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NBA All-Star Game: which players have made the most appearances?

This year LeBron James will make his 17th appearance. The LA Lakers star is ranked third in the list of players with the most All-Star selections of all time.

26 February 2021, US, Los Angeles: Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James takes a free throw during the US NBA basketball match between Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trailblazers at the Staples Center. Photo: Javier Rojas/Prensa Internacional via ZUMA/dp
DPA vía Europa Press

2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the NBA All-Star game, which was first held at the Boston Garden on March 2, 1951.

Since then the event has taken place every year except 1999, when it was cancelled amid the NBA Lockout. During that time many of the NBA’s biggest stars have made several All-Star appearances, including the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Michael Jordan, the late Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, who is captain of one of the 2021 All-Star teams, with Kevin Durant leading the other.

Having played in every All-Star game since 2005, 2021 will be Lakers star LeBron’s 17 All-Star game. Durant, meanwhile, has featured in every All-Star game since 2010 except in 2020. But after last year’s hiatus, the Brooklyn Nets forward is back to make his 11th All-Star appearance.

Most NBA All-Star selections

With 17, LeBron is ranked third in the list of players with the most All-Star selections of all time. Former Milwaukee Bucks and LA Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tops the list with 19 selections. Between 1970 and 1989, Abdul-Jabbar missed just one All-Star game in 1973.

Following Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is Kobe Bryant with 18 selections, in 1998 and 2000-2016, with the former Lakers shooting guard missing three of the games he was selected for in 2010, 2014 and 2015.

Behind third-place LeBron are three players tied in fourth place with 15 selections: Tim Duncan (1998; 2000–2011; 2013; 2015), Kevin Garnett (1997–1998; 2000–2011; 2013), and Shaquille O'Neal (1993–1998; 2000–2007; 2009).

Tied in fifth place with 14 selections are Michael Jordan (1985–1993; 1996–1998; 2002–2003), Karl Malone (1988–1998; 2000–2002) Dirk Nowitzk (2002–2012; 2014–2015; 2019) and Jerry West (1961–1974).

Most NBA All-Star MVPs

Winning the MVP nomination in 1956, 1958 (co-MVP) 1959 and 1962, former Milwaukee Hawks player Bob Pettit held the four-MVP record solo for 49 years. However his record was later matched by Kobe Bryant, who scooped the MVP award in 2002, 2007, 2009 (co-MVP with Shaquille O’Neal) and 2011. The award was renamed the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award after Bryant’s tragic death in 2020.

See also:

Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron James have all scooped three MVP awards, with James becoming the youngest player to win the accolade in 2006 at the age of 21 years and 1 month. Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant have each won the All-Star MVP nomination twice.


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