Learn All About The MVP All Star Game Award

Learn All About The MVP All Star Game Award
7 min read
23 March 2023

The NBA All-Star Game MVP has been awarded over the period of 72 years to a number of NBA legends. The NBA All-Star Game is an annual exhibition game that brings together the best basketball players in the world. Each year, the game is a spectacle that showcases the athleticism, skill, and entertainment value of the NBA's top players. 

But while the game itself is always exciting, one of the most anticipated moments of the All-Star Game is the announcement of the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. In this post, we'll take a look at the history of the All-Star Game MVP award, some of the most memorable MVP performances, and what it takes to be named the mvp all star game.

History of the All-Star Game MVP Award

The first NBA All-Star Game was played in 1951, and it wasn't until 1953 that the MVP award was introduced. The inaugural All-Star Game MVP was awarded to Ed Macauley of the Boston Celtics, who scored 20 points and had 6 rebounds in the game. Since then, the award has been given out every year, with the exception of the 1999 All-Star Game, which was canceled due to the NBA lockout.

The MVP award has been won by some of the biggest names in basketball history. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Shaquille O'Neal are just a few of the players who have been named All-Star Game MVP multiple times.

Memorable MVP Performances

One of the most memorable All-Star Game MVP performances came in 1988, when Michael Jordan scored 40 points, had 8 rebounds, and 3 steals to lead the East to a 138-133 victory over the West. Jordan's performance was so dominant that he scored 16 of the East's final 19 points to seal the victory. The game is often referred to as the "Michael Jordan Game" and is considered one of the greatest individual performances in All-Star Game history.

Another memorable mvp all star game performance came in 2001, when Allen Iverson led the East to a 111-110 victory over the West. Iverson scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, including a step-back jumper over Kobe Bryant with less than a minute remaining to give the East the lead. Iverson's performance was even more impressive considering he was the smallest player on the court and had to overcome a 19-point deficit in the second half to lead his team to victory.

In 2016, Kobe Bryant played in his 18th and final All-Star Game, and he went out in style by scoring 10 points in the first quarter and finishing with 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. Bryant's performance helped the West to a 196-173 victory over the East, and he was named the game's MVP and won the mvp all star game award.

What Does It Take to be Named All-Star Game MVP?

To be named the MVP of the NBA All-Star Game, a player has to have a standout performance that helps their team win. While scoring a lot of points is often a factor in winning the award, it's not the only thing that matters. Rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks can also be important in determining the MVP.

But more than anything, the MVP has to be a player who makes a difference in the game. They have to have an impact on both ends of the court, and they have to be a leader on their team. They also have to entertain the fans with their flashy plays and highlight-reel dunks.

Another factor that can come into play when deciding the MVP is the narrative surrounding the game. If there is a player who has been having an exceptional season or has a particular storyline heading into the All-Star Game, that can sometimes influence the decision.

Ultimately, the mvp all star game award is about recognizing the player who had the biggest impact on the game and helped lead their team to victory. It's a way to honor the best of the best in a game that features some of the most talented athletes in the world.

Who was the inaugural Winner of the NBA All-Star Game?

While Ed Macauley was named MVP of the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951, he was not the first player to receive the award as the NBA did not present an MVP award during the first two editions of the All-Star Game. 

The league finally introduced a game MVP in 1953, with George Mikan receiving the honor for that year's game. The NBA also retroactively awarded MVPs for the prior two All-Star contests, with Macaulay being named the winner for 1951 and Paul Arizin receiving the award for 1952.

MVP award renamed in Kobe Bryant’s honor

The NBA made the decision to rename the All-Star MVP award in honor of Kobe Bryant in February 2020, following his tragic death along with his daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver explained that Kobe Bryant exemplified what it meant to be an All-Star. Bryant, who was selected to the All-Star team 18 times, was awarded the mvp all star game four times, in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011.

Who has won the most All-Star Game MVP awards of all time?

Both Kobe Bryant and Bob Pettit currently hold the record for winning the most NBA mvp all star game award, with each player having won the award four times, which is a record. This feat wasn’t achieved by any other players till now.

LeBron James is currently in pursuit of Bryant and Pettit's record, having already won the award three times. At present, he is tied with three other basketball greats, namely Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Oscar Robertson, who have also been awarded the All-Star Game MVP three times. The award has been won twice by eight players, namely Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Allen Iverson, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Julius Irving, Isiah Thomas, and Bob Cousy.

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