Some of the greatest players in NBA history will take the court in New Orleans on Sunday night for the 2017 All-Star Game — including possibly the greatest All-Star ever.
To prepare for this year's festivities, we pored through All-Star history and game film to rank the top 25 performers by their career All-Star performances. To be clear, these rankings are solely based on how well the players did in the All-Star Game itself.
Please try to keep that in mind when you see where Michael Jordan is ranked.
NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
Tim Duncan (15 appearances, 12 starts)
9.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game; 1 MVP award
There's just something ... off about the Big Fundamental winning an All-Star MVP during his career. Are we sure Duncan sharing the award with Shaq in 2000 wasn't a mass hallucination?
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
Ray Allen (10 appearances, 0 starts)
14.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists per game
Allen's numbers aren't all that great, but we wanted to celebrate the fact he's one of only two players with double-digit All-Star appearances and zero starts.
The other is Paul Pierce, in a nice bit of serendipidity. Allen gets the nod over Pierce here because he scored more career points in the All-Star Game — and the weekend is all about buckets.
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Jerry West (12 appearances, 11 starts)
13.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists per game; 1 MVP award
West is one of 13 players to win the MVP award while playing for the team that hosted that year's All-Star Game, and that's way more than we expected. Maybe the voters are influenced by the home crowd just like officials — or maybe the hometown player is usually the one who cares about putting his best foot forward.
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Larry Bird (10 appearances, 9 starts)
13.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists per game; 1 MVP award
Bird wasn't all that great in All-Star Games, which makes a lot of sense. How do you expect Larry Legend to get up when you tell him the game doesn't matter? Self-motivation only goes so far.
We're generally skeptical of "All-Stars" from the NBA's early years, but it's hard to argue with Cousy's success. When in doubt, pick the guys who were picked to be the best back in the day.
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Kevin Garnett (14 appearances, 11 starts)
11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists per game; 1 MVP award
Leave it to KG to ruin a storybook ending. Michael Jordan played out of his mind in his final All-Star appearance in 2003, yet Garnett came away with the MVP award that night thanks to a 37-point performance.
In a game where everyone's taking their worst possible shots, someone has to scoop up the rebounds. Pettit averaged the most rebounds per game in All-Star history and grabbed a record 27 rebounds in the 1962 contest.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Big O never tallied a triple-double in the All-Star Game. No matter. Taking part in the near-boycott of the 1964 game was far more important than anything Robertson could have done on the court during the exhibition.
Kobe's the all-time All-Star steals leader (38, one more than Jordan) and holds the record for most shot attempts (238) — for now. No. 1 on this list will surpass Kobe in the latter category on Sunday night.
He's already the leading scorer in All-Star Game history, with the most field goals and most 3-pointers ever. He's one of only three players to record a triple-double in the game. He's started every year except his rookie season. He could very well match Kareem's record for most All-Star appearances. He's on pace to finish in the top three in All-Star Game assists and top ten in rebounds.
Other than that one time he decided to pass and his absence in the Dunk Contest, it's good to be the King on All-Star weekend.