Our favorite NBA All-Star memories

Published February 17, 2022, 9:00 AMJC Ansis

NBA.com Philippines' JC Ansis and other sports media personalities look back at their most beloved NBA All-Star Weekend memories.

Vince Carter had jaws dropping with his performance at the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest.

The All-Star Weekend is always one of the most exciting things an NBA fan looks forward to each season.

Throughout the league's 75-year history, there have been a lot of iconic and entertaining All-Star moments.

I reached out to several friends—Polo Bustamante of One News PH, Paolo del Rosario of The Game, Boom Gonzalez of NBA Hype, Carla Lizardo of Smart Swak!, Enzo of BuhayBasket, and Jutt Sulit of Republika Drip—so we could all share some of our most beloved All-Star Weekend memories.

JC Ansis: The 2001 All-Star Game is one game I can never forget. The West was loaded with size with guys like Shaq, C-Webb, Duncan, KG, and Sheed, and everyone thought the East wouldn't stand a chance. For the first three quarters, it seemed like you were watching a lopsided game of NBA Jam and the West squad was the Monstars with all the lobs they were throwing. Nine minutes to go, the East was down 21 - that's when Allen Iverson took over. AI led a furious comeback by the East, scoring 15 of his 25 points during that stretch. When they came within striking distance, the endgame turned into a shootout between Kobe and Stephon Marbury.

The East squad eventually escaped with a 111-110 win, one of the greatest comebacks in All-Star Game history. And Iverson—rightfully so—won MVP honors. Iverson's legacy was defined by his tenacity and willingness to battle giants (or basically, anyone bigger than him) and the 2001 All-Star Game was a crazy entertaining version of that. That game is a must-watch for every NBA fan.

RELATED: Revisiting the 2001 All-Star Game

Polo Bustamante: I will never forget watching Vince Carter's first dunk back in the 2000 All-Star Game. The beauty and ferocity of the corkscrew-windmill banger he threw down were unforgettable. VC came through with better dunks as the contest rolled along (elbow in the rim, Eastbay Funk oop). But that first dunk sent a message to the rest of the field: to win the Dunk Contest that year, you had to be better than Half-Amazing.

Paolo del Rosario: The 2020 NBA All-Star game was unique in the sense that it incorporated the Elam Ending to determine the winner. For those who don't know, that meant the winner had to hit the target score of +24 of the team in the lead going into the fourth quarter to win. It was a rule change to make the All-Star Game more meaningful and fun -- and boy did we get an incredible ending. But the moment that stood out for me was when Kyle Lowry decided to take charges in the endgame to put his team in a position to win. Lowry took MULTIPLE charges in the fourth quarter in what was an incredible climax to what I would argue was the most entertaining All-Star Game in recent history.

Boom Gonzalez: I think hands down the most memorable NBA All-Star moment I witnessed live has got to be Kobe’s last All-Star Game in Toronto in 2016. Partly because it was his last and the other, and most importantly, it was the game where I really saw him have the most fun… on the court or the bench. He was joking, laughing, and beaming. Soaking in his last All-Star Game. One of the fiercest competitors the game has ever seen finally had his guard down and didn’t care about the numbers and just SINCERELY enjoyed. It was such a joy to watch live!

Carla Lizardo: I'm a sucker for heartwarming moments so my favorite All-Star moment was Kobe and Shaq sharing MVP honors back in 2009. As a Lakers fan, it was so great to see them back out on the floor together. It was also such a special moment to see them put their beef behind them, with Kobe handing Shaq's son Shareef the trophy.

Enzo: There are just so many, but my personal favorite All-Star weekend moment would have to be the J-Will elbow pass. He was on the break with Lamar [Odom] guarding him and he knew Raef LaFrentz was trailing him. He looked at Dirk to fake out LO and he started a behind-the-back pass but he bounced it off of his elbow. LO was shocked. The whole crowd went crazy. Great moment. Everybody in school was trying to hit that pass after that.

Jutt Sulit: My favorite All-Star moment has to be Kobe’s debut back in 1998 when he was voted a starter even though he was a second-stringer with the Lakers. Kobe trash-talking MJ and desperately trying to keep up with his idol was probably our first real look at Mamba Mentality. The more we learned about the relationship between those two legends, the more special that moment at Madison Square Garden grew.