6 Times Sneakers Stole the Show at the NBA All-Star Game

Sneakers are not just an important part of the NBA All-Star Game. Sometimes a single shoe can overshadow the entire weekend.

NBA All Star

Image via Getty / Andrew D. Bernstein

NBA All Star

It should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that sneakers became a focal point of the NBA All-Star Game in 1985, Michael Jordan’s first appearance in the midseason classic. He famously paired his black and red Air Jordan 1s with a matching nylon Air Jordan tracksuit in Saturday’s Dunk Contest, then laced up his red, black and white game shoes on Sunday. They stood out tremendously compared to the more subdued, everyday sneakers worn by the other All-Stars. And while other players seemingly took offense at Jordan’s bid for attention, All-Star weekend would soon become a sneaker showcase.

Eventually, the shoes became a bigger deal than the game itself. And sometimes a single shoe would overshadow the entire weekend. Like in 1988, when Jordan debuted a brand-new shoe in his home city of Chicago, winning both the Dunk Contest and All-Star MVP. But by then it wasn’t only Jordan who pulled out all the stops over All-Star weekend. And sometimes a shoe wouldn’t even have to be worn on the court to stop the show.

Third Time's a Charm

Michael Jordan NBA All Star 1988

Red February

Scottie Pippen NBA All Star 1994

Rise and Shine

Chris Webber All Star 2002

Split Personality

Tracy McGrady NBA All Star 2004

Calling All Size 22s

Shaquille O’Neal NBA All Star 2005

AF1s Don't Lie

Rasheed Wallace NBA All Star 2006