The Complete Sneaker History of NBA All-Star Game MVPs

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All-Star weekend is upon us, which means it's time to take a look back at the history of this sixty-two year old game and what the best players of the day chose to take to the hardwood. From Converse's (appropriately named) original All Star sneaker to today's ASG edition exclusives, Sneaker Report provides a snapshot of how far basketball footwear has come since the twenty year domination of the original Converse All Star. No fear, by the '70s style and performance benefits started to influence player's choices for other game day sneakers. These are The Complete Sneaker History of All-Star Game MVPs.

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No. 1 - Ed Macauley x Converse All Star

Year: 1951
Team: Boston Celtics

Played in the historic Boston Garden, 1951’s inaugural NBA All-Star game saw Celtic Ed Macauley lead the way for the Eastern Division. He dropped 20 points and grabbed six rebounds, edging out teammate Dolph Schayes (15 points/14 boards) for the MVP award. Like most players at the time, Macauley wore Converse All Stars for this fine performance, utilizing the breathable canvas upper to stay cool as the 6’ 8” forward backed down Hall-of-Famers like George Mikan and Vern Mikkelsen in the post.


No. 2 - Paul Arizin x Converse All Star

Year: 1952
Team: Philadelphia Warriors

After the success of the first All-Star game in Boston, the league decided to return for the 1952 edition. This time, though, Paul Arizin of the Philadelphia Warriors took home the MVP award on the strength of his 26 points and eight rebounds. The shooting guard was able to shake his defenders and get plenty of good open looks thanks to his Converse All Stars, whose molded rubber outsole provided him with the traction necessary to create space to shoot. Thanks in part to his shoes Arizin drained shots from all over the floor, going 9-for-13 from the field and also 8-for-8 from the free throw line.


No. 3 - George Mikan x Pro-KEDS Royal Hi

Year: 1953
Team: Minneapolis Lakers

The evolutionary big man of the NBA, Mikan was an absolute beast back in the 1950s NBA. Standing at 6‘ 10” and weighing a then-unheard of 245 pounds, Mikan was the Shaq of his era, and on this night it showed as he took home All-Star MVP honors after a 26 point, 16 rebound performance. The flexibility afforded by the canvas upper of his Pro-KEDS Royals allowed Mikan to maneuver around the paint at will, and his defense forced the East’s three primary big men into a dreadful 8-for-24 shooting night.


No. 4 - Bob Cousy x Converse All Star

Year: 1954
Team: Boston Celtics

The Celtics’ shifty point guard was on fire at the 1954 All-Star game, setting up both his teammates and himself thanks to his Converse All Stars en route to the MVP award. The rubber outsole’s traction, a primary feature of the shoe, allowed the point guard to zoom up and down the floor with ease as he poured in 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while also dishing out four assists. Because his game was predicated on getting into tight spaces, Cousy relied on the flexibility of the canvas upper to allow him to maneuver around defenders and get to the basket. Based on this performance, it’s fair to say his Chuck Taylors did their job.


No. 5 - Bill Sharman x Converse All Star

Year: 1955
Team: Boston Celtics

In the first All-Star game of the shot clock era, the Celtics’ Sharman took home the MVP trophy by scoring 15 points, collecting four rebounds and handing out two assists in just 18 minutes of play off the Eastern Division’s bench. Much like his backcourt-mate Cousy, the 6’ 1” Sharman’s game depended upon speed and quickness; his Converse All Stars allowed him to play just that style, thanks to the rubber outsole which kept his feet hugging the floor and ready to make quick cuts around defenders. Sharman came up huge when it counted, tallying 10 of his points in the fourth quarter as the East came out on top of a game that saw 16 lead changes in the final period alone.


No. 6 - Bob Pettit x Converse All Stars

Year: 1956
Team: St. Louis Hawks

Pettit was a monster in this game, scoring 20 points to go along with seven assists and a whopping 24 rebounds off the bench for the West as they easily dispatched their Eastern foes. Particularly on the boards, the Hawks’ big man absolutely humbled his rivals. He out-maneuvered them for seemingly every rebound thanks in large part to the revolutionary traction provided by his Converse All Stars, whose outstanding floor grip enabled Pettit to nearly outrebound the combined total of the East’s entire starting lineup (all five of whom are now in the Hall of Fame).


No. 7 - Bob Cousy x Converse All Stars

Year: 1957
Team: Boston Celtics

Cousy took home his second All-Star game MVP trophy with a solid all-around performance in front of his hometown fans, guiding the East to a 109-97 victory. The Celtics’ legendary point guard pitched in 10 points to go with five rebounds and seven assists, as his excellent distribution and selflessness enabled five of his teammates to also score in double figures. His quick passing and ball movement were aided in no small part by his Converse All Stars, with the traction provided by the rubber outsoles allowing Cousy to go wherever he wanted on the court at any time.


No. 8 - Bob Pettit x Converse All Star

Year: 1958
Team: St. Louis Hawks

After dominating in 1956 en route to the MVP award, Pettit did himself one better in the 1958 game as he led the West over the East. The St. Louis Hawks’ center posted another 20-20, this time putting up 28 points and 26 rebounds, easily besting the totals put up by rival Bill Russell (who only managed 11 points and 11 boards). The flexibility of the canvas upper allowed Pettit to navigate the paint against not only Russell but also future Hall-of-Famers Dolph Schayes and Neil Johnston, all of whom were unable to keep up with Pettit’s quick moves and put-back ability around the rim.


No. 9 - Bob Pettit x Converse All Star

Year: 1959
Team: St. Louis Hawks

Pettit made it a third MVP in four years with another big game, although perhaps not quite as good as his previous two. The Hawks’ big man scored 25 points go with 16 rebounds and five assists as he shared the award with fellow West starter Elgin Baylor. Pettit again outplayed Bill Russell, using the breathable canvas upper to remain cool and composed on the defensive end against the Celtics’ legendary center and to hold him to just seven points and nine rebounds.


No. 10 - Elgin Baylor x Converse All Stars

Year: 1959
Team: Minneapolis Lakers

Baylor became the first rookie ever to capture MVP honors in the All-Star game, as the Lakers’ forward tallied 24 points and corralled 11 rebounds in his first of 11 consecutive selections. Tasked with keeping up with the legendary Celtics’ backcourt of Cousy and Sharman, Baylor proved more than up to the task; darting all over the court thanks to the gripping rubber outsole of his Converse All-Stars, the guard held the Celtics’ duo to a measly 7-of-20 combined shooting night.


No. 11 - Wilt Chamberlain x Converse All Stars

Year: 1960
Team: Philadelphia Warriors

Playing in front of his hometown fans, Philadelphia Warriors’ center Wilt Chamberlain became the second rookie in as many seasons to take home the MVP trophy. The incredible finesse and agility Wilt showed around the basket was made possible in part due to his Converse All Stars, whose combination of traction in the rubber outsole and flexible canvas upper allowed the young upstart to dominate the West’s big men to the tune of 23 points and 25 rebounds, with almost all of the points coming in close proximity to the basket. Wilt would continue to be an All-Star fixture, playing in every single game that decade.


No. 12 - Oscar Robertson x Converse All Star Lows

Year: 1961
Team: Cincinnati Royals

On the strength of The Big O’s near triple-double, the West absolutely thrashed the East 153-131 in by far the highest scoring All-Star game to date. Robertson was masterful in his low-cut Converse All Stars, utilizing the incredible freedom and maneuverability provided by the rubber outsole and low canvas upper to do a little bit of everything on the court. In addition to scoring 23 points, he dished out a whopping 14 assists and grabbed nine rebounds as he helped five of his fellow All-Stars score in double figures.


No. 13 - Bob Pettit x Converse All Star

Year: 1962
Team: St. Louis Hawks

The last of Pettit’s All-Star MVP awards was perhaps his finest overall effort, as he scored 25 points and bested his previous highest total by grabbing an astonishing 27 rebounds (a single-game record that still stands) for the West. As in the prior games, the Hawks’ power forward wore his signature Converse All Stars due to the superior traction in the paint provided by the molded rubber outsole and the flexible canvas upper that allowed him to deftly maneuver at the rim around Hall-of-Famers like Chamberlain, Russell and Heinsohn. While it was his last time winning the honor for the game’s top player, Pettit would go on to play in the next three All-Star games before retiring following the 1964-65 season.


No. 14 - Bill Russell x Converse All Star Low

Year: 1963
Team: Boston Celtics

The Celtics’ center was relentless for the East, crashing the boards and scoring around the rim at will as he guided his team to a narrow 115-108 victory. The pliable canvas upper of Russell’s low cut Converse All Stars allowed him the freedom to roam the paint on both ends of the floor, and it was his incredible inside presence that was credited with stopping the West’s fearsome frontline of Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Pettit and Walt Bellamy. In addition to registering 19 points and 25 rebounds, Russell also used the fantastic grip of his All Stars to elevate for numerous blocks (not a recorded stat at the time) that allowed his teammates to get out and score in transition.


No. 15 - Oscar Robertson x Converse All Star Low

Year: 1964
Team: Cincinnati Royals

Robertson was a force for the East, nearly recording a triple-double yet again as he led the East to a narrow 111-107 win. Robertson’s low-cut Converse All Stars made it all possible with a versatility suited perfectly for the point guard’s game; the molded rubber outsole gave Robertson all the traction he needed to cut to the hoop and either pass the ball to a teammate or take the shot himself. He did both with great aplomb, leading all players on either team in both points (26) and assists (8).


No. 16 - Jerry Lucas x Converse All Star

Year: 1965
Team: Cincinnati Royals

After taking a back seat to his more celebrated teammate Oscar Robertson, Lucas showed in the All-Star game why he was also one of the league’s premier players as he shot 12-for-19 from the field en route to 25 points and the game’s MVP award. The Royals’ guard utilized the breathable canvas upper to stay cool and calm as the West made a furious late game comeback attempt, with Lucas ultimately sinking a key jumper to stave off what would have been an epic collapse.


No. 17 - Adrian Smith x Converse All Stars

Year: 1966
Team: Cincinnati Royals

Few had heard of Smith before this contest, but the Royals’ guard played a solid all-around game to earn the MVP honors in an absolute blowout for the East. Smith led all scorers with 24 points, darting all over the floor in his Converse All Stars to nail shots from every conceivable angle. While the molded rubber outsole undoubtedly aided Smith’s quick, defender-shaking cuts around the perimeter, it probably also helped that with the score out of hand Smith’s teammates were feeding him the ball the entire second half in an effort to please the local fans.


No. 18 - Rick Barry x Converse All Stars

Year: 1967
Team: San Francisco Warriors

Another player from the host city took home the MVP trophy, as Rick Barry rode a 38 point scoring barrage to win the award. The Warriors’ forward used the soft maneuverability of his Converse All Stars’ canvas upper to his advantage, spreading out the East’s perimeter players before attacking the basket or pulling up for a jumper. Barry set a record that still stands as well, having attempted a staggering 27 shots in the game. Considering he made 16 of them in leading the West to a monumental upset over the East, it was probably worth it.


No. 19 - Hal Greer x Converse All Stars

Year: 1968
Philadelphia 76ers

Considering he had a perfect night, Hal Greer truly earned the 1968 All-Star game MVP award. Despite playing just 17 minutes, the diminutive point guard went 8-for-8 from the field en route to 21 points and a 20-point win for the East. Greer’s shoes of choice were Converse All Stars, whose molded rubber outsoles allowed the shifty guard to get several steals (not yet a tracked stat) and create numerous fast break opportunities for his team. Fortunately for the hot-shooting Greer, the breathable canvas upper of his Chuck Taylors prevented him from overheating despite his blistering pace on the court.


No. 20 - Oscar Robertson x adidas Superstar

Year: 1969
Team: Cincinnati Royals

It was another excellent night for Oscar Robertson, who on the strength of his 24 points, six rebounds and five assists won his third All-Star game MVP trophy. For this contest, Robertson went with the brand new Adidas Superstars. The rubber “shell” toe and leather upper kept the guard’s feet—his most valuable asset due to the speed-oriented nature of his game—well protected from the footsteps of opposing forward/centers such as Wilt Chamberlain and Elvin Hayes. The all-leather upper, the first of its kind, also gave Robertson the kind of durability he needed given the pace and intensity of his play every single night.


No. 21 - Willis Reed x Voit Custom

Year: 1970
Team: New York Knicks

Willis Reed took home the MVP award for his 21 points and 11 rebounds, and would eventually go on to become the first player ever to capture the MVP triumvirate (All-Star game, regular season and NBA finals) in one season. Rather than going with conventional shoes like the Converse All Star, Reed wore his own signature shoe made by Voit. It shared many of the same features as the Chuck Taylor, and its canvas upper was especially valuable to Reed as he quickly navigated the tight spaces in the low post. The molded rubber outsoles also kept the Knicks’ star forward grounded as he battled for position with the West’s Elvin Hayes throughout the game.


No. 22 - Lenny Wilkens x adidas Superstar

Year: 1971
Team: Seattle Supersonics

Wilkens wasn’t even a starter for this game, but after the West’s top two guards struggled he came off the bench and poured in a game-high 21 points to give his team a hard-fought 108-107 victory. Wilkens brought a tremendous level of hustle and tenacity on both ends of the floor, with the low-cut leather upper of his Adidas Superstars giving him the freedom of movement that enabled him to harass the East’s guards into multiple turnovers. His effort also paid off on the offensive end, as the rubber outsole of his Superstars allowed him to get open early and often as he shot 8-for-11 from the floor.


No. 23 - Jerry West x adidas Superstar

Year: 1972
Team: Los Angeles

In a game in which no player scored more than 15 points, the Lakers’ Jerry West took home the MVP trophy thanks in large part to his Adidas Superstars. The Logo may not have filled the stat sheet like he normally did, but because of his Superstars he was clutch when it counted. With time running out West dribbled the length of the floor, and thanks to the quick cuts enabled by his sneakers’ molded rubber outsoles, shook his defender and drilled a pull-up jumper from the top of the key with under a second to go to give the West a 112-110 win.


No. 24 - Dave Cowens x adidas Superstar

Year: 1973
Team: Boston Celtics

Having long been overshadowed by his teammate John Havlicek, Dave Cowens emerged onto the national scene by putting up 15 points and 13 rebounds en route to the MVP award. His Adidas Superstars helped power the Celtics’ forward in and around the paint, as the hard shell toe kept his feet protected while he dominated West bigs Sidney Wicks, Spencer Haywood and Wilt Chamberlain on the glass. Cowens’ hustle and desire truly set the tone for the game, as the effort of the Celtics’ center spurred the East to a blowout 104-84 victory.


No. 25 - Bob Lanier x adidas Americana

Year: 1974
Team: Detroit Pistons

Lanier absolutely owned the paint in the 1974 All-Star game, coming off the bench to score 24 points, grab 10 rebounds and block two shots in his MVP-winning effort. While he played just 26 minutes, Lanier was heavily involved in the action given his 15 shots attempted and active role on the glass. Fortunately for the Pistons’ center, he was wearing Adidas Americanas. The incredibly breathable mesh upper kept him from overheating as he was battling down low against perennial All-Stars like Dave Cowens and Bob McAdoo, allowing him to dominate in a game full of future Hall-of-Famers.


No. 26 - Walt Frazier x Puma Clyde

Year: 1975
Team: New York Knicks

The fleet-footed Walt Frazier was in fine form during the 1975 All-Star game, tallying 30 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals to lead the East to a 108-102 victory and earn himself MVP honors. “Clyde” wore his signature Puma shoe for the occasion, and its molded rubber outsole allowed the Knicks’ star guard to quickly change directions as he got into passing lanes for steals and ran out on the fast break for easy baskets. The snug, comfortable fit of the suede upper kept Frazier’s feet locked in while he harassed opposing guards Jerry West and Tiny Archibald, despite their best attempts to shake him off.


No. 27 - Dave Bing x adidas Superstar

Year: 1976
Team: Washington Bullets

Playing in his final All-Star game, the Washington Bullets’ Dave Bing finished off his career the best way possible: with a win and the MVP trophy. While he wasn’t even the leading scorer for his team, his all-around contributions made the guard a strong choice for the award. Bing’s Adidas Superstars were the perfect complement to his breakneck pace in the open court, as the molded rubber outsoles kept him grounded as he completed several highly difficult passes to set up his teammates for easy baskets. His final stat line of 16 points, three rebounds and four assists belied just how vital he was to the East’s triumph.


No. 28 - Julius Erving x Converse Pro Leather

Year: 1977
Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Playing in his first NBA All-Star game after several years in the ABA, Dr. J also became the first player from the losing team ever to win the MVP award. Despite coming up on the wrong end of the score line, the Sixers’ forward earned the trophy by scoring 30 points to go along with 12 rebounds, three assists and four steals. He wore his signature Converse Pro Leathers for the event, with the revolutionary leather mid-cut upper providing Erving with the stability and support he needed to throw down several of his trademark acrobatic dunks.


No. 29 - Randy Smith x Converse Pro Leather

Year: 1978
Team: Buffalo Braves

Despite not being particularly well-known, Randy Smith of the Buffalo Braves was absolutely on fire at the 1978 All-Star game, hitting 11 of his 14 shots to win the MVP award. In addition to his 27 points, Smith grabbed seven rebounds and handed out six assists. This dynamic, versatile performance was greatly aided by his Converse Pro Leather shoes, whose molded rubber outsole allowed him to quickly free himself from the West’s excellent defenders. Considering he hit buzzer-beaters to end both the first and second quarters despite tremendous defensive pressure, it’s fair to say Smith chose the right footwear for this game.


No. 30 - David Thompson x Pony David Thompson Pro Model

Year: 1979
Team: Denver Nuggets

The innovator of the alley-oop, Thompson brought his high-flying game to Detroit for the 1979 All-Star game and walked away with the MVP award. Having been given his own signature shoe by Pony, Thompson utilized the molded rubber outsole to plant and explode up into the sky for a series of dazzling dunks and twisting layups that delighted the crowd and gave the West a big energy boost. His ability to finish at the rim allowed Thompson to register 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting while also getting to the free throw line seven times.


No. 31 - George Gervin x Nike Blazer

Year: 1980
Team: San Antonio Spurs

The Ice Man had a huge game for the East, scoring 34 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as he led his team to an overtime victory and won the MVP award for good measure. On his feet, Gervin benefited from the durable leather upper of his Nike Blazers as he contended with the strength of fellow small forward Adrian Dantley, against whom he had to do most of his work that night. He needed shoes that would last as long as he did—no small feat given that Gervin logged a practically-unheard of 40 minutes of court time—making the Blazers and ideal choice.


No. 32 - Nate Archibald x Nike Blazer

Year: 1981
Team: Boston Celtics

The man known as “Tiny” came up big for the East in the 1981 All-Star game, pitching in nine points and nine assists while controlling the game’s tempo as the led his team to a narrow 123-120 victory. As someone often dwarfed in size by other players, the Celtics’ diminutive point guard needed to be comfortable on the court to properly lead his team. The suede upper of his Nike Blazers ensured that even the immense pressure put on by West point guard Magic Johnson wouldn’t be enough to fluster Tiny, who helped his team maintain their composure even as the West whittled a once-huge East lead down to almost nothing.


No. 33 - Larry Bird x Converse Pro Leather

Year: 1982
Team: Boston Celtics

Larry Bird’s reputation as one of the all-time most clutch players took a huge leap forward in the 1982 All-Star game, as the Celtics’ forward scored 12 of the East’s final 15 points to secure a narrow 120-118 win. As the MVP, Bird was all over the court facilitating numerous fast break opportunities for his team. His Converse Pro Leathers were more than up for the task, as they gave Larry Legend the stability to stop on a dime and spot up for his signature jumper. With 19 points in addition to 12 rebounds and five assists, Bird proved that he had the well-rounded game perfectly suited for his sturdy, dependable shoes.


No. 34 - Julius Erving x Converse Pro Leather

Year: 1983
Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Dr. J had a fantastic game in 1983, relying on the rubber outsole of his Converse Pro Leathers to spring off the floor for an array of dunks and layups as he spurred the East to a 132-123 win. The 76ers’ star scored a game-high 25 points, with many of them coming on fast breaks befitting of the game’s LA location at the height of the “Showtime” era. Fortunately for Erving, his Pro Leathers were well-suited for this style of play; not only did they provide great traction, but the stable, durable leather upper ensured that the high-flyer would be landing safely without significant risk to his feet and ankles.


No. 35 - Isiah Thomas x Converse Pro Leather

Year: 1984
Team: Detroit Pistons

The 1984 All-Star game featured dazzling displays of passing from point guards Magic Johnson of the West and the game’s MVP, Isiah Thomas of the East. While both were outstanding, Thomas stood out just a bit more thanks to his Converse Pro Leathers. The Indiana product may have finished with fewer assists than Magic (15 vs. 22), but thanks to the quick cuts and slashing drives allowed by the molded rubber outsole of his sneakers he ended up outscoring the Lakers’ star 21 to 15, while also throwing in four steals for good measure.


No. 36 - Ralph Sampson x Puma Ralph Sampson

Year: 1985
Team: Houston Rockets

At 7’ 4”, Ralph Sampson was borderline unguardable on the court, and he showed just how good he could have been with his MVP performance at the 1985 All-Star game. Finishing with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the West, Sampson absolutely owned the paint against legendary big men like Moses Malone, Bill Laimbeer and Robert Parish. Considering the pounding he was taking underneath the hoop from these brutes, Sampson needed a shoe that could also withstand a lot of punishment. With its high ankle support and thick leather upper, the Puma Ralph Sampson was the ideal signature shoe for a man who had to stand up to a lot of abuse over the course of a game.


No. 37 - Isiah Thomas x Converse Fast Break

Year: 1986
Team: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons’ point guard took home his second MVP award in three years with his performance on this night in Dallas, as he scored 30 points to go with 10 assists and five steals as the East got a 139-132 win over the West. Playing the most minutes of anyone on either team, Thomas relied on the lightweight nylon integrated into the leather upper of his Converse Fast Breaks to keep his ankles locked in and his feet light throughout this grueling contest. Playing as the only guard in the East’s fourth quarter lineup, Thomas used the explosiveness provided by his molded rubber outsole’s traction to propel the offense to 39 points and a come-from-behind victory.


No. 38 - Tom Chambers x Nike Air Force II

Year: 1987
Team: Seattle Supersonics

A late roster addition due to an injury, hometown favorite Tom Chambers ended up becoming the hero of the 1987 All-Star game as the Supersonics’ big man scored 34 points to help the West to a 154-149 overtime victory. The high-flying Chambers had participated in the dunk contest the night before, and his aerial-oriented game was perfectly suited for his Nike Air Force IIs. The Air Max technology allowed him to elevate over the East’s massive front line as he made use of the healthy dose of passes he was receiving from Magic Johnson (the West’s point guard) to get many of his points at or around the rim.


No. 39 - Michael Jordan x Nike Air Jordan III

Year: 1988
Team: Chicago Bulls

After several non-descript performances in previous games, Jordan busted out what many consider to be the greatest All-Star performance in history as he easily took home MVP honors in 1988. Sporting the mid-cut Air Jordan IIIs, MJ used the light weight of his shoes to fill up the stat sheet in the typical categories (40 points on a ridiculous 17-of-23 shooting, eight rebounds, three assists) while also showing off the incredible speed his shoes afforded him (four steals and four blocks). After winning the dunk contest the night before, he also once again made use of the cushioning provided in the air-sole unit to throw down several highlight-reel jams over the course of the night.


No. 40 - Karl Malone x Converse Cons ERX 400

Year: 1989
Team: Utah Jazz

While he may have never won a ring as a player, “The Mailman” definitely delivered in the 1989 All-Star game. Making use of running mate John Stockton’s 17 assists, Malone delivered an exemplary performance by scoring 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting and also grabbing nine rebounds. Helping Malone stay strong in the paint were his Converse Cons ERX 400s, the final model in the ERX line. The thick, high-top upper kept Malone’s ankles well protected against bruising bigs like Moses Malone, Charles Barkely and Patrick Ewing, while the mesh on both sides of the upper kept him cool despite the constant pressure he faced.


No. 41 - Magic Johnson x Converse Magic I

Year: 1990
Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Despite the fact that his team lost by a wide margin, Magic Johnson ended up taking home the 1990 All-Star game MVP award on the strength of a game-high of 22 points. For this performance, Magic relied on his signature Converse Magic I, a shoe whose leather upper gave the versatile Lakers’ point guard the durability he needed to battle with any player at any place on the court. Not only did Magic score plenty of points in this game, but knowing he had that stable upper to support him also ventured down into the paint to grab six rebounds and even block a shot.


No. 42 - Charles Barkley x Nike Air Force V Low

Year: 1991
Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Sir Charles was outstanding in his final All-Star game as a 76er, scoring 15 points and corralling 22 rebounds to win the MVP trophy as the East won by a narrow 116-114 margin. Barkley wore his Nike Air Force V Lows, the final shoe in the Air Force line. Despite being just 6’ 6”, the power forward used the incredible lift provided by the Air Max cushioning to elevate over much larger West players such as Karl Malone and David Robinson. Barkley’ s eight offensive rebounds created numerous second-chance opportunities for his team, and played a vital role in why the won the game.


No. 43 - Magic Johnson x Converse Cons

Year: 1992
Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Coming back for one night only following his retirement after being diagnosed with HIV, Magic absolutely dazzled at the 1992 All-Star game en route to winning the MVP award. He went 9-for-12 from the field (including several deep three pointers) as he put on a show for the fans. Because he had been out of the game for the whole season, it would have been easy for Magic to overheat on the floor during the game; however, thanks to the ventilation provided by the perforated leather upper of his Converse Cons, the point guard was able to keep his cool in his only 29 minutes of action all season.


No. 44 - John Stockton x Nike Air Maestro I

Year: 1993
Team: Utah Jazz

The Malone-Stockton duo was absolutely iconic in Utah, as the pair showed an uncommon chemistry on the court throughout their careers. This translated onto the floor in the 1993 All-Star game, where the pair split the MVP award. Despite scoring just nine points, Stockton also dished out 15 assists as the West took home a 135-132 overtime victory. His Nike Air Maestro Is were of great assistance as well, keeping the point guard’s feet stable thanks the huarache cut and interior leather-lace support at the forefoot of the shoe. Since he didn’t have to worry about his feet sliding around, Stockton was free to dribble in and out of tight spaces without fear of losing control, a fundamental component of his game.


No. 45 - Karl Malone x LA Gear Catapult

Year: 1993
Team: Utah Jazz

The other half of Utah’s MVP-winning duo, Malone had an outstanding game as he scored 28 points to go with 10 rebounds and two blocks. The Jazz’s power forward was forced to do battle with several future Hall-of-Famers on the block (including Shaquille O’Neal and Patrick Ewing), but thanks to his LA Gear Catapults he was well-protected at all times. The shoes featured a full leather upper to provide “The Mailman” with excellent durability and protection against these fearsome foes, and the cushioning technology in the heel made Malone’s comfort on the court against such stiff competition so apparent that Nike sued LA Gear claiming that they had stolen their idea.


No. 46 - Scottie Pippen x Nike Air Maestro

Year: 1994
Team: Chicago Bulls

In the absence of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen proved just how good a player he was as he took home the MVP award of the 1994 All-Star game. The Bulls’ forward scored 29 points to go with 11 rebounds and spurred the East to victory with his three point shooting, making five in all. Wearing Nike Air Maestro Is was a huge boost for Pippen’s long range game, as the full leather upper gave him the strength and stability he needed to pull up in the face of harassing pressure from opposing small forwards like Mitch Richmond and Latrell Sprewell.


No. 47 - Mitch Richmond x Nike Flight I

Year: 1995
Team: Sacramento Kings

Richmond was dead on from the floor against the East, as the Sacramento Kings’ shooting guard hit 10 of 13 shots and guided the West to the win. Richmond provided an explosive presence off the bench in his Nike Air Flight I, taking advantage of his shoe's light weight as he elevated for open shots around the perimeter. The guard succeed all night in both getting to the hoop and letting it fly from long range, hitting all three three-pointers he attempted. The Zoom Air cushioning ensured the Richmond would land softly and comfortably after each attempt, making every subsequent decision to shoot that much easier.


No. 48 - Michael Jordan x Nike Air Jordan XI

Year: 1996
Team: Chicago Bulls

The 1996 All-Star game was all about MJ, as the Bulls’ legend returned after his brief retirement to score 20 points for the East and take home MVP honors in a 129-118 victory. The breathability provided by the Cordura mesh upper of his Air Jordan XI allowed His Airness to stay cool while hitting a barrage of mid-range jumpers, while the carbon fiber spring plate made it possible for him to explode for several signature dunks in the later stages of the game. Regardless of where he was on the floor, Jordan was pretty much unstoppable; he shot a very efficient 8-for-11 on the night despite being the focal point of the West's defensive efforts.


No. 49 - Glen Rice x Warner Brothers Sports GR41

Year: 1997
Team: Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets’ sharpshooter brought his A-game in 1997, burying four three-pointers and registering 26 points overall to lead the East to a 132-120 victory. Sporting his rarely-seen signature GR41 made by WB Sports, Rice was clearly feeling good after winning the three-point contest the previous night. The support provided by the high leather upper allowed the forward to get settled into his favorite spots, a key for any shooter’s accuracy. That he was able to contribute all these points in just 25 minutes of playing time off the bench is a testament to just how important his shoes were in allowing him to be ready to help his team right away.


No. 50 - Michael Jordan x Nike Air Jordan XIII

Year: 1998
Team: Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan captured his third and final All-Star game MVP award in 1998 as he scored 23 points and handed out nine assists in the East’s 135-114 blowout win at Madison Square Garden. MJ was up to his usual tricks all game, blowing by defenders thanks to his incredible quickness and the carbon-fiber soles of his Air Jordan XIIIs. Like in previous games, he also used his speed and the Zoom Air cushioning in his shoes to throw down several impressive dunks, including a tremendous put-back right in between Kevin Garnett and Karl Malone.


No. 51 - Shaquille O’Neal x Reebok Shaq Steel

Year: 2000
Team: Los Angeles Lakers

As usual, Shaq was a beast for the West, scoring 22 points while grabbing nine rebounds and blocking three shots en route to being named the game’s co-MVP along with Tim Duncan. The big man was getting even bigger after arriving in LA, so he needed some extra padding when he landed after throwing down the thunderous dunks that were his specialty. Fortunately, the Hexalite technology in his Reebok Shaq Steels provided him with all the cushioning he could have hoped for, and O’Neal used this comfort to absolutely abuse the hapless East center duo of Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo.


No. 52 - Tim Duncan x Nike Flightposite 1

Year: 2001
Team: San Antonio Spurs

Like his co-MVP Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan absolutely destroyed the Eastern Conference’s big men in the paint. The Spurs’ stalwart center tied the team-high with 24 points to go with a game-high 14 rebounds, and he even chipped in four assists for good measure. His Nike Flightposites greatly aided Duncan’s effort, with the one piece Foamposite upper providing him with the sturdy, durable structure he needed to dig in underneath against the likes of Glen “Big Dog” Robinson as well as Mourning and Mutombo. The Zoom Air insole also ensured that Duncan would not suffer any ill effects as he came down after grabbing one of his many rebounds.


No. 53 - Allen Iverson x Reebok Answer IV DMX

Year: 2001
Team: Philadelphia 76ers

After falling behind by 21 points in the fourth quarter, the East came roaring back thanks to MVP Allen Iverson’s 15 points in the quarter (and 25 for the game) to steal a 111-110 win from the West. Showing his trademark fearlessness, AI time and again got to the rim against imposing West big men such as Shaq and Tim Duncan, using the full-length DMX Foam cushioning technology of his Reebok Answer IVs to land softly despite the pounding he took all game. The durable full leather upper likewise ensured that no matter how much punishment Iverson’s opponents wanted to dish out, he and his shoes would still be standing at the end.


No. 54 - Kobe Bryant x adidas Kobe 2

Year: 2002
Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe returned to his hometown of Philadelphia and put on an absolute clinic, scoring 31 points while grabbing five rebounds and five steals to win the MVP award. Bryant was at his best in becoming the first player to score 30 points in an All-Star game since Michael Jordan in 1993, with the durable one piece synthetic upper of his Adidas Kobe 2 keeping the Lakers’ star comfortable despite getting bashed around the basket by the East’s big men. In fact, they allowed Kobe to get to the rim so much that he attempted the same number of free throws as the rest of his team combined.


No. 55 - Kevin Garnett x AND1 KG 2

Year: 2003
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

The AND1 KG 2 represented the versatility that the Timberwolves’ power forward was known for, and he indeed put this ability on display for the entire basketball world at the 2003 All-Star game as he took home the MVP award on the strength of his 37 points and nine rebounds. The KG 2’s CMEVA sockliner and Harmonix air-bag locked in Garnett’s ankles as he maneuvered around the paint, hitting several of his patented 18-foot jumpers. When he needed to go to the rim, the shoes were ready with a high abrasion molded rubber in the forefoot to give the Garnett all the traction he needed around the basket.


No. 56 - Shaquille O’Neal x SHAQ Dunkman 2004

Year: 2004
Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Despite the game being played in Los Angeles, Shaq had to come off the bench for the West in the 2004 All-Star game. That did very little to slow the big center down, as he scored 24 points on 12-of-19 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds to win the MVP award. Doing battle underneath can be brutal, but fortunately for Shaq he was wearing his signature Dunkman 2004s, a shoe whose high-top leather upper kept the big man’s legs protected from the East’s notorious bruisers Jermaine O’Neal and Ben Wallace.


No. 57 - Allen Iverson x Reebok ATR Pump

Year: 2005
Team: Philadelphia 76ers

After a three year drought for the East, AI lifted his entire team up and propelled them to victory with a tremendous, MVP-winning performance. In addition to his usual double-digit scoring output, Iverson dished out nine assists (including a memorable alley-oop to LeBron James) and contributed defensively with five steals as well. Iverson slashed into tight spaces with the greatest of ease thanks to his Reebok ATR Pumps, which utilized a heel pump mechanism and foot cradling bladder that filled with air each time Iverson took a step. The result was that the more strain put on Iverson’s feet, the better supported they were. This stability allowed AI to wreak havoc on the West’s defense from start to finish.


No. 58 - 2006 - LeBron James x Nike Zoom LeBron III All-Star

Year: 2006
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron’s first MVP award came thanks to a 29 point, six rebound outpouring that allowed the East to narrowly defeat the West by a score of 122-120. The key component of the young star’s game was getting to the rim, and his signature Nike Zoom LeBron III made it easy for him to assault the basket thanks in large part to the interior foot bucket which prevented his feet from slipping off the foot-bed as he planted and exploded in another direction. As in previous versions of the shoe, the Zoom Air unit helped Cleveland’s high-flyer soar through the air with confidence, knowing that he was in for a very comfortable landing.


No. 59 - Kobe Bryant x Nike Zoom II All-Star

Year: 2007
Team: Los Angeles Lakers

In guiding the West to a 21-point victory margin, Kobe Bryant did a little bit of everything. His Nike Zoom Kobe II benefitted him in innumerable ways over the course of the game: the revolutionary design tweak that eliminated the traditional midsole meant that Bryant’s already explosive first step was even quicker, and the upper implemented a group of several panels to provide flexibility and more targeted support as Bryant took on individual players both at and away from the basket. The result was an incredible all-around stat line, wherein the Lakers’ star had 31 points, five rebounds, six assists and six steals.


No. 60 - LeBron James x Nike Zoom LeBron V All-Star

Year: 2008
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron just continued to get better after capturing MVP honors two years earlier, and in 2008 nearly recorded a triple-double as he led the East to a 134-128 win. The versatility of the young forward was on full display; James scored 27 points, hauled in eight rebounds and handed out nine assists. His Nike Zoom LeBron Vs played a key role in this output, utilizing a hybrid Foamposite-Phylon bucket to stabilize the 6’ 9”, 245 pound James’ foot as he crashed the boards and drove to the hoop. In addition, LeBron was certainly well-grounded throughout the contest due to the intersecting grooves on the outsole that gave this version of the LeBron the best traction yet in the series.


No. 61 - Shaquille O’Neal x Li Ning Shaquille O'Neal All-Star

Year: 2009
Team: Phoenix Suns

Shaq experienced a brief resurgence in 2009, and teaming once again with Kobe Bryant came up big in the All-Star game as the former Lakers’ teammates shared the MVP award. Despite playing under 11 minutes off the bench, O’Neal managed to score 17 points while grabbing five rebounds as the affable center played in his final All-Star game. His signature shoes made by Li Ning provided him with tremendous ankle stability thanks to the full leather high-top upper, and this feature certainly came in handy when the fun-loving Shaq attempted to play point guard for a couple possessions late in the game.


No. 62 -  Kobe Bryant x Nike Zoom Kobe IV All-Star

Year: 2009
Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe continued his streak of All-Star game dominance, scoring 27 points to share the game’s MVP award with his former teammate (and nemesis) Shaquille O’Neal. Kobe’s signature Nike Zoom Kobe IVs provided the Lakers’ star guard with the most essential element he needed for a successful night: flywire technology to give the veteran’s aging legs the incredibly lightweight support needed for his trademark first step. Thanks to the shoe’s Phylon midsole and Lunar Foam forefoot, the shoe delivered unprecedented cushioning for each step Bryant took. The result was a barrage of points that helped his team to a 146-119 blowout win.


No. 63 - Dwyane Wade x Nike Air Jordan 2010 Dwyane Wade All-Star

Year: 2010
Team: Miami Heat

In front of the largest crowd in All-Star game history, the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade put forth a spectacular 28 point, six rebound, 11 assist effort to propel the East to a narrow 141-139 win. Wade broke out his own PE of the Air Jordan 2010, and utilized the independent toe cap to move more freely around the basket. To that end, Wade’s performance was also buoyed by the herringbone pattern on the outsole, which allowed the Heat’s star guard to grip the court and then blow past opposing defenders like Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups on his way to the rim.


No. 64 - Kobe Bryant x Nike Zoom Kobe VI All-Star

Year: 2011
Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Every year, the Nike Zoom Kobe line seems to get lighter, and the 2011 edition was no different as the Lakers’ veteran guard used his signature shoe to win yet another All-Star game MVP. It was a throwback game for Kobe, who scored many of his 37 points at the rim rather than utilizing the mid-range jumper he has relied upon later in his career. The flywire technology made this plan of attack possible, as the lightweight shoe allowed Kobe’s aging legs to soar through the air like he was 20-years-old again. Since he needed to mix in some of his jump shooting too, though, Kobe also utilized the midfoot shank and Phylon midsole as he used his first step to create separation between himself and the poor guards from the East such as Dwyane Wade who were tasked with covering him.


No. 65 - Kevin Durant x Nike Zoom KD IV All-Star

Year: 2012
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder

In last year’s game, the Thunder’s Kevin Durant showed why he is one of the brightest young stars in the league as he poured in 36 points to lead the West to a 152-149 victory. The Adaptive Fit technology of the his Nike Zoom KD IVs made sure that the rangy forward’s feet were locked into his shoes whether he pulled up at the three point line (where took eight shots) or drove to the rim. When he did choose to go skyward—as he did in grabbing seven rebounds—the Zoom Air cushioning ensured that Durant’s feet were going to be well supported whenever and wherever he landed.

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