters on USA Basketball,
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David Thompson showed the world a legion of superheroes were being birthed right here in Carolina backyards. It was first in college and later in these pro ranks that Skywalker began a regional favorite, with Thompson’s popularity eventually going mainstream, well before he became a five-time NBA All-Star or famously battled the legendary Julius “Dr. J” Erving in the aforementioned ABA dunk contest finals. In fact, when Michael Jordan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009, he asked Thompson to be the Hall of Famer to introduce him because he wanted the world to know what “Skywalker” meant to him. At his Hall of Fame induction, Jordan explained why he wanted Thompson to introduce him, saying, “That wasn’t a disrespect to any of my Carolina guys. They all know I’m a true-blue Carolina guy to the heart: Coach Smith, Larry Brown, Sam Perkins, James Worthy, all those guys. “But when I grew up in North Carolina, I remember when I was 11 years old, 1974 I think, that was when North Carolina State won the championship. I was an anti-Carolina guy. I hated UNC. And yet, I ended up at UNC. But back then, I was in love with David Thompson.” Everyone was. In retrospect, we can see how an N.C. State Guy, in turn, inspired a colony of Carolina ballers who all became NBA Slam Dunk champions themselves following in Skywalker’s lineage—from Thompson (bornand-prepped in North Carolina and educated at North Carolina State) to Larry Nance (born in South Carolina and educated at Clemson) to Dominique Wilkins (raised in North Carolina) to Michael Jordan (raised in North Carolina) to Vince Carter (University of North Carolina) to John Wall (North Carolina native). “There is just something special about playing basketball at North Carolina,” says Carter. “I know how Mike influenced me is the same way David Thompson influenced Mike. We all shared a special bond there, especially us Tar Heels. On one hand, Michael Jordan was someone I looked up to. But on the other hand, Mike is like family to me at North Carolina. It’s a brotherhood.” Fellow Tar Heel and NBA All-Star Antawn Jamison elaborates, “When Vince Carter and I went to college, it was a great time to go to North Carolina. Not only were those Final Four teams loaded with NBA talent—from Shammond Williams, Makhtar N’Diaye and Brendan Haywood—but Vince and I would go head-to-head in practice and
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playing in the Olympics.” Carolina’s outreach over time stretches out to South Carolina, which may be seen in South Carolina prep star Ray Allen who carried on the legacy of Alex English before him. You even see it today in South Carolina’s college ranks, with head coach Frank Martin building up the Gamecocks basketball program to the level where South Carolina reached the 2017 NCAA Final Four. Keep in mind, The Carolinas are big enough to become America’s fifth mostpopulous state should North and South Carolina ever merge. Because of that, the two-as-one region remains a basketball stronghold still active today in the NBA through numerous legends.
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From Kevin Garnett being born in South Carolina, Jermaine O’Neal born-andprepped in South Carolina or Tracy McGrady being prepped in North Carolina, Carolina’s finest all were able to show fellow teens in the mid-’90s that you could jump from high school to the NBA. “All of us who went pro from high school in the ’90s formed a bond that we still share today,” says Garnett. “Seeing Kevin do it in 1995 made me believe I could do it, too,” says McGrady. Conversely around that same time, we saw four-year college product Tim Duncan graduating from Wake Forest to become the first pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, while he showed future North Carolina stars Chris Paul (Wake Forest) and Stephen Curry (Davidson) there were other routes to NBA stardom beginning in places other than high school or the University of North Carolina. “Tim was my guy growing up and one of the many reasons I loved Wake Forest basketball,” says Chris Paul, who himself was born in Winston-Salem, home of Wake Forest University. Stephen Curry, who attended Davidson University and also lived in nearby Charlotte before that because his father Dell Curry played with the NBA Hornets, concurs, saying, “I still remember hanging around gyms just so I could get a peek at Tim, and wait for my chance to approach him. “There were so many North Carolina guys to look up to in the ’90s,” says Stephen Curry, “but I still can remember seeing Tim for the first time.” When you get right down to it, The Carolina Guys tag seems to stretch beyond party lines nowadays, whether you are a six-time All-Star who played high school and college ball here (Curry), a six-time All-Star who just played college ball here (Irving) or a pro who made Charlotte your home before you became a three-time All-Star (Kemba Walker). The Carolina Guys once-exclusive, now-elite club really does include all kinds nowadays, which is precisely what makes The Carolinas the hot hoop bed it is today.
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The 1994 NBA All-Star Game gave Scottie Pippen the spotlight that—up until that point—was never cast upon him.
irst and foremost, there were the red shoes. Yes, the shoes. “I don’t remember a whole lot about the game,” says Hall of Famer and head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Stars Lenny Wilkens. “But I do remember the red shoes.” Oh, those shoes. “There was some color to the game,” Jackie MacMullan wrote in the Boston Globe, “and most of it was provided by Scottie Pippen, the Air Apparent who took the court with the ugliest pair of blood red sneakers that ever came off the Nike assembly line.” It was the 1994 NBA All-Star Game, and it was partially distinguished by what it did not have, that being the presence of the best basketball player on Planet Earth. That’s because Michael Jordan was off playing baseball. There was a star vacuum, if you will, and this is said with all due respect to such luminaries as Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Dominique Wilkins, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, and a 21-year old Shaquille O’Neal performing in the second of his 15 All-Star Games. On this occasion in Minneapolis, Scottie Pippen took advantage of his opportunity. He had been around for seven years, and he had clearly established himself as a premier player. He had been a Dream Teamer two years earlier, remember? So it wasn’t as if he needed an ID card to get into the 1994 All-Star Game. But when you are a teammate of Michael Jordan, life is different and proper recognition is a bit hard to come by. Dream Teamer or not, Pippen was looked on as being Michael Jordan’s wingman, his on-court little brother. With Big Brother away fulfilling his diamond destiny, Little Brother took command of the stage. Scottie Pippen scored 29 points, including five three-pointers. He had 11 rebounds. He was an undisputed MVP as the East prevailed, 127-118. His validation as a certified superstar was complete.
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Along with Scottie Pippen (right), first-time All-Star Horace Grant (left) was a player from the Chicago Bulls’ 1991-1993 championship teams.
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The only NBA person of consequence who seemed to be aware of him was Chicago’s general manager Jerry Krause. In his scouting days, Krause had acquired the nickname “Sleuth” for his legendary mysterious modus operandi. Krause, who two decades earlier had mined the small college world, coming up with a Winston-Salem guard named Earl Monroe, prided himself on discovering unknown talent. He went about his seduction of Pippen in classic Sleuth fashion. “Jerry was like a little cat burglar around me,” Pippen told McCallum. “Everything was done as a big secret. He didn’t want anyone to know that he even knew who I was.” But the cover was blown somewhat when Pippen was invited to some postseason tournaments. Krause had to maneuver in order to bag his quarry, agreeing to a trade with Seattle before the Sonics selected Pippen with the fifth pick of the 1987 NBA Draft (in exchange Seattle received Olden Polynice, who Chicago drafted at No. 8). Pippen joined a Jordan-centric Bulls team that had gone 40-42 the year before. It was evident from the start that this slender 6-7 kid was going to be a force on defense, what with his long arms and boundless energy. His offense was sporadic (7.9 points a game), but, as was the case with all his teammates, figuring out how to play with the majestic Jordan was not easy. The Bulls won the first of their six championships in 1991, and by this time Pippen and Jordan
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There was no exaggerating the Jordan thing. Jack McCallum addressed this in his book Dream Team. “Since 1987, when he came to Chicago, Pippen has had very little reality outside what can be framed with the all-consuming force that is Jordan,” writes McCallum. “Over the years I must have had 300 conversations with coaches, GMs and other players about Scottie Pippen, and I honestly wonder if any of them ever proceeded without a mention of Jordan.” Think about that. If Scottie Pippen hadn’t exactly come to the NBA from nowhere, it wasn’t all that far off. He was an unrecruited 6-2 point guard in Hamburg, Arkansas. Central Arkansas, an NAIA school, gave him a shot, but it wasn’t until he sprouted five more inches that he even received a scholarship. He played his way into being an NAIA All-American, but was denied maximum exposure in that world because his team never qualified for the NAIA Tournament in Kansas City.
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Playing in his second All-Star Game, Shaquille O’Neal asserted himself as a dominant force, even among the League’s best.
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had worked things out, especially on the defensive end. Michael had the worldwide acclaim as being as good on defense as he was on offense. But guess what? So was Scottie Pippen. “Defensively, we did it together,” he told McCallum. “I can’t take the credit and he can’t take the credit. In ’91 (the Finals against Los Angeles), I got some credit for defending Magic, but Michael defended him, too. We wore down Magic together. We had good defensive chemistry. We we’re always in tune of how to double-team the ball.” His scoring totals increased each of his first five seasons, moving from his rookie year of 7.9 points a game to 14.4, 16.5, 17.8 and 21.0. By 1991-92, he was tacking on 7.7 rebounds and 7 assists a game. He was always among the steals leaders. When the time came to select the 12 men who would usher the USA professionals in to the Olympic arena, Pippen was a rather easy choice. Team USA was guaranteed at least one lockdown defender, in case one would be needed. It turned out that the team would need his other skills even more. John Stockton was injured in the qualifying Tournament of the Americas and never played a second in Barcelona. Magic came up hobbling at one point, and so it was Pippen, a 6-2 point guard in high school, who was actually running the Dream Team for a while. When the 1992 Olympics were over, and the Dream Team had made an everlasting mark on the entire basketball world— creating an interest that now annually places over a hundred internationals in the NBA— Big Brother and Little Brother went back home in search of a third straight NBA title. The Knicks had earned the first postseason seed with 60 wins to Chicago’s 57, but when the inevitable playoff confrontation materialized, the Bulls took New York down in 6 and won yet another title by defeating Charles Barkley and the Suns in 6. And then Michael Jordan stunned the world, saying he was done with basketball, and not only that, but he was going to turn his attention to his childhood love—baseball. So much for the Bulls, right? No, not quite. This was now Scottie Pippen & Co. He would lead the team in scoring (22.0), assists (5.9) and steals (211), while finishing second to Horace Grant in rebounds (8.7). He was his usual impeccable self on defense, earning his third straight First Team All-Defensive citation. The Bulls surprised everyone by winning 55 games. They swept Cleveland in the first round and then took the Knicks to a Game 7. Pippen was a First Team All-NBA player for the first time. Above all, there had been his statement in Minneapolis. He had grabbed a spotlight that had traditionally been focused on Michael Jordan and shone it on himself. He even figured in Lenny Wilkens’ fondest remembrance of that particular All-Star experience. “At the practice the day before, Shaq was shooting
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around and I went up to him,” recalls Wilkens. “I told him that if he learned a little drop step he’d have a move that would just about guarantee him a three-point play chance every time. He looked at me and said, ‘Coach, you ever play in this league?’ Well, Scottie heard that and he went to the other end of the court to tell the rest of the team and everyone started razzing him. The next day Shaq shows up with a camera and said he wanted to have his picture taken with me. He said he’d been talking to his dad and he told him I was pretty good.” The game itself was his from the get-go. “Pippen was not subtle in his approach to this outing,” reported MacMullan, who would become the first female recipient of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award. “He shot the first time it landed in his hands, and he kept on shooting until his 29 points earned him a much-deserved MVP trophy and put him in the real MVP race—the one for the League’s best.” The East was up 72-64 at the half, and that lead was never relinquished. When the West did succeed in narrowing the margin to two at 117-115 with 3:15 to play, guess who relieved the pressure with a bucket? Mr. Pippen, of course. He seemed to have more energy than the rest of the All-Stars put together. “Watching him shoot threes from all over the floor was entertaining,” declared MacMullan. “Watch him pull down rebounds and then push the ball up the floor, awakened images of those glory days when superstars were multidimensional.” The entire performance screamed “Who needs Michael?” to the basketball world, not that Pippen would admit it directly. “I wouldn’t say it was a statement,” he maintained, “but maybe getting some justice. Having Michael on the club overshadowed guys like B.J. (Armstrong) and Horace (Grant), and to some extent, myself.” Oh, and the shoes. What was up with the hideous red shoes? “I wore them today because I wanted to be different,” he shrugged. Well done. That was one mission accomplished, for sure. Wilkens says Scottie certainly didn’t need to prove anything to him. “It may have surprised some people,” Wilkens points out, “but the people who knew the game knew what a great player he was.” Basketball fans know the rest of the story. Michael stayed away one more year, returning for the final 17 games of the 1994-95 season. The Bulls would win titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Scottie Pippen would be a First Team All-NBA selection in 1994, 1995 and 1996. He would keep being a First Team All-Defensive player through 1999. He would join Jordan as the only players to win an NBA Championship and Olympic gold medal twice (1992, 1996). He would enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. And he would never wear those red shoes again. At least not in public.
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PEARLS OF WISDOM
Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, the blueprint to many of today’s dazzling ballhandlers, talks about his time in North Carolina playing at Winston-Salem State University.
oday we have James Harden and Kyrie Irving to dazzle us with their handles and their poetry in motion moves. Long before them, in the ’60s and ’70s, there was another bearded ballhandler: Earl Monroe. People flocked to northern Philly to see Monroe excite the playgrounds with his array of moves before he took his silky smooth game to Winston-Salem State in North Carolina. “Earl Monroe was Magic before Magic Johnson and he was Pearl before Pearl Washington,” says Hall of Fame basketball journalist Peter Vecsey.
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“The first time I saw him play in college at Winston-Salem State I was in the army at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville. Once I’d seen him play, I was like: ‘Jesus what was that?’ I thought to myself that I should just give up the game! Pete Maravich was in high school at North Carolina at the time, he was another guy that made me feel that I was in the wrong sport. Which is why I became a journalist!” At Winston-Salem State, Monroe was dominant, averaging 41.5 points per game in his senior year of college in 1967, as he helped lead the school to a Division II national title. It was during the time of racial segregation in the country, but piqued by the curiosity of a young man whose game inspired nicknames like “Black Magic,” “Black Jesus” and “The Pearl,” Monroe helped chip down the invisible walls that separated blacks and whites. Needless to say, nobody could stop Monroe when the ball was in his hand. He was one of the most dominant collegiate players of his generation. Post-college, Monroe took his talents closer to home. Monroe was the second pick in the 1967 NBA Draft by the Baltimore Bullets, just a two-hour drive on I-95 from Philly. It was there where a national audience got to witness the on-court swagger that was the blueprint for many future ballplayers who liked to display panache. He averaged 23.7 points in his four seasons in Baltimore before taking his brand of showmanship to a stage that matched his game. In a trade to New York to bolster the Knicks’ title hopes, Monroe combined with Walt Frazier to form one of the more electric backcourts in NBA history. Monroe would tame his game to fit the established Knicks roster and would eventually help the franchise win its second NBA Championship in 1973. Recalls Vecsey: “In today’s day and age when superstars are joining each other all over the place, most of the time is because they want to, and sometimes it’s because of trades like Boston when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined [Paul] Pierce. Earl came in a trade, and he came in and sacrificed, he changed his game. He knew it was [Frazier’s] team and he was fine with that; he sacrificed points and shots and tried to do other things. He took a back seat, and many other players won’t do that. It’s kind of like what Dwyane Wade did when LeBron joined him in Miami. I remember Wade telling me the season before it happened: ‘I really want LeBron because I know he’s going to put years on my career,’” Vecsey says. Earl Monroe’s influence was so ingrained in the game of basketball that both the Knicks and Wizards retired his number (15 in New York and 10 in Washington), and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990. While Monroe played in an underappreciated era in the NBA—right after the ‘60s that featured titans like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West and before Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan—his influence can still be felt on the game years after he retired. Spike Lee named the main character Jesus Shuttlesworth after him in his 1998 film He Got Game (Monroe also served as a technical consultant on the movie).
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“Covering Earl made me more creative as a writer. It wasn’t enough to say he turned and twisted you. I remember a few things I came up with for him: I would call a move dance of destruction when he started do the hand-to-hand and turned on you. I remember I said when he went into the spin cycle he would leave opponents drip dry,” recalls Vecsey. “Earl was universally accepted as a revolutionary ballplayer from people around the game.”
How did you get the nicknames The Pearl, Black Jesus and Black Magic?
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He was a great coach. He won over 800 games and he’s in the Hall of Fame. At first, he never saw me play, because back in those days, guys who previously went to the school acted as his scout. They would go to their hometown and see a player that might be good enough to play for Coach Gaines, and they would let him know about that player. I didn’t see him until I got down to college. I went with a friend, they arranged for the both of us to come down. He was a tough coach. I thought I should be starting and playing more during my freshmen year; he didn’t believe in freshmen starting and in those days. Freshmen at smaller schools were able to play while at the larger schools freshmen had to sit out and then come in their sophomore year on varsity. Certainly, I didn’t think it was fair. When I came in the game, the team was usually down, then shortly thereafter we’ll be up, and the next thing I know I’m back on the bench. I wasn’t that crazy about that and I let him know about it; he then preceded to call me into his office. He made me sit while he made a phone call, and the call was to my mother! She got on the phone and said: “Earl, you need stay right there and let this man do what he’s supposed to do.”
If Coach Gaines didn’t make that phone call to your mom, the Earl Monroe that we know today might not have existed. Probably not, because since I knew what type of player I was,. I thought I can play at any school. After my sophomore year, Big House let me play my game.
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Black Jesus—someone made a comment while I was playing, saying that I can walk on water. From there people picked it up and kind of enhanced it and whatnot. Black Magic was because of all the stuff I was doing with the ball which wasn’t the norm of that time: the no-look passes and the fancy dribbles. The Pearl came from when I was in college my senior year. During the first 10 games of the season, I was averaging close to 50 points and a guy wrote a column, and the caption on the column was “These Are Earl Pearls.” They took that a little further and that’s how “Earl The Pearl” stuck.
You played under Clarence “Big House” Gaines during your career at Winston-Salem State. What was it like playing for him?
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The ’60s were volatile years in American history, with the Civil Rights Movement going on. Was it hard to play in places that didn’t welcome African Americans? In those times, it was going on and you saw it all around you. You knew where you could go and where you couldn’t go. You knew you couldn’t go on this side of town or in a certain place, so we just didn’t go. There were other places that welcomed you, which were places with people that looked like us, and that was fine, because we didn’t really want to go to places where we weren’t welcomed.
How did playing in those conditions affect the black players on the team? We played most of our games against other historically black institutions. We played in the CIAA, which was the conference that we played in at that time. It was very competitive. Back in those days you had to realize blacks couldn’t go to all these big-time universities, so all the black players concentrated on these particular conferences. That’s where the competition was and the competition was fierce. It’s interesting that you ask that question. When we went in to play white schools, one of the problems I noticed is that players from the South never played against white players, while the players from the North played against white players all the time.
I’m trying to get a movie out now, The Magic of The Rams. It’s going to chronicle just those things. There was a lady by the name of Claudette Weston, she was married into the Reynolds family which was a prominent family in Winston-Salem. She was the benefactor of our school. She came to all our games and she was a great friend of
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During your senior year of at Winston-Salem State, you had one of the best seasons in NCAA history, averaging 41.5 points. The more your legend grew, the more people flocked to see you play. How did it feel to basically bring a segregated community together through basketball in such a turbulent time in American history?
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Coach Gaines. She came to him one day and said all my friends like to come out and see the games but they only pack 1,500 to 2,000 people. They arranged for us to play at the Coliseum which had [8,500] people. That’s how we got to be the main attraction down there. The Coliseum was Wake Forest’s homecourt. Consequentially we sold out that arena all the time, and people from all around the state got to know who we were because of word of mouth and because more people got to see us play.
By most accounts, Billy Packer is viewed as someone who helped integrate Winston-Salem by having these secret scrimmages. How did the scrimmages help change certain prejudices that white players had against blacks? Billy was at Wake Forest at the time and he used to arrange for these scrimmages to be played between Wake Forest and Winston-Salem. Those games were played very late at night, and the reason that these games were played at night was because white and blacks couldn’t play against each other. The good thing about having played those type of games were that they were competitive, but they let us know where we were talent-wise. It helped our confidence, and our confidence grew during the course of the year. Those games helped up to grow our confidence.
Did those games kind of help ease tensions between black and white players? We got along with the Wake Forest guys and they got along with us. We somewhat became friends and the interesting thing about that is sports bring people together. At a lot of other schools, black people were being ostracized. In North Carolina, it wasn’t as bad as it was in other parts of the South. That was because primarily the economic status of black people in our area was good and that was because of people like the Reynolds family. You would go to a high school football game, and if a kid makes the football team, they’ll have a new car. So when you go to games, the parking lot looked like a dealership. Blacks owned their own transportation system and cab companies so it wasn’t bad like it was in Mississippi where black people didn’t have these things available to them.
What do you recall from the 1967 team that won the NCAA Division II title?
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We were a close-knit team, we had guys from all over the country that came together for a common cause. I scored a lot of points, but at the same time, guys weren’t jealous of me scoring and I wasn’t jealous of anything that they did. We stayed together, we were about each other, and that was the most important thing that I took away. We did everything together. Even today we keep in touch with each other, we still go to homecoming together. That time of my life was probably the best time of my life because I met friends that became lifelong friends.
This flu season, consider a flu shot designed specifically for adults 65 and older.1 to fish at my favorite spot
As you age, your immune system may weaken. Traditional flu shots may not work as well for older adults compared to younger adults.2,3 FLUAD is a flu shot for adults 65 and older that contains an immune-enhancing ingredient and is proven to provide a strong immune response to help protect against the flu.1
Learn more at FLUAD.com
It’s time to ask your doctor or pharmacist about FLUAD Important Safety Information What is FLUAD? FLUAD is a vaccine that helps protect against the flu. FLUAD is for people aged 65 years and older. Vaccination with FLUAD may not protect all people who receive the vaccine. Who should not get FLUAD? You should not get FLUAD if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine in the past, including egg protein, or a severe reaction to a previous influenza vaccine. Who may not be able to get FLUAD? Tell your health care provider if you: • Have ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome (severe muscle weakness) after getting a flu shot. The decision to give FLUAD should be made by your health care provider, based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks. • Have an allergy to rubber latex. FLUAD does not contain latex, but the tip caps of the prefilled syringes contain natural rubber latex, which may cause an allergic reaction in persons sensitive to latex. What if I have a weakened immune system? Tell your health care provider if you have problems with your immune system, as your immune response to the vaccine may be reduced.
Holly Springs, North Carolina 27540
© 2017 Seqirus Inc.
Designed for adults 65 and older
What are the most common side effects of FLUAD? • Pain or tenderness where you got the shot • Muscle aches • Headache • Fatigue These are not all of the possible side effects of FLUAD. You can ask your health care provider for a complete list of possible side effects. Ask your health care provider for advice about any side effects that concern you. You may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) by calling 1-800-822-7967 or by going to http://vaers.hhs.gov. To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Seqirus Inc. at 1-855-358-8966 or VAERS at 1-800-822-7967 and http://vaers.hhs.gov. For more information, please see Brief Summary of Prescribing Information for FLUAD on the following pages. References: 1. FLUAD [package insert]. Holly Springs, NC: Seqirus Vaccines Limited; 2017. 2. Reber AJ, Chirkova T, Kim JH, et al. Immunosenescence and challenges of vaccination against influenza in the aging population. Aging Dis. 2012;3(1):68-90. 3. Goodwin K, Viboud C, Simonsen L. Antibody response to influenza vaccination in the elderly: a quantitative review. Vaccine. 2006;24(8):1159-1169.
FLUAD (Influenza Vaccine, Adjuvanted) Suspension for Intramuscular Injection 2017-2018 Formula Initial U.S. Approval: 2015
Table 1. Percentages of Subjects ≥ 65 Years of Age With Solicited Local and Systemic Adverse Reactions in Days 1-7 After Administration of FLUAD or AGRIFLU (a U.S. Licensed Comparator) NCT01162122 Study 1
FLUAD (Na=3418-3496) Percentage
AGRIFLU (Na=3420-3488) Percentage
25 to ≤ 50 mm
51 to ≤ 100 mm
See package insert for full prescribing information. 1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE
FLUAD is an inactivated influenza vaccine indicated for active immunization against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine. FLUAD is approved for use in persons 65 years of age and older. Approval is based on the immune response elicited by FLUAD. Data demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLUAD are not available. [see Clinical Studies (14)]
Local Injection site Pain
Do not administer FLUAD to anyone with a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) to any component of the vaccine, including egg protein [see Description (11)], or to a previous influenza vaccine.
5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
5.1 Guillain-Barré Syndrome If Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has occurred within 6 weeks of receipt of prior influenza vaccine, the decision to give FLUAD should be based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks. The 1976 swine influenza vaccine was associated with an elevated risk of GBS. Evidence for a causal relationship of GBS with other influenza vaccines is inconclusive; if an excess risk exists, it is probably slightly more than 1 additional case per 1 million persons vaccinated. [see References (1)] 5.2 Preventing and Managing Allergic Reactions Appropriate medical treatment and supervision must be available to manage possible anaphylactic reactions following administration of the vaccine. 5.3 Latex The tip caps of the prefilled syringes contain natural rubber latex which may cause allergic reactions in latex sensitive individuals. [see Description (11)] 5.4 Altered Immunocompetence The immune response to FLUAD in immunocompromised persons, including individuals receiving immunosuppressive therapy, may be lower than in immunocompetent individuals. [see Concurrent Use With Immunosuppressive Therapies (7.2)] 5.5 Syncope Syncope (fainting) may occur in association with administration of injectable vaccines including FLUAD. Ensure procedures are in place to avoid injury from falling associated with syncope. 5.6 Limitations of Vaccine Effectiveness Vaccination with FLUAD may not protect all vaccine recipients against influenza disease.
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS
6.1 Clinical Trials Experience Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, the adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a vaccine cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another vaccine and may not reflect rates observed in clinical practice. Solicited adverse reactions were assessed in a multicenter, observerblind, randomized controlled study (Study 1) conducted in the United States, Colombia, Panama and the Philippines. The safety analysis set included 3545 FLUAD recipients and 3537 AGRIFLU (Influenza Vaccine) recipients. The enrolled subject population in Study 1 was 65 to 97 years of age (mean 72 years) and 64% were female. Within each treatment group, 53% were Asian, 28% were Caucasian, 18% were Hispanic, 1% were Black, and fewer than 1% each were Native American/Alaskan, Pacific Islander/Hawaiian, or Other. Solicited local (injection site) and systemic adverse reactions were collected from subjects in Study 1 who completed a symptom diary card for seven days following vaccination. The reported frequencies of solicited local and systemic adverse events from Study 1 are presented in Table 1.
> 100 mm
25 to ≤ 50 mm
51 to ≤ 100 mm
> 100 mm
25 to ≤ 50 mm
51 to ≤ 100 mm
> 100 mm
≥ 38.0°C to ≤ 38.4°C ≥ 38.5°C to ≤ 38.9°C 39.0°C to ≤ 40.0°C ≥ 40.0°C
Systemic (cont from previous page)
N = number of subjects with safety data.
Moderate: pain, tenderness, myalgia, fatigue, headache, arthralgia, chills, nausea, vomiting defined as “some limitation in normal daily activity”, diarrhea defined as “4 to 5 stools a day”.
Severe: pain, tenderness, myalgia, fatigue, headache, arthralgia, chills, nausea, vomiting defined as “unable to perform normal daily activity”, diarrhea defined as “6 or more watery stools a day”.
Potentially life threatening (PLT) reaction defined as requiring emergency room visit or hospitalization.
Unsolicited Adverse Events (AEs): The clinical safety of FLUAD was assessed in fifteen (15) randomized, controlled studies. The total safety population in these trials included 10,952 adults 65 years of age and older, comprising 5,754 who received FLUAD and 5,198 who received other US licensed influenza vaccines. The percentage of subjects with an unsolicited AE within 30 days following vaccination was similar between vaccine groups (16.9% FLUAD vs. 18.0% active comparator). Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) and Deaths: In Study 1, in which subjects were followed for SAEs and deaths for one year following vaccination (N=3,545 FLUAD, N=3,537 AGRIFLU), the percentages of subjects with an SAE were similar between vaccine groups (7% FLUAD vs. 7% AGRIFLU). Four SAEs (1 FLUAD and 3 AGRIFLU) were assessed as related to study vaccination over one year of observation and 2 of these occurred (1 FLUAD and 1 AGRIFLU) within 21 days following study vaccination. There were 98 deaths (n=52 FLUAD, n=46 AGRIFLU) over one year of which none occurred within the first 21 days following vaccination. In 14 additional randomized, controlled studies, SAEs were collected over a 3 to 4-week period in 4 studies, over a 8-week period in 1 study, and over a 6-month period in 9 studies (N= 2,209 FLUAD, N=1,661 US licensed influenza vaccines). The percentages of subjects with an SAE within 30 days (1.1% FLUAD vs. 1.8% AGRIFLU) or within 6 months (4.3% FLUAD vs. 5.9% AGRIFLU) were similar between vaccine groups. The percentages of deaths within 30 days (0.3% FLUAD vs. 0.6% active comparator) or within 6 months (1.0% FLUAD vs. 1.5% active comparator) were also similar. Adverse Events of Special Interest (AESIs): Rates of new onset neuroinflammatory and immune mediated diseases were assessed in a post hoc analysis of the 15 randomized controlled studies over the time periods specified above for SAEs. The percentage of subjects with an AESI at any time after vaccination was similar between vaccine groups (0.9% FLUAD vs. 0.9% active comparator). There were no notable imbalances for specific AESIs. Safety of Annual Revaccination: In 5 of the randomized, controlled trials, subjects were followed for SAEs and deaths for 6 months following revaccination (N=492 FLUAD, N=330 US licensed and non-US licensed influenza vaccines). After the second annual vaccination, the percentages of subjects with an SAE were similar between vaccine groups (6.1% FLUAD vs. 5.5% comparator influenza vaccines); 23 deaths (n=17 FLUAD, n=6 comparator influenza vaccines) were reported. Causes of death included cardiovascular events, malignancy, trauma, gastrointestinal disorders, and respiratory failure. Clinical characteristics of the deaths, including the variable causes, timing since vaccination, and underlying medical conditions, do not provide evidence for a causal relationship with FLUAD. 6.2 Postmarketing Experience The following adverse events have been spontaneously reported during post-approval use of FLUAD in Europe and other regions since 1997.
Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to the vaccine. Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Thrombocytopenia (some cases were severe with platelet counts less than 5,000 per mm3), lymphadenopathy General disorders and administration site conditions: Extensive swelling of injected limb lasting more than one week, injection site cellulitis-like reactions (some cases of swelling, pain, and redness extending more than 10 cm and lasting more than 1 week) Immune system disorders: Allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock, anaphylaxis and angioedema Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Muscular weakness Nervous system disorders: Encephalomyelitis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, convulsions, neuritis, neuralgia, paraesthesia, syncope, presyncope Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Generalized skin reactions including erythema multiforme, urticaria pruritus or non-specific rash Vascular disorders: Vasculitis with transient renal involvement
7 DRUG INTERACTIONS 7.1 Concomitant Use With Other Vaccines There are no data to assess the concomitant administration of FLUAD with other vaccines. If FLUAD is to be given at the same time as other injectable vaccine(s), the vaccine(s) should be administered at different injection sites. Do not mix FLUAD with any other vaccine in the same syringe. 7.2 Concurrent Use With Immunosuppressive Therapies Immunosuppressive or corticosteroid therapies may reduce the immune response to FLUAD.
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS 8.1 Pregnancy Pregnancy Category B: A reproductive and developmental toxicity study has been performed in rabbits with a dose level that was approximately 15 times the human dose based on body weight. The study revealed no evidence of impaired female fertility or harm to the fetus due to FLUAD. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this vaccine should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. In a reproductive and developmental toxicity study, the effect of FLUAD on embryo-fetal and post-natal development was evaluated in pregnant rabbits. Animals were administered FLUAD by intramuscular injection twice prior to gestation, during the period of organogenesis (gestation day 7) and later in pregnancy (gestation day 20), 0.5 mL (45 mcg)/rabbit/occasion (approximately 15-fold excess relative to the adult human dose based on body weight). No adverse effects on mating, female fertility, pregnancy, embryo-fetal development, or post-natal development were observed. There were no vaccine-related fetal malformations or other evidence of teratogenesis. 8.4 Pediatric Use The safety and effectiveness of FLUAD in the pediatric population has not been established. 8.5 Geriatric Use Safety and immunogenicity of FLUAD have been evaluated in adults 65 years of age and older. [See Adverse Reactions (6.1) and Clinical Studies (14)] FLUAD is a registered trademark of Seqirus Inc. Manufactured by: Seqirus Vaccines Limited, An affiliate of: Seqirus Inc., Holly Springs, NC 27540, USA 1-855-358-8966
Giannis Antetokounmpo, East All-Star top vote-getter
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LeBron James, West All-Star top vote-getter
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GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO Position: FORWARD Height: 6-11 Weight: 242 Born: 12.6.94 Country: GREECE Year in NBA: 6 All-Star: 3
hen the Milwaukee Bucks drafted Antetokounmpo with the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the franchise knew they had star potential, but the young Greek star has surpassed all expectations. Antetokounmpo made good on the team’s projections two years ago with his first All-Star selection. This year, Antetokounmpo has only become one the frontrunners for the League’s Most Valuable Player Award with per-game averages of 26.6 points (on 58 -percent shooting), 12.8 rebounds, and 6 rebounds. Offensively, he’s one of the toughest assignments for any defender. With his long arms and guard skills, Antetokounmpo can get his shot off at will and defensively, he uses his gifts to block 1.5 shots and steal 1.3 balls a night. As the Eastern Conference’s leading vote-getter, Antetokounmpo is making his debut as the captain of his own All-Star team.
88 | NBA All-Star 2019
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STEPHEN CURRY Position: GUARD Height: 6-3 Weight: 190 Born: 3.14.88 College: DAVIDSON Year in NBA: 10 All-Star: 6
urry will in all likelihood finish his career as the greatest shooter in NBA history. He’s a career .478 shooter over his 10 years in the League, an unfathomable percentage considering almost half of those attempts are three-pointers (where he has made 44 percent of them) and he’s automatic at the free-throw line (.905). At just 30, he is already third all-time in threes made and should overtake Ray Allen for the top spot (2,973) in another three seasons. Curry already has two League MVPs and three NBA Championship rings on his mantel, but an All-Star MVP has eluded him. He’s yet to ever get on one of those unconscious shooting streaks in an All-Star Game, but if he did, Curry can be sure to make more room in his trophy case.
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SCORE BIG WITH A FAN FAVORITE
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JOEL EMBIID Position: CENTER Height: 7-0 Weight: 250 Born: 3.16.94 College: KANSAS Year in NBA: 3 All-Star: 2
o player on the 76ers embodies the “Trust the Process” mantra more than Embiid. Selected by Philadelphia third overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, he was sidelined with injuries for two years before providing a glimpse into his immense talents over 31 tantalizing games during the 2016-17 season. Last year, Embiid was selected to his first All-Star game and he is back again in 2019 playing the best basketball of his career. Embiid is a bully down low on the block but also has the ability to step back, create off the dribble and space the floor, making him one of the toughest players in the League to guard on a nightly basis. Embiid’s presence on both sides of the court has shown why he is considered a generational talent, and perhaps a future MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, or both, placing in the top-10 in per-game averages for points (26.9), rebounds (13.3) and blocks (2.0).
92 | NBA All-Star 2019
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PAUL GEORGE Position: FORWARD Height: 6-9 Weight: 220 Born: 5.2.90 College: FRESNO STATE Year in NBA: 9 All-Star: 6
t certainly looks like George made the right decision last summer to re-sign long term with Oklahoma City. George is in the midst of a banner year, averaging 26.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, all career highs. One of the preeminent two-way players in the League, George has developed a nice rapport with one-time MVP Russell Westbrook to form one of the most lethal duos in the game. A versatile and rangy defender with three All-Defensive selections to his name, George can capably guard four positions on the floor. If he keeps up his production, George has a chance to add another MVP to the Thunder roster.
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KEMBA WALKER Position: GUARD Height: 6-1 Weight: 184 Born: 5.8.90 College: CONNECTICUT Year in NBA: 8 All-Star: 3
alker has spent all his time in Charlotte since the team used the ninth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft to select him out of UConn, where he was the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 2011 while helping the Huskies win a national championship. His tenure in Charlotte has been so long, he started out his career as a Bobcat before the franchise returned back to its original name in 2014. Since his arrival in Charlotte, Walker has been Mr. Hornet—last year he became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and has been the city’s lone All-Star representative for the past three years. This All-Star selection will be extra special for Walker—he was named as a starter for the first time and will get to be introduced to his home crowd. Walker is in the midst of a career season, averaging 25 points, 2.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 47 games. The only thing that would make it all better is if he took All-Star MVP, something the Charlotte faithful will be rooting for on Sunday.
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KHRIS MIDDLETON Position: FORWARD Height: 6-8 Weight: 222 Born: 8.12.91 College: TEXAS A&M Year in NBA: 7 All-Star: 1
second-round pick selected 39th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, Middleton was traded the following year to Milwaukee and has continually improved to become a first-time All-Star this season. Middleton’s arrival to the Bucks came at the same time as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Middleton has been the steady, often unheralded number two behind Giannis’ rise to superstardom. Together they have taken a 15-win team and turned it into one with the best record in the NBA. Middleton does a bit of everything, putting up per-game averages of 17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 37.8 percent from beyond the arc. Middleton put the League on notice in Milwaukee’s First Round series loss last year against Boston, averaging 24.7 points per game and shooting an absurd 61 percent from downtown. The Bucks have title aspirations, and Middleton will be a crucial team leader on their path through the playoffs.
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NIKOLA JOKIĆ Position: CENTER Height: 7-0 Weight: 250 Born: 2.19.95 Country: SERBIA Year in NBA: 4 All-Star: 1
okić may be listed as the Denver Nuggets’ center, but inside his big man stature lies a playmaking point guard. One of the most unique players in the League, Jokić is the rare big man whose greatest skill isn’t scoring buckets around the rim, but setting up teammates. Jokić leads the Nuggets in assists with his blend of acute court vision and awareness to go with his high vantage point of being a 7-footer. Before you chalk it up to passes of the dump-off and kick-out variety, Jokić is known for his dimes with extra mustard—bounce passes in traffic, deft touch ones and even long bombs that span the length of the court. This will be Jokić’s All-Star debut, giving him the ultimate platform of scoring weapons to dish to on Sunday.
100 | NBA All-Star 2019
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RUSSELL WESTBROOK Position: GUARD Height: 6-3 Weight: 200 Born: 11.12.88 College: UCLA Year in NBA: 11 All-Star: 8
hen it’s all said and done, Westbrook will go down as the triple-double king. After two consecutive seasons averaging a triple-double—Westbrook has put up averages of 28.5 points, 10.5 assists and 10.4 rebounds over the span—he is on pace to do it for an unprecedented third time with 21.8 PPG, 10.7 APG and 10.6 RPG through this season’s first 36 games. Over his career, Westbrook has amassed 117 trip-dubs in 184 games and has a good chance to reach Oscar Robertson’s all-time record of 181. While the dynamic Thunder guard has twice been named All-Star MVP (in 2015 and 2016) and twice scored 41 points in the All-Star Game (2015 and 2017), he has never collected a triple-double in the midseason showcase—to which, Westbrook will answer, “Why not?”
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Stream Live Games NBA Regular Season, out-of-market games only. Blackout restrictions apply. Message and data rates may apply. Subscriptions may automatically renew each season at the then-current subscription rate. Visit nba.com/leaguepass for blackout restrictions and other applicable terms and conditions. NBA, the NBA logo and team identiďŹ cations are trademarks of NBA Properties, Inc. and the respective member teams. ÂŠ 2019 NBA Properties, Inc. Photo by Getty Images. All Rights Reserved.
BLAKE GRIFFIN Position: FORWARD Height: 6-10 Weight: 250 Born: 3.16.89 College: OKLAHOMA Year in NBA: 9 All-Star: 6
n All-Star in each of his first five seasons, Griffin is back after a three-year absence. Injuries slowed down Griffin the last three years and he was traded from Los Angeles to Detroit in the middle of last season. Now in his first full season with the Pistons, he is healthy and playing perhaps the best basketball of his career. His 25.5 points per game is a career high. Once known for his electrifying dunks as part of the Lob City Clippers, Griffin improved his shooting range in recent seasons and is now averaging nearly 7 threes per game and shooting them at a solid 36.1 percent clip. Griffin has also been more inclined to have the ball in his hands, leading to the highest usage rate of his career. His 5.2 assists per game are fifth in the NBA for all frontcourt players.
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D’ANGELO RUSSELL Position: GUARD Height: 6-5 Weight: 198 Born: 2.23.96 College: OHIO STATE Year in NBA: 4 All-Star: 1
ll-Star berths were always part of the potential for Russell, and this year he’s made good on the praise heaped on him by talent evaluators when he was tabbed as the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. It did take a change of scenery to Brooklyn in order to untap his All-Star potential. For the season, Russell is having a banner year—his 19.6 points and 6.4 assists per game lead the team and are career highs—but more importantly, he is leading Brooklyn to contention in the Eastern Conference, a development few predicted coming into the season. Russell is blessed with cat-like quickness, allowing him to get to his sweet spots on the floor, and in a few years, has quickly developed a reputation for hitting clutch shots in big moments. Russell has the Nets in position for playoff runs for the next decade, and with that success, likely more future All-Star Games for himself as well.
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NIKOLA VUČEVIĆ Position: CENTER Height: 7-0 Weight: 260 Born: 10.24.90 College: USC Year in NBA: 8 All-Star: 1
ou would be forgiven if you’re not familiar with first-time All-Star Vučević —he’s only been one of the most underappreciated top players in the League. Since coming to Orlando in 2012 as part of an elaborate four-team trade, Vučević has been one of the top centers in the game, averaging a solid 16.5 PPG and 10 RPG in his seven Magic seasons. Not that the production was a surprise. After all, Vučević showed promise as a rookie playing limited minutes in Philadelphia, which selected him with the 16th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and where he showed he could score and rebound. Vučević is a bit of a throwback center, preferring to operate in the paint, but this season—one in which he’s putting up a career-best 20.6 points and 12 rebounds with a combined 2 steals and blocks per game—he’s introduced a threepoint stroke, making one per game while shooting .378 from deep.
108 | NBA All-Star 2019
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KYLE LOWRY Position: GUARD Height: 6-1 Weight: 196 Born: 3.25.86 College: VILLANOVA Year in NBA: 13 All-Star: 5
ith this year’s selection, the Toronto Raptor’s point guard makes his fifth straight All-Star appearance. Lowry’s shooting totals may be the lowest since his first season with the Raptors in 2012-13, but his 14 points per game are still right around his career average. Lowry has been able to facilitate the ball at a higher rate, doling out 9.6 assists per game and in part has helped engineer a career year on offense for Serge Ibaka, a breakout season from third year forward Pascal Siakam, and just as importantly, the Raptors have maintained their hold in the Eastern Conference. If Lowry keeps up his playmaking, the assist mark would shatter his previous career mark of 7.4, which he averaged during the 2013-14 campaign, a skill that will endear him to his fellow All-Star teammates.
110 | NBA All-Star 2019
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DIRK NOWITZKI Position: FORWARD Height: 7-0 Weight: 245 Born: 6.19.78 Country: GERMANY Year in NBA: 21 All-Star: 14
owitzki hardly needs an introduction. The man is after all, a 14-time All-Star, Finals MVP, League MVP and 12-time All-NBA player over his 21 NBA seasons. One of just seven players to crack the 30,000-point mark, Nowitzki has more than earned his honorary spot as a special All-Star addition by the NBA Commissioner. The lifelong Maverick has represented the city of Dallas and the team with utmost class since joining the organization in 1998 via a draft day trade. Since that franchise-altering acquisition, Nowitzki has become the team’s pillar, becoming the franchise leader in more categories than it’s possible to list and culminating in the raising of the team’s lone championship banner in 2011. The next stop in Nowitzki’s distinguished career will be the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
112 | NBA All-Star 2019
CHRIS SCHWEGLER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
VICTOR OLADIPO* Position: GUARD Height: 6-4 Weight: 210 Born: 5.4.92 College: INDIANA Year in NBA: 6 All-Star: 2
fter a breakout season last year that saw Oladipo earn his first All-Star appearance, a spot on the All-Defensive Team and the award for Most Improved Player in the League, the former second overall pick in 2013 has the Indiana Pacers rolling again. Oladipo’s rise to prominence as one of the premier two-way players in the game can be accredited greatly to his incredible speed. He is able to use his quickness to close out on players on the defensive side of the ball, averaging nearly 2 steals per game. And on offense, he has the ability to start out with the ball well past the three-point line and build up speed to blow by opponents to the basket. Unfortunately a knee injury ended a breakout year for the Indiana guard—his per game averages of 19.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists are all above his career line—but he’ll look to return to All-Star form in 2020.
STEVE BABINEAU/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
TEAM GIANNIS 114 | NBA All-Star 2019
* Injured, will not be playing
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MIKE BUDENHOLZER B College: POMONA COLLEGE Year as NBA Head Coach: 6 Year as All-Star Head Coach: 2
udenholzer is quickly earning a reputation as the head coach to hire to get a team to the next level. After being a team that oozed potential centered around MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks are at the top of the Eastern Conference in Budenholzer’s first year at the helm, earning him his second All-Star head coaching nod. Before that, Budenholzer quickly took an underachieving Atlanta Hawks squad to a 60-22 finish in 201415, his second year as a head coach. That year he made his All-Star head coaching debut and was named the NBA Coach of the Year as he led the Hawks to their first Conference Finals appearance. Before earning his head coaching stripes, Budenholzer served as Gregg Popovich’s longtime assistant in San Antonio for 18 years before making the leap to Atlanta. This season Budenholzer has the Bucks positioned for a deep playoff run as Milwaukee tries to maintain its lead to secure homecourt advantage. Budenholzer’s guidance has turned the Bucks around, particularly on the defensive end where after 53 games Milwaukee ranks first in limiting opponents’ effective field goal percentage and defensive rebounding percentage. If Budenholzer can continue the trend for the second half of the season, he could be looking at his second Coach of the Year trophy.
PATRICK ST. ANDREWS
TEAM GIANNIS 116 | NBA All-Star 2019
MIKE ROEMER (8); BROCK WILLIAMS-SMITH (3)/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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LEBRON JAMES Position: FORWARD Height: 6-8 Weight: 250 Born: 12.30.84 High School: ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY’S Year in NBA: 16 All-Star: 15
TEAM LEBRON 118 | NBA All-Star 2019
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
fter returning to Cleveland in 2014, bringing his hometown a championship in 2016 and cementing himself as one of the greatest basketball players ever, LeBron James set his sights west for Los Angeles to begin perhaps the final chapter of his legendary career. Despite a groin injury suffered on Christmas Day that caused James to miss a few weeks, there has been little decline in LeBron’s game even playing with a whole new supporting cast. LeBron remains a one-of-a-kind talent, a perennial MVP candidate who can dismantle opponents in any facet of the game. His per-game averages of 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists are expected at this point, but coming from a player LeBron’s age with as many miles on his body as he has, they are otherworldly. James led all players in All-Star votes and will captain a team for the second season in a row.
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KEVIN DURANT Position: FORWARD Height: 6-9 Weight: 240 Born: 9.29.88 College: TEXAS Year in NBA: 12 All-Star: 10
ith his 10th All-Star selection, Durant joins an elite group of 40 NBA players—all of which are either in the Hall of Fame or will likely get in—who have at least 10 All-Star nods on their résumé. Durant’s legacy is still being written, but his first 12 years has him fast-tracked to basketball immortality. This season Durant notched his 22,000th point. At just 30, Durant has a shot at 30,000 points, which would put him in an even more exclusive club of seven. It has been a while since Durant took home All-Star MVP—his third All-Star in 2012 when he dropped 36 points—but he certainly has the potential to erupt for another big game to take the hardware. As far as setting the record for All-Star selections, Durant will need nine more before he catches Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
120 | NBA All-Star 2019
NOAH GRAHAM/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
KYRIE IRVING Position: GUARD Height: 6-3 Weight: 193 Born: 3.23.92 College: DUKE Year in NBA: 8 All-Star: 6
ow in his second season with the Boston Celtics, Irving is making his sixth All-Star appearance. The former No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft led the East guards in votes by a large margin, with only Giannis Antetokounmpo garnering more votes in the conference. Watching Kyrie handle the basketball is a thing of beauty. He is often considered the best dribbler in the NBA, with an array of tricks to elude the defense. Whether it is with a crossover, a stepback or just blowing by a defender to the basket, Irving can excite the crowd before the ball ever leaves his hands. His handle skills also lead to his prolific scoring abilities (22.8 points per game) and facilitating wide-open teammates (6.7 assist per game, a career high). Irving has also made strides on defense since coming over to Boston and is averaging another career high with 1.6 steals per game.
122 | NBA All-Star 2019
BRIAN BABINEAU/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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KAWHI LEONARD Position: FORWARD Height: 6-7 Weight: 230 Born: 6.29.91 College: SAN DIEGO STATE Year in NBA: 8 All-Star: 3
fter a lost year that saw him play just nine games for the Spurs, Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors this offseason. With a fresh start, Leonard has quickly reclaimed his place as the best two-way player in the NBA who finds himself square in the conversation for a number of postseason awards, namely MVP with the way he has the Raptors positioned near the top in the East. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year continues to be one of the Leagueâ€™s premier ball hawks with 1.9 steals per game. On offense, Leonardâ€™s 27.5 points per game place him in the top 5 in the League and in the running for MVP. With Leonard set to test free agency this upcoming offseason, the Raptors took a gamble trading for him. So far he has been nothing short of a success, and if Leonard brings Toronto to the Finals for a shot at the NBA championship, it would all be worth it.
124 | NBA All-Star 2019
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JAMES HARDEN Position: GUARD Height: 6-5 Weight: 220 Born: 8.26.89 College: ARIZONA STATE Year in NBA: 10 All-Star: 7
arden is attempting to accomplish something only 11 others have done before: win back-to-back MVP Awards. After last year’s MVP season, Harden has staved off a slow start to become one of the frontrunners for the Podoloff Trophy again. Harden has proved he’s one of the craftiest scorers—over the last five years since becoming a full-time starter since arriving in Houston, he’s averaged 27 PPG—but this season he’s taken it up another notch. Since the calendar turned 2019, Harden was on a historic tear, scoring at least 30 points over 26 games, a streak that began on Dec. 13 (and was still continuing as as Feb. 5) with a 50-point game against the Lakers and included a 57-point outburst on Jan. 14. If Harden keeps up his hot streak into the All-Star Game, he’ll have a chance to add All-Star MVP to his sterling résumé.
126 | NBA All-Star 2019
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ANTHONY DAVIS Position: FORWARD-CENTER Height: 6-10 Weight: 253 Born: 3.11.93 College: KENTUCKY Year in NBA: 7 All-Star: 6
t just 25, Davis is one of the most accomplished players in the game. He has already garnered MVP votes, made three All-NBA Teams, three All-Defensive squads and six All-Star teams, taking the game MVP in 2017. The scary thing for the rest of the League is that heâ€™s still getting better. After a 2017-18 season where he averaged 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.5 steals, Davis has managed to up his numbers across the board to 29.4, 13.3, 4.4, 2.6 and 1.8. This torrid first half has made Davis one of the frontrunners for his first MVP, something that looks like an inevitability at this point.
128 | NBA All-Star 2019
LAYNE MURDOCH JR./NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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KLAY THOMPSON Position: GUARD Height: 6-7 Weight: 215 Born: 2.8.90 College: WASHINGTON STATE Year in NBA: 8 All-Star: 5
s good as his backcourt mate can be when it comes to shooting, when Thompson gets rolling, even Steph Curry might have to take a backseat. When he’s in one of his torrid shooting zones, Thompson can tire out any scorekeeper. He’s proven it multiple times: On Oct. 29, 2018, Thompson knocked down 10 three-pointers in the first half (six in the first quarter alone), finishing the game with an NBA-record 14 triples en route to 52 points in just 30 minutes of action. On Dec. 5, 2016, Thompson caught fire for 60 points—in just 29 minutes (he didn’t even play the fourth quarter). On Jan. 23, 2015, Thompson had another 52-point explosion, this time courtesy of an NBA-record 37 points in one quarter, where he was a perfect 13 for 13 from the field, making nine threes. If he does the same on Sunday, you can expect Thompson to raise the All-Star MVP hardware at the end of the game.
130 | NBA All-Star 2019
GARRETT ELLWOOD/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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DAMIAN LILLARD Position: GUARD Height: 6-3 Weight: 195 Born: 7.15.90 College: WEBER STATE Year in NBA: 7 All-Star: 4
ne of the best point guards in the NBA, Lillard has a reputation for coming through in the clutch. With a penchant for big shots in closing moments, Lillard has adopted “You know what time it is” as his catchphrase that includes a gesture (pointing at his wrist to check for the time) after a big bucket and a hashtag (#YKWTII). For the season, Lillard is one of the top scorers in the game, averaging 25.8 per game to go with 6 dimes and 4.5 rebounds. When it comes to Lillard’s mid-February scheduling, you know what time it is, as this is Lillard’s fourth selection in his seven years in the League.
132 | NBA All-Star 2019
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BEN SIMMONS Position: GUARD Height: 6-10 Weight: 230 Born: 7.20.96 College: LSU Year in NBA: 2 All-Star: 1
elected first overall by the 76ers in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons had to wait a season to debut after suffering a broken right foot. Simmons did not disappoint last year, winning Rookie of the Year honors and helping Philadelphia reach the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. At 6-10, he is a bit of an anomaly at point guard, but in todayâ€™s NBA where positions blend together more than ever, Simmons is able to thrive in his role as prime facilitator. His per-game averages have him close to triple-double territory with 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.1 assists. Simmons also stands out in todayâ€™s game as a throwback that shoots almost exclusively from inside 10 feet. His 57.6 percent field goal percentage is the best in the League for guards, and 11th overall. If Simmons finds an outside range and starts hitting three pointers (he has not attempted one this season) he could truly become an unstoppable package.
134 | NBA All-Star 2019
NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE Position: CENTER-FORWARD Height: 6-11 Weight: 260 Born: 7.19.85 College: TEXAS Year in NBA: 13 All-Star: 7
uch like his patented midrange jumper, there’s not too much flash about Aldridge’s game, but take a step back and you’ll begin to appreciate his body of work. Over his 13 seasons, Aldridge is as dependable as any player in that timespan. That soft jumper has netted him more than 18,000 points in that time, and the 20K milestone isn’t far off. With Aldridge, you can set your clock to it: Every time he suits up, he’s good for 20 points and 8 rebounds a night while making good on his shots 49 percent of the time. And much of his scoring is off that jump shot we keep mentioning. Aldridge could probably extend his range to the three-point line, but why mess with something as automatic as the sunrise?
136 | NBA All-Star 2019
JORDAN JOHNSON/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS Position: CENTER Height: 7-0 Weight: 248 Born: 11.15.95 College: KENTUCKY Year in NBA: 4 All-Star: 2
s dynamic as Towns has been in his short four years in the League—in which he has put up 21.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game—he has also displayed great durability, playing in every game throughout his career. As his numbers suggest, Towns has dominated the paint, but like most new-age centers, he also displays a guard game. Towns can easily put the ball on the floor to get to the rim and effortlessly strokes three-pointers. He’s averaged .386 percent shooting from three over his career, reaching a high mark of 42 percent in 201718. It’s tough to imagine more improvement beyond Towns’ performance now, but at 23, he still has room to grow—a scary proposition for opponents and a reason he’ll be an All-Star fixture for years to come.
138 | NBA All-Star 2019
JORDAN JOHNSON/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Photo By: Peggy Sirota
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BRADLEY BEAL Position: GUARD Height: 6-5 Weight: 207 Born: 6.28.93 College: FLORIDA Year in NBA: 7 All-Star: 2
fter he spent one season at the University of Florida, the Washington Wizards selected Beal with the third pick in 2012 NBA Draft. Now in his seventh season, Beal has flourished to become one of the premier shooting guards in the League as he is named an All-Star for the second time. In a season where teammate John Wall suffered a seasonending injury in December, Beal has been tasked with keeping the Wizards afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Bealâ€™s per-game averages across the board are at career highs this season with 24.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds. Once known more for his shooting, Beal has progressed into a solid playmaker and defender, averaging 1.3 steals and nearly a block per game. Beal is averaging 36.6 minutes per game on the floor, but despite logging heavy minutes he has played his best in the fourth quarter, where he is averaging over 6 points and has a .667 true shooting percentage.
140 | NBA All-Star 2019
OSCAR BALDIZON/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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DWYANE WADE Position: GUARD Height: 6-4 Weight: 220 Born: 1.17.82 College: MARQUETTE Year in NBA: 16 All-Star: 13
TEAM LEBRON 142 | NBA All-Star 2019
OSCAR BALDIZON/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
e might have been handpicked by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as a special All-Star addition, but Wade has turned in an All-Star season. The fans certainly agree with seeing Wade one more time at All-Star as he received the second most votes of any guard in the Eastern Conference. The 2019 selection means Wade secures his 13th All-Star appearance. Wade announced his intentions to retire this offseason before re-signing for one final year in South Beach, dubbing it “One Last Dance.” Since returning to the Heat in a trade last season, he has settled into a veteran leadership role coming off the bench for the franchise he holds the records for all-time points, games, assists and steals. Wade’s per-game averages of 13.9 points, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds may seem pedestrian on the surface, but he is doing it in just 25.4 minutes per game. In a wide-open Eastern Conference his experience will be crucial for the Heat to make some noise. Wade has been one of the pillars of the NBA for the past two decades, and has more than earned this curtain call—One Last All-Star Dance.
MICHAEL MALONE M College: LOYOLA COLLEGE Year as NBA Head Coach: 6 Year as All-Star Head Coach: 1
alone has shown nothing but improvement since taking the helm of the Denver Nuggets in 2015. In his first year in 2015-16, Malone endured a 33-49 season. The following year he got seven more wins in a 40-42 finish, and last season he helped improve the Nuggets to a 46-36 campaign, narrowly missing out the playoffs by a single game. After 52 games this season, Malone had the Nuggets atop the highly competitive Western Conference, tied with the Warriors with a 37-15 record, earning him his first All-Star head coaching gig. Denver has always had a reputation for being a high-scoring team, but Malone has the team winning by preaching defense. The team has allowed an NBA fourth-best 106.1 PPG and they lead the League in rebounds, limiting second chances for the opposition while maximizing transition opportunities. Malone’s offensive strategy is to keep the ball moving, taking advantage of their multitude of scorers and the passing talents of All-Star center Nikola Jokic as the team is third in assists. Malone is on the short list for Coach of the Year this season, but he has his gaze on the postseason, a position he’s yet to get the Nuggets to, and the next step in his progression of improvement.
WES UNSELD JR.
TEAM LEBRON 144 | NBA All-Star 2019
BART YOUNG (5); ALLEN EINSTEIN; KENT SMITH; JORDAN JOHNSON (2)/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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TEAM GIANNIS TEAM LEBRON
TEAM GIANNIS Head Coach Mike Budenholzer Assistant Coaches Darvin Ham, Taylor Jenkins, Charles Lee, Ben Sullivan, Patrick St. Andrews, Joshua Longstaff, Vin Baker Athletic Trainers Joe Sharpe, Quinton Sawyer, Aaron Karkow Equipment Manager Jason Rivera NO.
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO STEPHEN CURRY JOEL EMBIID
Golden State Warriors
PAUL GEORGE KEMBA WALKER KHRIS MIDDLETON NIKOLA JOKIĆ RUSSELL WESTBROOK BLAKE GRIFFIN D’ANGELO RUSSELL NIKOLA VUČEVIĆ KYLE LOWRY DIRK NOWITZKI VICTOR OLADIPO*
Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder
30 21 13 15 22 15 0 23 1 9 7 41 4
TEAM LEBRON Head Coach Michael Malone Assistant Coaches Wes Unseld Jr., David Adelman, Jordi Fernandez, Ryan Bowen, Charles Klask, Bob Weiss, Mark Price, Stephen Graham, Ognjen Stojakovic, John Beckett Athletic Trainers Gregg Farnam, Antonio Pressley NO.
LEBRON JAMES KEVIN DURANT KYRIE IRVING KAWHI LEONARD JAMES HARDEN ANTHONY DAVIS KLAY THOMPSON DAMIAN LILLARD BEN SIMMONS
Los Angeles Lakers
St. Vincent-St. Mary
Golden State Warriors
San Diego State
New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers
LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS BRADLEY BEAL DWYANE WADE
San Antonio Spurs
35 11 2 13 23 11 0 25 12 32 3 3
* Injured, will not play
146 | NBA All-Star 2019
BEGINS MARCH 19 TM & ÂŠ 2018 Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. A WarnerMedia Company. All Rights Reserved.NCAA and March Madness are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
MARVIN BAGLEY III
elected 22nd overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, Allen is an important member of a Brooklyn Nets Position: Center squad that is looking to make the playoffs for Height: 6-11 the first time in four years. Allen has stepped up to Weight: 237 defend the rim often this season and his blocks of Birthdate: 4.21.98 the NBA elite, including LeBron James, Blake Griffin and Giannis Antetokounmpo, have gone viral on social College: Texas media. He also has been one of the NBA’s most frequent Year in NBA: 2 blockers, as his 1.6 bpg rank him in the top-15 in the league. Allen is coming into his own on offense, averaging nearly 3 more points per game than his rookie season. He is also averaging 8.7 rebounds per game and since the beginning of January that number has climbed to more than10 boards each night. At 20 years old, there is still tons of room for growth in Allen’s game as he and the Nets continue their path to becoming a player in the Eastern Conference.
on’t let the 6-11 frame fool you, Bagley III possesses a nimble game that belies his Position: Forward size. It’s that combination of size and skill that Height: 6-11 tantalized the Kings to select him with the second pick Weight: 234 in the 2018 NBA Draft. Bagley is an elite athlete who Birthdate: 3.14.99 can take advantage of mismatches (too fast for most bigs, too big for smaller foes) on face-up possessions College: Duke to get to the rim, where he can go over guys or use Year in NBA: 1 his soft touch to score. If that’s not enough, Bagley has the makings of becoming a good three-point shooter, which will add to a defender’s headache. Once he refines his overall skills, he will be an integral part of the Kings’ future plans.
BILL BAPTIST; ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
148 | NBA All-Star 2019
os Angeles happily took Ball with the second pick in the 2017 NBA Draft since the hometown kid Position: Guard reminds the front office of another franchise- Height: 6-6 altering point guard from the ‘80s. Like Magic Johnson, Weight: 190 Ball is blessed with uncanny instincts on the basketball Birthdate: 10.27.97 court. While there is constant chatter about what’s missing from Ball’s game—namely a jumpshot—not College: UCLA enough time is spent talking about Ball’s preternatural Year in NBA: 2 gifts of knowing when and how to push the ball up the floor, dictate pace and control the flow of the game without shooting the ball. Of course, if Ball does develop an outside jumper, he’ll undoubtedly leapfrog into one of the most complete point guards in the League—and likely into Sunday’s game as well.
ith the 19th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected John Collins as Position: Forward another piece in their rebuilding process. Height: 6-10 Collins was an All-Rookie Second Team selection last Weight: 235 season, averaging 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per Birthdate: 9.23.97 game. After missing 15 games with an ankle injury to start his sophomore season, Collins has been on College: Wake Forest another level, a double-double machine averaging 19.5 Years in NBA: 2 points and 10 rebounds per game. Since entering the League, Collins has been one of the most efficient shooters, and this season he is fifth in the league in true shooting percentage (65.5) and third in effective field goal percentage (63.2). While Collins is 10th in the NBA in dunks (and participating in the Slam Dunk Contest), he has been finding his deep range more this season, nailing his 2.4 three point attempts per game at a 40 percent clip. Atlanta has found momentum as the season passed its halfway point and if his play continues like this, the Hawks may have struck gold in Collins.
* injured, will not play
ZACH BEEKER; JOE MURPHY/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
150 | NBA All-Star 2019
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JAREN JACKSON JR.
ne season after being selected fifth overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, Fox is beginning to show Position: Guard why his skills were so coveted by Sacramento. Height: 6-3 He arguably plays faster than maybe any player in Weight: 175 the League, and now that he is starting to play with Birthdate: 12.20.97 more control as well, it is paying off in dividends. His per-game average of 17.4 points, 7.3 assists, 3.6 College: Kentucky rebounds and 1.8 steals are all career highs. Both the Year in NBA: 2 assist and steal numbers put him in the top 10 of the League. When Fox went for 31 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds earlier this season, he became only the second player ever (LeBron James) to tally a 30-point triple-double before turning 21. Fox has made a leap that shows he could be the franchise player the Kings have desperately needed and has Sacramento in the hunt for a playoff spot for the first time in over a decade.
ight before the 2018 NBA Draft, there were plenty of murmurs of Jackson Jr. being Position: Forward-Center tabbed as the top pick. It was a good thing Height: 6-11 for the Grizzlies that Jackson “fell” into their paws at Weight: 242 No. 4. Jackson has been playing as well as any of the Birthdate: 9.15.99 three guys taken before him as he’s comfortably slid into Memphis’ starting five, dropping 13.5 points, 4.6 College: Michigan State rebounds and 1.5 blocks a night. The son of 12-year Year in NBA: 1 NBA player Jaren Jackson, junior is built differently than his 6-4 father. Jackson Jr. has all the trappings of a modern NBA center—a 6-11 big who can guard in space, clean up things in the paint, but also possesses a budding three-point stroke—and will be manning the middle for the Grizzlies for years to come.
ROCKY WIDNER; JOE MURPHY/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
152 | NBA All-Star 2019
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fter one season at Kentucky, Knox was selected ninth overall by the New York Knicks in the Position: Forward 2018 NBA Draft. Knox impressed many with Height: 6-9 an exciting Summer League performance, where he Weight: 215 was named to the All-Summer League First Team after Birthdate: 8.11.99 averaging 21.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Come the regular season, Knox had a slow start out College: Kentucky of the gate, missing seven games with an injury and Years in the NBA: 1 playing under 18 minutes per game in October and November. Starting with a 26-point performance against the Hornets on December 9, Knox began showing glimpses of why he was such a coveted offensive player. That started a streak of 12 games where the still 19 year old scored in double digits, leading to his selection as the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. In another lost season for the Knicks, the growth of Knox down the stretch in his first NBA season will be crucial.
icked with the 27th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Nets, Kyle Kuzma was part Position: Forward of a trade that sent him to the Lakers. In Los Height: 6-9 Angeles he found an opportunity to eventually start Weight: 220 and ended up second in rookie scoring (16.1 PPG). This Birthday: 7.24.95 season, he has continued to evolve and learn under the leadership of LeBron James. Kuzma has continued College: Utah to pour in points, averaging 19 per night and really Year in NBA: 2 stepped up in the weeks that James missed due to injury. One of Kuzmaâ€™s strengths that is unique to his position is his ability to run the pick-and-roll as the ballhandler, finding ways to the bucket where he may drop in a hook shot or floater. Heâ€™s also bought in more on the defensive end tracking shooters on the perimeter, using his size and athleticism to his advantage. With continued time and guidance, Kuzma could end up being the most important player of the young Lakers core.
KENT SMITH; ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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aken with the 13th pick in the 2017 Position: Guard NBA Draft by the Height: 6-3 Utah Jazz, Mitchell has Weight: 215 been the breakout star of Birthdate: 9.7.96 his draft class. He might have just missed out on College: Louisville Rookie of the Year to Ben Year in NBA: 2 Simmons, but he became an immediate offensive force for an up-and-coming Jazz team. Despite a slow start to this season for both Mitchell and the Jazz in general, both are hitting their stride since the turn of the calendar. Mitchell has averaged 28.3 ppg in January, helping Utah surge back into the playoff race. While Mitchell’s overall shooting numbers are down slightly this year, he is still a pure scorer and his 22.3 ppg put him in the top 20 in the League.
ayson Tatum was selected with the Position: Forward third pick in the Height: 6-8 2017 NBA Draft by the Weight: 208 Boston Celtics and grew Birthdate: 3.3.98 up fast during his rookie season, displaying skills College: Duke of a seasoned veteran Years in NBA: 2 and helping the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals. This season his numbers are up across the board in points (16.2), rebounds (6.2) and assists (1.8). Tatum has a natural scoring instinct that is rare for a 20-year-old. He can fill the stats sheet, scoring a career-high 34 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists, three blocks and one steal on January 14 against Brooklyn. And his defensive abilities really help Tatum stand out, where his 102.5 Defensive Rating is fourth among second year players averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
oung’s one year a t O k l a h o m a Position: Guard was filled with Height: 6-2 sensational highlights Weight: 180 which ultimately led to the Birthdate: 9.19.98 first team All-American being selected with the College: Oklahoma fifth overall pick in the Years in NBA: 1 2018 NBA Draft by the Mavericks. Later that night, his rights were traded along with a future first round pick to the Hawks for the rights to Luka Dončić. Young is a confident shooter, showing an almost unlimited range in college. This season he is averaging 16.4 PPG, tied for second among rookies. Young also has excellent court vision, placing in the top-10 in the NBA in assists with 7.3 per game. After a rough couple of months to start the season, Atlanta has been playing .500 ball since mid-December, and a lot of that can be attributed to the play of Young.
MELISSA MAJCHRZAK; BRIAN BABINEAU; CAMERON BROWNE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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he Raptors showed patience with Anunoby and are now being rewarded for it. After taking a Position: Forward chance on the Indiana Hoosier (by way of the Height: 6-8 United Kingdom) with the 23rd pick in the 2017 NBA Weight: 232 Draft, Toronto has been rewarded with a productive Birthdate: 7.17.97 reserve forward who provides energy and tenacity every time he takes the court. Anunoby has been a Country: United Kingdom key reserve, providing the Raptors with 7.5 points and 3 Year in NBA: 2 rebounds in 39 games this season. He has the makings of a future “3&D” player—Anunoby showed promise by shooting 37 percent from deep last year and is often depended on to guard the opposition’s perimeter stud. Like his teammate Kawhi Leonard, Anunoby shares a similar lengthy build and game. Toronto is certainly hoping the two-time Defensive Player of the Year and MVP candidate’s presence will make an impression on their young prospect.
istory repeated itself when the Phoenix Suns selected Ayton with the top pick in the Position: Center 2018 NBA Draft. Forty years ago, another Height: 7-1 big man hailing from the small island nation of the Weight: 250 Bahamas became the first overall pick when the Birthdate: 7.23.98 Portland Trail Blazers tabbed Mychal Thompson (Klay Thompson’s father). While Thompson went on to have a Country: Bahamas respectable 12-year career, Ayton hopes to surpass his Year in NBA: 1 countryman’s production. Through his first 47 games, Ayton has delivered on his draft spot, putting up nightly numbers of 16.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and a block per game. In addition to the long career, the Suns will hope Ayton can one day duplicate Thompson’s other achievement, winning two NBA Championships.
GARRETT ELLWOOD; BARRY GOSSAGE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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he Sacramento Kings have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to shooting. When their Position: Guard sharpshooting guard Buddy Hield (20.3 PPG, Height: 6-6 .481 field goal percentage, .457 from three) takes a Weight: 205 breather during games, the Kings have the luxury of Birthdate: 8.18.92 bringing in Bogdanovic without skipping nary a beat. The Serbian two guard is one of the League’s top sixth Country: Serbia men, putting up 15.4 points per game on .375 shooting Year in NBA: 2 from deep. Bogdanovic can light it up from distance, but he is also overlooked as a secondary playmaker while on the floor, contributing 4 assists per game, a career high. Not that the Kings should be surprised. Before coming overseas to the NBA, the second-year guard has proven to be a commodity on the court, averaging 14.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG and 3.7 APG in the EuroLeague with Partizan Belgrade.
s accomplished as Dirk Nowitzki’s career is, even he takes a backseat to his rookie teammate’s Position: Forward production in his first year. While the future Height: 6-7 Hall of Famer struggled to crack 9 points a game Weight: 218 while primarily coming off the bench as a 20-year-old Birthdate: 2.28.99 rookie, Dončić has hit the ground running, averaging 20 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in Country: Slovenia his first 45 starts as a 19-year-old. The Rookie of the Year in NBA: 1 Year favorite is having a memorable debut, putting up numbers—20-5-5—that only Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tyreke Evans have touched as a first-year player. Then again, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Dončić began his professional career as the youngest player for EuroLeague’s Real Madrid at 16 years old. By 18, Dončić was named EuroLeague MVP while leading the team to a championship—two things that Dončić appears destined to do one day in the NBA.
JEFF HAYNES; GARY DINEEN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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ilgeous-Alexander is continuing the trend of NBA talent hailing from Canada, specifically Position: Guard Toronto. When the Clippers traded for Gilgeous- Height: 6-6 Alexander on draft night (Charlotte had taken him with Weight: 181 the 11th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft), they were hoping Birthdate: 7.12.98 to bring him along slowly as the team’s future point guard, but 10 games into his rookie year the process Country: Canada was expedited as he was promoted to the starting Year in NBA: 1 spot. While his numbers might be modest—9.8 points and 2.9 assists per game—Gilgeous-Alexander has flashed potential as a future floor general. As a defender, the Kentucky product has the makings of a future All-Defensive teamer. With his long limbs, quickness and aggressive nature, Gilgeous-Alexander is a terror as an on-ball defender. He won’t be expected to play much defense in the MTN Dew Rising Stars game, but Gilgeous-Alexander will likely find a way to shine on Friday.
hanks to Kristaps Porzingis, and now Kurucs, Latvia is quickly developing into a country that Position: Forward produces some NBA talent. Kurucs is making Height: 6-9 the most of his time in the spotlight as a rookie. A Weight: 210 second-round pick (40th overall) in the 2018 NBA Draft, Birthdate: 2.5.98 Kurucs has exceeded expectations by grabbing the Nets’ starting small forward spot as a 20-year-old. Country: Latvia Kurucs is the rare rookie who finds ways to contribute Year in NBA: 1 depending on the situation and personnel on the floor. He does have a knack for making the most of his opportunities with his aggressive drives to the basket, which also plays to his free-throw shooting strength, where he converts 90 percent of his attempts.
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN; NED DISHMAN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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he Finnish product started the season on the shelf, but when he was healthy again, Position: Forward Markkanen picked up where he left off. Last Height: 7-0 season, Markkanen put up a stellar debut campaign, Weight: 240 averaging 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, earning a spot Birthdate: 5.22.97 on the All-Rookie First Team. This year the seventh pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has bumped up his scoring Country: Finland to 17 points per game to go with 7.1 rebounds. Often Year in NBA: 2 compared to Dirk Nowitzki, Markkanen is a 7-footer who possesses a soft stroke from outside. For the season, Markannen is shooting .387 from three-point distance, up from 36 percent from his rookie year. Itâ€™s still a long way from the Hall of Fame, but if he keeps improving, we could one day see Markkanen follow in the same footsteps as Nowitzki.
fter tabbing Okogie with the 20th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Georgia Tech product has Position: Guard quickly morphed himself into a solid rotation Height: 6-4 player for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Averaging Weight: 212 22 minutes per game, Okogie has the makings of a Birthdate: 9.1.98 solid two-way player for Minnesota, putting up nightly contributions of 7.3 points and 3 rebounds per game. Country: Nigeria Okogie brings plenty of defensive tenacity while Year in NBA: 1 matched up with opposing perimeter threats and on offense, he has been effective slashing to the basket and filling the lane on fast breaks. His inexhaustible motor gives the Timberwolves high energy off the bench and if he can develop a three-point shot, Okogieâ€™s future will be bright.
GARRETT ELLWOOD; ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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fter not playing much last year as a rookie, this season Osman is the Cavaliers’ starting Position: Forward small forward, the spot that was vacant Height: 6-8 with the departure of LeBron James. While he’s Weight: 215 not quite duplicating his predecessor’s output, Birthdate: 4.8.95 Osman is demonstrating a similar overall game. In 46 games this season, the Macedonian product Country: Republic of Macedonia has averaged 11.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 Year in NBA: 2 assists. An aggressive player, Osman likes to use his size advantage to get to the basket, either to draw a foul or create for his teammates. During the Rising Stars, expect Osman to maneuver his way to the basket without the ball, a role that fits his slashing game, as he’ll have plenty of playmakers to make the most of his talents.
he reigning Rookie of the Year suffered no sophomore slump. Simmons picked where he Position: Guard-Forward left off as the Sixers’ point guard and has them Height: 6-10 again atop the Eastern Conference standings. Simmons Weight: 230 is again hovering near triple-double production every Birthdate: 7.20.96 night with averages of 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.1 assists over the season’s first 47 games. As one Country: Australia of the tallest and biggest floor generals in the game, Year in NBA: 2 Simmons uses his size advantage to get to any spot on the floor to score—where he is shooting .576 for the season—or set up a teammate. In a League where the three-point shot is en vogue, Simmons has gone against the trend, having attempted only 11 in his first season and a half, and not letting it stop him from being one of the NBA’s brightest stars of the future.
DAVID LIAM KYLE; JESSE D. GARRABRANT/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
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MTN DEW 3-POINT CONTEST
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Position: GUARD Height: 6-2 Weight: 185 Birthdate: 8.23.90 College: DUKE Year in 3-Point Contest: 1
BARRY GOSSAGE; ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: GUARD Height: 6-6 Weight: 210 Birthdate: 10.30.96 College: KENTUCKY Year in 3-Point Contest: 3
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MTN DEW 3-POINT CONTEST
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Position: GUARD-FORWARD Height: 6-6 Weight: 215 Birthdate: 6.22.87 College: NORTH CAROLINA Year in 3-Point Contest: 1
ROCKY WIDNER; GARY BASSING/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: GUARD Height: 6-3 Weight: 190 Birthdate: 3.14.88 College: DAVIDSON Year in 3-Point Contest: 6
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MTN DEW 3-POINT CONTEST
Position: GUARD Height: 6-6 Weight: 218 Birthdate: 9.6.91 College: VIRGINIA Year in 3-Point Contest: 1 172 | NBA All-Star 2019
BUDDY HIELD Position: GUARD Height: 6-4 Weight: 214 Birthdate: 12.17.92 College: OKLAHOMA Year in 3-Point Contest: 1
NATHANIEL S. BUTLER; CHRIS SCHWEGLER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
MTN DEW 3-POINT CONTEST
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Position: FORWARD Height: 6-8 Weight: 222 Birthdate: 8.12.91 College: TEXAS A&M Year in 3-Point Contest: 2
ROCKY WIDNER; GARY DINEEN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: GUARD Height: 6-3 Weight: 195 Birthdate: 7.15.90 College: WEBER STATE Year in 3-Point Contest: 2
MTN DEW 3-POINT CONTEST
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Position: GUARD Height: 6-1 Weight: 184 Birthdate: 5.8.90 College: CONNECTICUT Year in 3-Point Contest: 2
GLENN JAMES; KENT SMITH/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: FORWARD Height: 7-0 Weight: 245 Birthdate: 6.19.78 Country: GERMANY Year in 3-Point Contest: 6
AT&T SLAM DUNK
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Position: FORWARD-CENTER Height: 6-10 Weight: 235 Birthdate: 9.23.97 College: WAKE FOREST Year in Slam Dunk: 1
BRIAN SEVALD; JORDAN JOHNSON/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: FORWARD Height: 6-7 Weight: 225 Birthdate: 3.21.98 College: MICHIGAN STATE Year in Slam Dunk: 1
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AT&T SLAM DUNK
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Position: GUARD Height: 6-3 Weight: 195 Birthdate: 11.25.97 College: NORTH CAROLINA STATE Year in Slam Dunk: 2
JOE MURPHY; NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: GUARD Height: 6-5 Weight: 198 Birthdate: 7.31.98 College: KENTUCKY Year in Slam Dunk: 1
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TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE
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Position: FORWARD-GUARD Height: 6-7 Weight: 218 Birthdate: 2.28.99 Country: SLOVENIA Year in Skills Challenge: 1
JOE MURPHY; JESSE D. GARRABRANT/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: GUARD Height: 6-1 Weight: 175 Birthdate: 10.11.87 College: OHIO STATE Year in Skills Challenge: 1
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TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE
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Position: CENTER Height: 7-0 Weight: 250 Birthdate: 2.19.95 Country: SERBIA Year in Skills Challenge: 2
JEFF HAYNES; BARRY GOSSAGE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: GUARD Height: 6-3 Weight: 175 Birthdate: 12.20.97 College: KENTUCKY Year in Skills Challenge: 1
TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE
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Position: FORWARD Height: 6-8 Weight: 208 Birthdate: 3.3.98 College: DUKE Year in Skills Challenge: 1
JEFF HAYNES; NED DISHMAN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: FORWARD Height: 6-9 Weight: 220 Birthdate: 7.24.95 College: UTAH Year in Skills Challenge: 1
TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE
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Position: GUARD Height: 6-2 Weight: 180 Birthdate: 9.19.98 College: OKLAHOMA Year in Skills Challenge: 1
FERNANDO MEDINA; DAVID SHERMAN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Position: CENTER Height: 7-0 Weight: 260 Birthdate: 10.24.90 College: USC Year in Skills Challenge: 1
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RULES AND OFFICIALS
2019 MTN DEW ICE RISING STARS Each team will include a minimum of: • Four guards and four frontcourt players • Three rookies and three sophomores
The MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Challenge will feature a team comprised of a total of ten first and second year players (Rookies and Sophomores) from the United States against a team comprised of a total of ten first and second year players (Rookies and Sophomores) from the “World” (i.e., outside the United States). The twenty players (ten US players, ten World players) were selected on the basis of voting by the league’s assistant coaches (one vote per team from the collective of each team’s assistant coaches).
The coaching staffs for the Rising Stars Challenge will consist of assistant coaches of the All-Star Game teams.
RULES - GAME Four (4) ten minute periods Each team will have two (2) timeouts per half (no carryover) A mandatory timeout will be issued at the first stoppage of play under 5:00 of each period A timeout taken by a team will negate the mandatory timeout due in that period (1st/3rd period mandatory timeouts will be charged to the home team and the 2nd/4th period mandatory timeouts will be charged to the visiting team or to the team not previously charged)
Individual fouls will be kept, but a player will not foul out The penalty will apply after four team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each period The clock will stop after each successful field goal in the last minute of each period Overtime • Two-minute overtime period • One (1) timeout permitted per team in each overtime (75 seconds in duration) • Penalty begins on the 2nd team foul All other NBA rules apply An MVP award will be given out at the conclusion of the game
2019 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE
A field of 8 players competes head-to-head in a 3-round obstacle course competition that tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills.
COMPETITION RULES *(See corresponding “Flow of Play”) Two players compete simultaneously on an identical course with the winner of each head-tohead matchup advancing to the next round. BALL HANDLING – players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course. PASSING – the passing challenge shall be considered completed (player can move on) when he either (1) successfully passes a ball through the target or (2) exhausts the corresponding rack of balls while attempting to pass a ball through the target.
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LAYUP/DUNK – the player must rebound his own ball until the basket is made. FINAL 3PT SHOT – the players must continue shooting the 3-point shot from any location on or behind his designated shooting spot until the course-ending three-pointer is made. The first player to do so wins the head-to-head matchup and advances. DISQUALIFICATION – players are subject to disqualification at the final discretion/judgment of the referee for (1) failure to complete all the challenges or (2) deliberately interfering with his opponent or his opponent’s ball. INSTANT REPLAY – at the referee’s discretion, instant replay may be utilized for clarification of rules compliance
ADVANCEMENT In each head-to-head competition, the player successfully completing the course first shall be deemed the winner of that matchup and advance to the next round.
FIRST ROUND Each of the 4 head-to-head winners will advance to the Second Round.
SECOND ROUND The two Second Round winners in the head-to-head matchups will advance to the Championship Round.
CHAMPIONSHIP The Second Round winners will compete head-tohead to determine the Skills Challenge champion.
TIEBREAKERS In the event of a tie in any head-tohead competition, the tied players shall repeat the course.
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RULES AND OFFICIALS
2019 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE FLOW OF PLAY
1) START - On music cue, each player picks up his first ball from a pedestal and dribbles from the baseline to: 2) CROSSOVER DRIBBLE - Starting around the 1st pylon to the outside (toward sideline), then around the 2nd pylon to the inside (center court), the 3rd pylon to the outside, 4th pylon to the inside, then finally the 5th pylon to the outside, continuing his dribble until he approaches: 3) CHEST PASS - Using the ball in his hand from the crossover dribble section, he attempts to
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complete the chest pass. If the first attempt is made, he moves on. If not, he must attempt to complete the chest pass using the two additional balls on the corresponding ball rack until either (1) a pass is made or (2) all the balls are exhausted (one ball at a time/towards the target) â€“ at which point he moves on to: 4) NEW BALL/SPEED DRIBBLE - He picks up a new ball from a pedestal on the baseline and dribbles the length of the court back to: 5) LAYUP/DUNK - He must complete a layup/dunk and rebound his own shot. NOTE: He must rebound the same ball if he misses and once the shot is made he will retrieve the same ball, and proceed to the opposite end of the court to:
6) FINAL 3PT SHOT - Using the ball in his hand from his layup/dunk, the player will finish the competition by completing a 3-point shot from any location on or behind his designated shooting spot. Additional balls will be placed in a
barrel beside the designated shooting spot. The first player to complete a 3-point shot wins the head-to-head matchup and advances.
NOTE: All shots must be taken one ball at a time/ towards the basket.
DISQUALIFICATION RULE - Players are subject to disqualification at the final discretion/judgment of the referee for (1) failure to complete all of the challenges or (2) deliberately interfering with his opponent or his opponentâ€™s ball.
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RULES AND OFFICIALS
2019 MTN DEW 3-POINT CONTEST Players may not start on or over the three-point line while shooting. A basket does not count if the line is violated. INSTANT REPLAY – At the discretion of the referee, instant replay may be utilized for clarification of rules compliance. Ten players will compete in the two-round, timed shooting competition.
COMPETITION FORMAT Five shooting locations are positioned around the three-point arc. Four of the racks contain four orange balls and one multi-colored “money” ball. The orange balls are worth one point. The multicolored “money” ball is worth two points. From each rack, the multi-colored “money” ball can only be shot after the four orange balls are shot. The fifth rack will be a special “all money ball” rack. Each competitor will decide the spot for this rack to be placed at one of the five shooting locations. Every ball on this rack is worth two points.
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TIME LIMIT Each competitor has one minute (1:00) to shoot as many of the 25 balls as he can.
FIRST ROUND Order of competition will be determined by random drawing, except that the returning champion will compete last. The three players with the highest scores advance to the Championship Round.
CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND Three players will compete in the Championship Round. The competition order for the Championship Round will be determined by the inverse order
of First Round scores. (e.g., the player with the lowest score in the First Round among the players who advanced shoots first in the Championship Round.)
TIEBREAKERS To Advance from First Round – In the event of a tie to determine the Championship Round participants, a 30-second tiebreaker will take place using the same competition format described above. If necessary, this process will be repeated until the tie is broken. To Determine Champion – In the event of a tie to determine the Champion, a full 60-second tiebreaker will take place. If necessary, this process will be repeated until the tie is broken.
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RULES AND OFFICIALS
2019 AT&T SLAM DUNK
FOUR DUNKERS will compete in the two-round competition.
RULES JUDGES – There will be 5 judges. For each dunk, a score from six to ten will be given by each judge, resulting in a maximum score of 50 and a minimum score of 30. ATTEMPTS PER DUNK – For each scored dunk in both rounds (Dunks #1 and #2 in the First Round and Dunks # 1 and #2 in the Final Round), each dunker will be limited to three attempts to complete his dunk. ATTEMPT DEFINTION – An attempt is defined as the player controlling the basketball and moving it towards the rim.
OFFICIATING – A referee will judge whether a dunk is considered a made dunk or a missed dunk. Made dunks cannot be “replaced”, even if the dunker has remaining attempts. PROPS – Use of any props or other people in any way during the slam dunk competition must be approved in advance of the competition by the NBA Basketball Operations department. INSTANT REPLAY – At the discretion of the referee, instant replay may be utilized for rules compliance.
FIRST ROUND – Two Dunks (#1 and #2) The competition order for Dunk #2 of the First Round will be determined by the inverse order of the Dunk #1 scores (e.g., player with the lowest score on Dunk #1 goes first for Dunk #2). The two dunkers with the highest composite scores (Dunk #1 + Dunk #2) advance to the Final Round – maximum 100, minimum 60.
FINAL ROUND – Two Dunks (#1 and #2) The dunker with the lowest total score from the First Round will go first in the Final Round. The competition order for Dunk #2 of the Final Round will be determined by the inverse order of the Dunk #1 scores (e.g., player with the lowest score on Dunk #1 goes first for Dunk #2). The dunker with the highest Final Round composite score (Dunk #1 + Dunk #2) will be the Dunk Champion.
TIEBREAKERS In the event a tie in the First Round needs to be broken in order to determine one or both of the top two finishers, a one-dunk “dunk-off” involving the tied players will take place to determine which player(s) will advance to the Final Round. In the event of a tie after the Final Round, a one-dunk dunk-off will take place to determine the champion. If still tied after the one-dunk “dunk-off” in either round, the advancing dunker(s) or winner would be determined by “Judges’ Choice”. The judges would then be asked to choose the advancing dunker(s) or winner by raising a card that has the dunker’s name on it. Consistent with the rules applicable to the First Round and the Final Round, each dunker will have three attempts to complete a dunk in any dunk-off.
NBA ALL-STAR OFFICIALS MTN DEW ICE RISING STARS/ STATE FARM ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT
196 | NBA All-Star 2019
NBA ALL-STAR GAME
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$39.99 198 | NBA All-Star 2019
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Dirk Nowitzki, 2006 Three-Point Contest
MTN DEW 3-POINT CONTEST Larry Bird, Boston Larry Bird, Boston Larry Bird, Boston Dale Ellis, Seattle Craig Hodges, Chicago Craig Hodges, Chicago Craig Hodges, Chicago Mark Price, Cleveland Mark Price, Cleveland Glen Rice, Miami Tim Legler, Washington Steve Kerr, Chicago Jeff Hornacek, Utah * Jeff Hornacek, Utah Ray Allen, Milwaukee Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento Voshon Lenard, Denver Quentin Richardson, Phoenix Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Jason Kapono, Miami Jason Kapono, Toronto Daequan Cook, Miami Paul Pierce, Boston James Jones, Miami Kevin Love, Minnesota Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Marco Belinelli, San Antonio Stephen Curry, Golden State Klay Thompson, Golden State Eric Gordon, Houston Devin Booker, Phoenix
AT&T SLAM DUNK 1984 1985
Larry Nance, Phoenix Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
200 | NBA All-Star 2019
1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Spud Webb, Atlanta Michael Jordan, Chicago Michael Jordan, Chicago Kenny Walker, New York Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Dee Brown, Boston Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix Harold Miner, Miami Isaiah Rider, Minnesota Harold Miner, Miami Brent Barry, L.A. Clippers Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers No competition held * Vince Carter, Toronto Desmond Mason, Seattle Jason Richardson, Golden State Jason Richardson, Golden State Fred Jones, Indiana Josh Smith, Atlanta Nate Robinson, New York Gerald Green, Boston Dwight Howard, Orlando Nate Robinson, New York Nate Robinson, New York Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers Jeremy Evans, Utah Terrence Ross, Toronto East; John Wall, Washington Zach LaVine, Minnesota Zach LaVine, Minnesota Glenn Robinson III, Indiana Donovan Mitchell, Utah
MTN DEW ICE RISING STARS 1994 1995 1996 1997
Phenoms 74, Sensations 68 White 83, Green 79 (OT) East 94, West 92 East 96, West 91
Derrick Rose, 2009 Skills Challenge
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
East 85, West 80 * Rookies 92, Sophomores 83 (OT) Sophomores 121, Rookies 113 Rookies 103, Sophomores 97 Sophomores 132, Rookies 112 Sophomores 142, Rookies 118 Sophomores 133, Rookies 106 Sophomores 106, Rookies 96 Sophomores 155, Rookies 114 Sophomores 136, Rookies 109 Sophomores 122, Rookies 116 Rookies 140, Sophomores 128 Rookies 148, Sophomores 140 Team Chuck 146, Team Shaq 133 Team Chuck 163, Team Shaq 135 Team Hill 142, Team Webber 136 Team World 121, Team USA 112 Team USA 157, Team World 154 Team World 150, Team USA 141 Team World 155, Team USA 124
TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Jason Kidd, New Jersey Baron Davis, New Orleans Steve Nash, Phoenix Dwyane Wade, Miami Dwyane Wade, Miami Deron Williams, Utah Derrick Rose, Chicago Steve Nash, Phoenix Stephen Curry, Golden State Tony Parker, San Antonio Damian Lillard, Portland West; Trey Burke & Damian Lillard Patrick Beverley, Houston Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Kristaps Porzingis, New York Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn
NATHANIEL S. BUTLER (2); GARRETT ELLWOOD/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Desmond Mason, 2003 Slam Dunk
LeBron James, 2018 NBA All-Star Game MVP
2005 Rising Stars Rookie Team
ALL-STAR GAMES AT A GLANCE Result and Location East 111, West 94 at Boston East 108, West 91 at Boston West 79, East 75 at Fort Wayne East 98, West 93 (OT) at New York East 100, West 91 at New York West 108, East 94 at Rochester East 109, West 97 at Boston East 130, West 118 at St. Louis West 124, East 108 at Detroit East 125, West 115 at Philadelphia West 153, East 131 at Syracuse West 150, East 130 at St. Louis East 115, West 108 at Los Angeles East 111, West 107 at Boston East 124, West 123 at St. Louis East 137, West 94 at Cincinnati West 135, East 120 at San Francisco East 144, West 124 at New York East 123, West 112 at Baltimore East 142, West 135 at Philadelphia West 108, East 107 at San Diego West 112, East 110 at Los Angeles East 104, West 84 at Chicago West 134, East 123 at Seattle East 108, West 102 at Phoenix East 123, West 109 at Philadelphia West 125, East 124 at Milwaukee East 133, West 125 at Atlanta West 134, East 129 at Pontiac East 144, West 136 (OT) at Landover East 123, West 120 at Richfield East 120, West 118 at E. Rutherford East 132, West 123 at Los Angeles
202 | NBA All-Star 2019
Winning Coach Joe Lapchick Al Cervi John Kundla Joe Lapchick Al Cervi Charley Eckman Red Auerbach Red Auerbach Ed Macauley Red Auerbach Paul Seymour Fred Schaus Red Auerbach Red Auerbach Red Auerbach Red Auerbach Fred Schaus Alex Hannum Gene Shue Red Holzman Larry Costello Bill Sharman Tom Heinsohn Larry Costello K.C. Jones Tom Heinsohn Larry Brown Billy Cunningham Lenny Wilkens Billy Cunningham Billy Cunningham Bill Fitch Billy Cunningham
Losing Coach John Kundla John Kundla Joe Lapchick John Kundla Charley Eckman George Senesky Bobby Wanzer Alex Hannum Red Auerbach Ed Macauley Red Auerbach Red Auerbach Fred Schaus Fred Schaus Alex Hannum Fred Schaus Red Auerbach Bill Sharman Richie Guerin Richie Guerin Red Holzman Tom Heinsohn Bill Sharman Tom Heinsohn Al Attles Al Attles Gene Shue Jack Ramsay Dick Motta Lenny Wilkens John MacLeod Pat Riley Pat Riley
All-Star Game MVP Ed Macauley Paul Arizin George Mikan Bob Cousy Bill Sharman Bob Pettit Bob Cousy Bob Pettit Elgin Baylor/Bob Pettit Wilt Chamberlain Oscar Robertson Bob Pettit Bill Russell Oscar Robertson Jerry Lucas Adrian Smith Rick Barry Hal Greer Oscar Robertson Willis Reed Lenny Wilkens Jerry West Dave Cowens Bob Lanier Walt Frazier Dave Bing Julius Erving Randy Smith David Thompson George Gervin Tiny Archibald Larry Bird Julius Erving
NATHANIEL S. BUTLER; JESSE D. GARABRANT/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Year 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983
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1987 Three Point Contest (L-R): Craig Hodges, Byron Scott, Kiki VanDeWeghe
Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, 1987 NBA All-Star Game
ALL-STAR GAMES AT A GLANCE Result and Location East 154, West 145 (OT) at Denver West 140, East 129 at Indianapolis East 139, West 132 at Dallas West 154, East 149 (OT) at Seattle East 138, West 133 at Chicago West 143, East 134 at Houston East 130, West 113 at Miami East 116, West 114 at Charlotte West 153, East 113 at Orlando West 135, East 132 (OT) at Salt Lake City East 127, West 118 at Minneapolis West 139, East 112 at Phoenix East 129, West 118 at San Antonio East 132, West 120 at Cleveland East 135, West 114 at New York * West 137, East 126 at Oakland East 111, West 110 at Washington, DC West 135, East 120 at Philadelphia West 155, East 145 (2OT) at Atlanta West 136, East 132 at Los Angeles East 125, West 115 at Denver East 122, West 120 at Houston West 153, East 132 at Las Vegas East 134, West 128 at New Orleans West 146, East 119 at Phoenix East 141, West 139 at Dallas West 148, East 143 at Los Angeles West 152, East 149 at Orlando West 143, East 138 at Houston East 163, West 155 at New Orleans West 163, East 158 at New York West 196, East 173 at Toronto West 192, East 182 at New Orleans Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145
*No competitions were held in ’99.
204 | NBA All-Star 2019
Winning Coach K.C. Jones Pat Riley K.C. Jones Pat Riley Mike Fratello Pat Riley Chuck Daly Chris Ford Don Nelson Paul Westphal Lenny Wilkens Paul Westphal Phil Jackson Doug Collins Larry Bird
Losing Coach Frank Layden K.C. Jones Pat Riley K.C. Jones Pat Riley Lenny Wilkens Pat Riley Rick Adelman Phil Jackson Pat Riley George Karl Brian Hill George Karl Rudy Tomjanovich George Karl
All-Star Game MVP Isiah Thomas Ralph Sampson Isiah Thomas Tom Chambers Michael Jordan Karl Malone Magic Johnson Charles Barkley Magic Johnson Karl Malone/John Stockton Scottie Pippen Mitch Richmond Michael Jordan Glen Rice Michael Jordan
Phil Jackson Larry Brown Don Nelson Rick Adelman Flip Saunders Stan Van Gundy Flip Saunders Mike D’Antoni Doc Rivers Phil Jackson Stan Van Gundy Gregg Popovich Scott Brooks Gregg Popovich Frank Vogel Steve Kerr Gregg Popovich Steve Kerr Dwane Casey
Jeff Van Gundy Rick Adelman Byron Scott Isiah Thomas Rick Carlisle Gregg Popovich Avery Johnson Eddie Jordan Byron Scott Mike Brown George Karl Doc Rivers Tom Thibodeau Erik Spoelstra Scott Brooks Mike Budenholzer Tyronn Lue Brad Stevens Mike D’Antoni
Tim Duncan/Shaquille O’Neal Allen Iverson Kobe Bryant Kevin Garnett Shaquille O’Neal Allen Iverson LeBron James Kobe Bryant LeBron James Kobe Bryant/Shaquille O’Neal Dwyane Wade Kobe Bryant Kevin Durant Chris Paul Kyrie Irving Russell Westbrook Russell Westbrook Anthony Davis LeBron James
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN (2)/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Year 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
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ALL-TIME ALL-STARS THROUGH 2018
Dwyane Wade passing to Ben Wallace, 2005 NBA All-Star Game
206 | NBA All-Star 2019
Carl Braun Frank Brian Bill Bridges Fred Brown Kobe Bryant Don Buse Caron Butler Jimmy Butler Andrew Bynum Joe Caldwell Austin Carr Joe Barry Carroll Vince Carter Bill Cartwright Sam Cassell Cedric Ceballos Wilt Chamberlain Tom Chambers Tyson Chandler Len Chappell Maurice Cheeks Phil Chenier Archie Clark Nat Clifton Derrick Coleman Jack Coleman Doug Collins Larry Costello DeMarcus Cousins Bob Cousy Dave Cowens Terry Cummings Billy Cunningham Stephen Curry Bob Dandridge Adrian Dantley Brad Daugherty Bob Davies Anthony Davis Antonio Davis Baron Davis Dale Davis
Walter Davis Dave DeBusschere Luol Deng DeMar DeRozan Terry Dischinger Vlade Divac James Donaldson Goran Dragic John Drew Clyde Drexler Andre Drummond Kevin Duckworth Walter Dukes Joe Dumars Tim Duncan Kevin Durant Mark Eaton Dike Eddleman Sean Elliott Dale Ellis Joel Embiid Wayne Embry Alex English Julius Erving Patrick Ewing Ray Felix Michael Finley Eric Floyd Larry Foust Steve Francis Walt Frazier World B. Free Joe Fulks Billy Gabor Harry Gallatin Dick Garmaker Kevin Garnett Marc Gasol Pau Gasol Chris Gatling Jack George Paul George
George Gervin Artis Gilmore Manu Ginobili Tom Gola Gail Goodrich Danny Granger Horace Grant A.C. Green Draymond Green Johnny Green Rickey Green Hal Greer Blake Griffin Alex Groza Richie Guerin Tom Gugliotta Cliff Hagan Richard Hamilton Anfernee Hardaway Tim Hardaway James Harden Devin Harris Bob Harrison John Havlicek Connie Hawkins Hersey Hawkins Elvin Hayes Gordon Hayward Spencer Haywood Walt Hazzard Tom Heinsohn Roy Hibbert Grant Hill Tyrone Hill Jrue Holiday Lionel Hollins Al Horford Jeff Hornacek Allan Houston Dwight Howard Josh Howard Juwan Howard
Bailey Howell Lou Hudson Rod Hundley Mel Hutchins Andre Iguodala Zydrunas Ilgauskas Darrall Imhoff Kyrie Irving Dan Issel Allen Iverson Lucious Jackson Mark Jackson LeBron James Antawn Jamison Dennis Johnson Earvin Johnson Eddie Johnson Gus Johnson Joe Johnson John Johnson Kevin Johnson Larry Johnson Marques Johnson Neil Johnston Bobby Jones Eddie Jones Sam Jones DeAndre Jordan Michael Jordan Chris Kaman Bob Kauffman Larry Kenon Johnny Kerr Shawn Kemp Jason Kidd Bernard King Jim King Andrei Kirilenko Billy Knight Don Kojis Kyle Korver Sam Lacey
NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Shareef Abdur-Rahim Alvan Adams Michael Adams Mark Aguirre Danny Ainge LaMarcus Aldridge Ray Allen Kenny Anderson Giannis Antetokounmpo Carmelo Anthony Nate Archibald Gilbert Arenas Paul Arizin B.J. Armstrong Ron Artest Vin Baker Charles Barkley Don Barksdale Dick Barnett Leo Barnhorst Dana Barros Rick Barry Elgin Baylor Bradley Beal Butch Beard Ralph Beard Zelmo Beatty Walt Bellamy Chauncey Billups Dave Bing Larry Bird Otis Birdsong Rolando Blackman Mookie Blaylock John Block Bob Boozer Carlos Boozer Vince Boryla Chris Bosh Bill Bradley Elton Brand
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ALL-TIME ALL-STARS THROUGH 2018
Charles Barkley, 1993 NBA All-Star Game
208 | NBA All-Star 2019
Kevin McHale Tom Meschery George Mikan Vern Mikkelsen Eddie Miles Paul Millsap Brad Miller Reggie Miller Mike Mitchell Steve Mix Sidney Moncrief Earl Monroe Alonzo Mourning Chris Mullin Jeff Mullins Calvin Murphy Dikembe Mutombo Larry Nance Steve Nash Calvin Natt Willie Naulls Jameer Nelson Norm Nixon Joakim Noah Chuck Noble Dirk Nowitzki Charles Oakley Don Ohl Mehmet Okur Victor Oladipo Hakeem Olajuwon Jermaine O’Neal Shaquille O’Neal Robert Parish Tony Parker Chris Paul Jim Paxson Gary Payton Geoff Petrie Bob Pettit
Andy Philip Paul Pierce Ricky Pierce Scottie Pippen Jim Pollard Terry Porter Kristaps Porzingis Jim Price Mark Price Zach Randolph Theo Ratliff Michael Redd Willis Reed Richie Regan Glen Rice Micheal Ray Richardson Mitch Richmond Arnie Risen Glenn Rivers Alvin Robertson Oscar Robertson Clifford Robinson David Robinson Flynn Robinson Glenn Robinson Truck Robinson Red Rocha Guy Rodgers Dennis Rodman Rajon Rondo Derrick Rose Dan Roundfield Curtis Rowe Brandon Roy Jeff Ruland Bob Rule Bill Russell Campy Russell Cazzie Russell Ralph Sampson
Woody Sauldsberry Fred Schaus Dolph Schayes Detlef Schrempf Fred Scolari Charlie Scott Ken Sears Frank Selvy Paul Seymour Lee Shaffer Bill Sharman Lonnie Shelton Gene Shue Jack Sikma Paul Silas Jerry Sloan Adrian Smith Phil Smith Randy Smith Steve Smith Rik Smits Latrell Sprewell Jerry Stackhouse John Starks John Stockton Peja Stojakovic Maurice Stokes Amar’e Stoudemire Don Sunderlage Wally Szczerbiak Jeff Teague Reggie Theus Isaiah Thomas Isiah Thomas David Thompson Klay Thompson Otis Thorpe Nate Thurmond Rudy Tomjanovich Andrew Toney
Karl-Anthony Towns Kelly Tripucka Jack Twyman Wes Unseld Dick Van Arsdale Tom Van Arsdale Kiki VanDeWeghe Nick Van Exel Norm Van Lier Dwyane Wade Antoine Walker Chet Walker Jimmy Walker Kemba Walker John Wall Ben Wallace Gerald Wallace Rasheed Wallace Paul Walther Bill Walton Bobby Wanzer Kermit Washington Chris Webber Scott Wedman David West Jerry West Russell Westbrook Paul Westphal Jo Jo White Sidney Wicks Lenny Wilkens Jamaal Wilkes Dominique Wilkins Buck Williams Deron Williams Gus Williams Jayson Williams Mo Williams Kevin Willis Yao Ming
NATHANIEL S. BUTLER; NBA PHOTOS/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Christian Laettner Bill Laimbeer Bob Lanier Rudy LaRusso Clyde Lee David Lee Kawhi Leonard Lafayette Lever Rashard Lewis Reggie Lewis Damian Lillard Brook Lopez Bob Love Kevin Love Clyde Lovellette Kyle Lowry Jerry Lucas Maurice Lucas Ed Macauley Jamaal Magloire Dan Majerle Jeff Malone Karl Malone Moses Malone Danny Manning Pete Maravich Stephon Marbury Shawn Marion Jack Martin Kenyon Martin Slater Martin Jamal Mashburn Anthony Mason Bob McAdoo Xavier McDaniel Antonio McDyess George McGinnis Jon McGlocklin Tracy McGrady Dick McGuire
Jerry Lucas, 1965 NBA All-Star Game MVP
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