Skip to content Skip to footer

The best of the best: NBA All-Star photos that resonate beyond basketball

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game was, of course, different from any other all-star game in the past. And the NBA All-Star photos were consequently the same.

Still, although there weren’t fans at this All-Star Game, the NBA’s best showed off their athleticism and insane basketball skills. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP, and Steph Curry and Damian Lillard put on a 3-point shooting clinic.

When I was sitting watching All-Star Sunday, I became nostalgic for All-Star Weekends in the past.

So to cure this sadness, let’s go through some of the best moments of past NBA All-Star games. There is no order, these are just some of the best NBA All-Star photos that we will remember forever.

LeBron and Giannis star in this iconic NBA All-Star photo

nba all-star photos
LeBron and Giannis with even more stars behind them in the 2020 NBA All-Star game (via @kingjames

Giannis coming off his MVP season and standing as the frontrunner for another.

LeBron having a bounce-back MVP-caliber season with the Lakers as the one seed. The two biggest stars in the game facing off, and the game came down to the wire.

And then came this spectacular NBA All-Star photo, as LeBron and Giannis are gazed upon by the biggest stars the entertainment world has to offer. Thus, this is one of the most iconic NBA All-Star photos of all time.

Michael Jordan flies to greatness

nba all-star photos
Jordan flies from the free-throw line, to throw down his famous “free throw” line dunk. (Bleacher Report)

Although this list will primarily be the actual All-Star Games, there is just no ignoring what Michael Jordan did in the 1988 event. Not to mention this All-Star Weekend was in his own Chicago.

His weekend started off with a jaw-dropping slam dunk performance and ultimate win, highlighted by his free throw line dunk. A dunk that will never cease to be a highlight.

Then during the All-Star Game, he came out on the winning side notching 40 points and winning the ASG MVP. This NBA All-Star photo will live on in basketball lore forever.

Shaq disrespects David Robinson

nba all-star photos
Shaq dunks on Duncan Robinson (NBA)

On his home court no less. In 1996, Shaq came into David Robinson’s San Antonio and completely stole the show, with a stat line of 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Players can have good games, but the dunk he laid on David Robinson’s face was one for the highlight reel. Just an insane act of athleticism and brute strength. 

And consequently, an insane NBA All-Star photo we will always remember.

Allen Iverson steals the show

Allen Iverson maneuvers his way for a layup against Kobe Bryant (

Most All-Star Games have no play style to them. They are filled with dunks, highlight plays, but a clear lack of rhythm. There is rarely defense and games in the clutch.

However in 2001, Allen Iverson wanted to win, and wanted to win bad.

He was always the David to the NBAs Goliath and had to continually prove he was one of the best. Well, after his side fell behind big in the fourth quarter, he scored 15 of his 25 points to give his side the win 111-110!

Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star game

LeBron James gets ready to guard Kobe Bryant (NBA)

There have always been “lasts” in the sports world, and in the NBA we have had legend after legend complete in their final All-Star games, which are all great moments. However, Kobe’s last ASG now holds the most weight.

The late, great NBA legend Kobe Bryant played his final ASG in 2016. He was playing against other greats throughout the NBA that all looked up to him growing up, and now he was moving on.

Kobe didn’t have an amazing game, but that wasn’t the storyline, he was saying goodbye to basketball, which is what everyone came to watch.

NBA All Stars make iconic photos

Ultimately, when you have dozens of All-Star games to chose from, it can be hard to narrow down a few moments.

But there is an intense feel to every one of these photos, that resonates beyond the pictures themselves. Even more, for those who bore witness to these All-Star moments, I bet they can remember how they feel because of these photos.

NBA All-Star photos are our glimpse back into the past. And it doesn’t get much better than this.