23 Years Ago Today, The Greatest NBA All-Star Game In History Took Place
The 2001 NBA All-Star Game, held on February 11 at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., was a memorable event for basketball fans. It was the 50th edition of the annual showcase of the league’s best players, and it featured a stunning comeback by the Eastern Conference team, led by the game’s MVP, Allen Iverson.
The Western Conference team, coached by Rick Adelman of the Sacramento Kings, had a star-studded roster that included Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd, and Chris Webber. They dominated the first three quarters of the game, leading by as much as 21 points in the fourth quarter. They seemed to have the game in the bag, as they showcased their superior size, skill, and athleticism.
However, the Eastern Conference team, coached by Larry Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers, did not give up. They rallied behind Iverson, who scored 15 of his 25 points in the final nine minutes of the game. He was joined by Stephon Marbury, who hit two clutch three-pointers in the last minute, including the game-winner with 28 seconds left. The East outscored the West 41-21 in the fourth quarter, and pulled off an improbable 111-110 victory.
Iverson, who was the NBA’s leading scorer at the time, was named the MVP of the game, as he displayed his heart, hustle, and determination. He was supported by his teammates, such as Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Dikembe Mutombo, and Tracy McGrady, who made his first All-Star appearance. The game was also notable for being the last All-Star appearance of Karl Malone, who played only four minutes for the West.
What makes Iverson’s performance even more remarkable is that he reportedly partied for 72 hours straight before the game, without getting any sleep. According to some sources, Iverson spent his college years playing for Georgetown in Washington, and he used the All-Star weekend as an opportunity to reconnect with his old friends and have fun. He didn’t let his lack of rest affect his game, as he showed everyone he was the best player in the NBA at that time.