Welcome to Part 1 in our series: Historical Moments in NBA All-Star Game History! One of the side effects of putting together the greatest players for an entire weekend of competition is a giant reserve of “WOW” and “Did you SEE that last night” moments.
For some players, it’s their coming out party and an opportunity for fans to see a glimpse of their greatness. It takes a special player to be selected to an NBA All-Star team, but only 45 Rookies have EVER been selected to play during this prestigious game. Part 1 of our series features the greatest rookie performances in NBA All-Star Game history.
NBA All-Star Game Rookies:
During the Inaugural NBA All-Star Game of 1951, three rookies were selected to play: Bob Cousy, Paul Arizin and Larry Foust. Of those three only Cousy was a starter for his team, but Arizin was the scoring leader among rookies, racking up 15 points by the end of the game.
Most points in a game: Elgin Baylor (24)
During the 1959 NBA All-Star Game Minneapolis Lakers’ Forward Baylor recorded a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds in 34 minutes and won Co-MVP honors along with Bob Pettit (another rookie who was selected to the NBA All-Star Game in his first season just four years earlier).
Baylor was also named Rookie of the Year.
Most rebounds in a game: Wilt Chamberlain (25)
As a Center for the Philadelphia Warriors Chamberlain dominated his first NBA All-Star Game with a 23 point (just one point less than the all-time rookie record) and 25 rebound, double-double. He was named NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Star started and NBA All-Star Game MVP during his 1960 rookie season.
Most assists in a game: Oscar Robinson (14)
In his Rookie appearance at the 1961 NBA All-Star Game Robinson recorded a 23 points, 9 rebound game in 34 minutes. He was award Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Star Game MVP and was just shy of recording a triple double his rookie season with a 30.5 pt, 10.1 rebound, and 9.7 assist average.
- Elgin Baylor (1959 – Co-MVP)
- Wilt Chamberlain (1960)
- Oscar Robertson (1961)
FUN FACT: **These three players were the only three to win NBA All-Star MVP honors as rookies and also hold a statistical record for rookies that has yet remained unbroken. Also interesting is that the MVP title went to a rookie three consecutive years.
Here's a full list of all rookies ever selected to an NBA All-Star team:
Looking back does it surprise you that certain players weren’t selected to the NBA All-Star game their rookie season?
This list houses arguably the greatest players to ever play in the NBA. NBA All-Star Games past have been a stage to see records made and broken and to see spectacular rookie performances, be a part of history and witness the next star rising at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.