How do you determine the Funkiest NBA All-Star teams ever assembled? What is it’s composition? Is it the number of Hall of Famers on a team? Perhaps the number of MVPs total per line up? The eye test is all I’ve got for such a subjective view.
1961 West All-Stars
What we’re gonna do here is take it back, waaay back. This team featured Rookie of the Year Oscar Robertson, who damn near had a triple double with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 14 assists, Bob Pettit, who dropped 29 points and Elgin Baylor, who chipped in 15 and 10. Jerry West came in off the bench. They put up a 153 points on a Eastern Conference squad comprised of Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dolph Schayes, Bill Russell, Hal Greer and Tom Heinsohn.
1985 West All-Stars
This squad featured Magic Johnson, Ralph Sampson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Norm Nixon, Rolando Blackman, The Dream, and Alex English, among several talented others. They competed against an East team that included Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Zeke, MJ, Bernard King, Michael Ray Richardson, Terry Cummings, The Chief and Bill Laimbeer.
At a time when All-Star games were still viciously competitive, the West beat the East 140-129. Why this West team? Well, just on the overall ’80s-liciousness that’s radiating off the rosters. Norm Nixon! Jack Sikma when he was still in Seattle! The haircuts, the mutton chops, the tiny shorts, all that and more was in this game.
This was also Jordan’s first All-Star game and it was the alleged “freeze out” game where Isiah Thomas purposefully didn’t give MJ the rock. Jordan had a poor outing, shooting only 2-for-9 from the field. Ralph Sampson would win MVP honors. Who else remembers the Ralph Sampson Pumas? No? Just me? Moving on…
2015 West All-Stars
So, now that you’ve had your fair share of moldy oldies, we blast to the future, which is in our immediate past. I’m talking two years ago when on a team that featured James Harden, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Dirk, it who was Russell Westbrook, the game’s MVP, who was in attack mode from the opening tip.
While others seemingly sauntered halfheartedly with their effort until the second half, Russell used the game as something of a coming-out party. What made his outburst extra sweet was it was against a game East squad that steadily closed the gap after being down early. They had a balanced attack, led by LeBron James’ 30 points, in which nine different players were in double figures. It was a game ablaze and Westbrook’s name was all over it.
1988 East All-Stars
The 1988 NBA East All-Star team was en fuego. People like to imagine their favorite NBA basketball player on another team. Up until recently, it was rare that you got to see two or even three upper echelon players working in the same space at the same time. Rarer still is to see top scorers work seamlessly side by side.
This was the case with the ’88 game. Fresh off the somewhat controversial Michael Jordan victory in the Slam Dunk Contest, it was as if MJ wanted to remind Dominique Wilkins who the better player was as well. Isiah Thomas did the facilitating to the tune of 15 assists, and that wasn’t even the highest assist total of the game!
His Airness would drop 40 points on 74 percent shooting, while Dominique gave ’em 29 points on 55 percent shooting. The East squad got work off the bench from Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Kevin McHale and Doc Rivers. They bested a West team of Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Alex English, Kareem, Worthy and Clyde Drexler. Magic had 17 points and 19 assists in the loss.