A “moment” could mean anything, but for the NBA All-Star Game we’re keeping them within the realm of the actual game. Sure, there are a few that took place outside the end lines, but they fall within the context of the game itself, so no Saturday night contests allowed — even if they weren’t yet on Saturday night. There’s still a lot of history surrounding the NBA’s annual midway point, so hopefully some of our choices fall in line with your fondest memories of the NBA All-Star Game.
10. The 1964 All-Star Game boycott threat that changed everything
This should show you this list isn’t in any order of importance. If it were, this moment would be much higher up, and might even be No. 1. The 1964 NBA All-Star Game was the first one to be televised live, which meant there was only so much broadcast time on the Tuesday night in January when the game took place. Except the game almost didn’t take place at all.
The players huddled before the game and said they would refuse to play the game, despite the fact the fringe professional league would get a big boost with the ABC audience. Still, the owners had more to lose and after huddling with NBA commissioner J. Walter Kennedy, they eventually capitulated, agreeing to give the NBPA a seat at the bargaining table to improve working conditions, implement a pension plan and review a host of other maladies the players had been griping about for year.
The game itself was nothing special, except for the fact the players only had a few minutes to warm up after barricading themselves in the locker room until the last moment. By sticking together even as the various owners threatened to release them, the players in the 1964 All-Star game took the first big step towards the modern game, and player’s union, we know today.