For many players and fans, the NBA All-Star Game is a coming out party. Many viewers follow their team all season and unless they watch every game they may not catch new players. NBA All-Star weekend gives them a glimpse of the talent around the league.
Every once in a while the All-Star Game becomes an opportunity to say goodbye to our favorite players.
Part 9: Famous Last Games
1. Bill Russell (1969)
No one except Russell knew he was retiring at the end of the season, but his final All-Star Game was a star-studded affair. He made his 12th NBA All-Star appearance with no signs of slowing down, and whether fans knew it or not it was Russell’s last year as an All-Star.
2.Oscar Robertson (1972)
His final All-Star Game in 1972 saw him score 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. His last All-Star appearance came the season after he brought the Milwaukee Bucks their only NBA title.
3. Wilt Chamberlain (1973)
While 1973 was Wilt’s last year with the NBA, he didn’t know it at the time. He officially retired after the 1974 season, but not before playing one final All-Star Game in 1973. His stat line for the season was: 13.2 points 18.6 rebounds, including a NBA record .727 shooting percentage.
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1989)
(7 minutes and 17 seconds for "The Unstoppable Sky Hook)
A 19-time NBA All-Star, Abdul-Jabbar’s final game was memorable for a few reasons. It set the All-Star Game attendance record (at the time) and included him hitting the final shot of the game: His signature Sky Hook.
5. Magic Johnson (1992)
6. Charles Barkley (1996)
In 1997 Barkley was selected in his first season with the Rockets but did not play. He went on to play for a couple more seasons but it was his final appearance in the NBA All-Star Game. Barkley remains one of the biggest personalities in the NBA.
7. John Stockton/ Karl Malone’s (1997)
These teammates have appeared in several All-Star games, but 1997 marked the last appearance they would make together. This duo was considered among the best players to never win an NBA Championship.
8. Reggie Miller (2000)
One of NBA fans favorite players, Miller retired in 2005 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. His final appearance in 2000 at the NBA All-Star Game unfortunately ended with his team’s loss, however Miller continues to be in the spotlight as a TNT commentator.
9. Scottie Pippen (2000)
Pippen continued to play until 2008, but made his last NBA All-Star Game appearance in 2000. As part of the 6-time NBA Champion Bulls, he is remembered for his agility, athleticism and versatile play.
10. Michael Jordan (2003)
After Jordan’s second return from retirement he was voted to the NBA All-Star squad where Vince Carter released his starting spot to allow him the start. It was almost the perfect ending to his career as he hit a jump shot to give the East the lead, but in the end the West won in overtime. As Michael Jordan’s final All-Star game it was one of the most memorable games in All-Star history.
11. Allen Iverson (2009)
A.I. was selected to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game but did not play for personal reasons. He’s one of the most popular players of all time as his sneakers, jerseys and other fan paraphernalia continues to be among the top selling merchandise year after year. In 2009 he started for the East and it was his final appearance at an NBA All-Star game.
12. Yao Ming (2009)
The 2009 NBA All-Star game was also the final appearance for Ming. He started on the Western squad, who won that year. Ming was also selected for the 2011 All-Star Game but was unable to play due to injuries.
13. Jason Kidd (2010)
One of the few players to turn coaches in the league, Kidd retired in 2013 and announced his intent to join the Knicks as a coach. His final NBA All-Star Game selection came in 2010. As one of the best players in his position this future hall-of-famer’s final game makes our list.
Did your favorite All-Star farewell make the list? Let us know in the comments below!
Will your favorite player be retiring this year? Would you want to miss the opportunity to see a future hall of famer’s last game? You don’t have to! Let’ QuintEvents take you to the NBA All-Star Game in 2014!