The 2022 NBA All-Star Game is the 71st edition of the midseason showcase.
While hosting the league’s biggest stars on one lane has been a constant for decades, except for 1999, a lot has changed since the game’s inception in 1951.
One change that viewers easily notice is the ever-growing number of uniform combinations that have been worn over the years
The 2021-2022 season has seen quite a few fashion statements. As the league celebrates its 75th anniversary, 123 different uniforms have been worn across the Association, with teams each receiving four jersey editions: Association, Icon, City and Statement. As if that wasn’t enough, three of the league’s original franchises, the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors (then Philadelphia), and Boston Celtics sported a fifth Classic edition that debuted in December.
In the fifth straight year that they have been outfitted by the Jordan brand, All-Stars can add one more jersey to their vast collection. But before that, here’s a look at how designs have evolved over the years.
1951: East 111, West 94
MVP: Ed Macauley, Boston Celtics
All-Stars playing for the Eastern Conference wore a simple white jersey with blue accents, while opposing players wore the reverse in the inaugural game. The belt is perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the uniform, as elastic waistbands were not standard on basketball shorts in the 1950s.
1960: East 125, West 115
MVP: Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors
The design in the 1960s was similar to that of previous years. The additions of the East or West conference designation on the front of the jerseys was a distinction that became common later in the decade.
1967: West 135, East 120
Location: Daly City, California
MVP: Rick Barry, San Francisco Warriors
The latter end of the aforementioned decade brought with it a new trend to honor the city in which the game was played. The Warriors’ City Edition uniforms were the first source of inspiration for the new look.
1972: West 112, East 110
Location: Inglewood, California
MVP: Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers
Players donned Lakers-themed outfits when the team’s then-home arena, the Forum, hosted the All-Star Game.
1980: East 144, West 136 (OT)
Location: Landover, Maryland
MVP: George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs
Washington was the last team to use its jerseys as a model for the showdown between the two conferences.
1985: West 140, East 129
MVP: Ralph Sampson, Houston Rockets
This style was quite popular, as the design was used for six consecutive years. It was even brought back after a brief hiatus for the 2003 and 2004 All-Star Games.
1991: East 116, West 114
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
MVP: Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers
The most memorable All-Star uniforms were probably made in the 90s, starting with this version that was in use from 1991 to 1994.
1995: West 139, East 112
MVP: Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
Another recognizable design is a product of the past century. The vibrant colors contrasted sharply with the typical red, white, and blue uniforms used for most of the All-Star Games’ existence.
1997: East 132, West 120
MVP: Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets
The decade ended with another well-known trend for the mid-season league. Players from the Eastern Conference wore their home shirts, while those from the Western Conference wore their away kit.
2003: West 155, East 145 (2 OT)
MVP: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
This fan favorite design from the late 80s resurfaced for two years in the early 2000s.
2004: West 136, East 132
Location: Los Angeles
MVP: Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
The first style of the new millennium was distinguished by the diagonal lettering, but it was also the last time this format was used. Big opening, big closing.
2007: West 153, East 132
Location: Las Vegas
MVP: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
The cursive font returned on the front of All-Star jerseys for the first time in more than two decades, but this uniform was only used once.
2014: East 163, West 155
Location: New Orleans
MVP: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Sleeved jerseys were all the rage when they were introduced in the 2013-14 season. They were also seen during the NBA’s Christmas Day slate, along with making an All-Star Game appearance. This style has only been used once.
2015: West 163, East 158
Location: New York
MVP: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
This minimalist design mirrors that of the earliest All-Star Games jerseys. It marked the first time that black and white were the primary uniform colors, with the former representing the Western Conference and the latter being used for the Eastern Conference. The players’ first and last names were also printed on the back.
2018: Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145
Location: Los Angeles
MVP: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
This was the first year the league adopted its current format, making East and West designations a thing of the past. Similar to the style used in 2015, black and white distinguishes the two squads, but each player’s team logo is prominently displayed on the front.