The West triumphed 137-126. The MVP award was split by Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs and Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers. After a two-year hiatus, the Slam Dunk Contest returned, with Vince Carter claiming the championship in what is widely regarded as one of the finest Dunk Contest performances of all time.
In the first round, Chicago's Michael Jordan took on Denver's Larry Johnson. In what has become an iconic moment in NBA history, Jordan hit a shot at the buzzer to advance his team in what many consider to be his final game as a player. The score was tied at 105 degrees when Jordan drove the lane and dropped down a perfect dunk.
Johnson responded by outscoring MJ by himself for nearly six minutes of play before being fouled by a frustrated Jordan. With less than a minute remaining, Jordan passed the ball to Scottie Pippen, who buried two free throws to send the series back to Chicago for game three.
In the second round, Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki took on Seattle's Shawn Kemp. Nowitzki went on to win this year's edition of the contest after hitting what many considered to be a miracle shot against Miami's Dwyane Wade. Nowitzki threw up a shot at the buzzer from half court that swished through the net to advance his team in what is still regarded as one of the best Dunk Contests ever.
The West beat the East 135-120, and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was named Most Valuable Player. Despite being booed by the home crowd, Bryant scored 31 points, threw five assists, and grabbed five rebounds. He also had nine steals.
Bryant's overall stats were good, but not great: 22 points on 7-of-19 shooting (3-of-9 from three) with five assists and five rebounds.
Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers was the MVP of the 1995 All-Star Game. The East won 129-123, and Iverson finished with 29 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Shawn Marion of the Chicago Bulls was the other starter for the East team.
Iverson's overall stats were very good: 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting (5-of-7 from three) with seven assists and six rebounds. He did have one steal.
Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns was the MVP of the 1987 All-Star Game. The East beat the West 133-125, and Barkley finished with 28 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. John Salley of the Detroit Pistons was the other starter for the East team.
Tim Duncan holds his NBA Finals MVP trophy from 1999. He was named the Finals MVP. I have Tim, and you don't. That is the distinction. However, the Spurs were forced to miss the playoffs three years in a row. They eventually won it in the 2002-2003 season, with an 88-77 loss to the New Jersey Nets in Game 6. Before then, they had been eliminated in the first round each year.
He finished the season with averages of 26.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.11 blocks and 1.85 steals per game. His numbers were all up there, but so was the competition he faced every night. You can't win them all, even if you try. The 2001-2002 season was also the last season before the 3-point line was introduced into all NBA games.
In six seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan averaged more than 20 points, eight rebounds, one block and one steal per game. He was voted the Most Valuable Player of the NBA by its players after leading the Spurs to the franchise's first championship. The Spurs lost in five games to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.
Here are the other candidates who were not chosen: Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson and Kevin Garnett. There were also two rookies who received votes: Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Malone was the NBA's top player in 1979, but it was with the House Rockets in 1981 that he reached his first finals. He has received three MVP honors. James received his first MVP title the same year when the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated all major categories, including points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. He became only the second player to win the award without a single loss during the season (the first being Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1975-76). The other two finalists were Moses Malone of the Philadelphia 76ers and George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs.
James was also the MVP when the Cavs lost the finals to the Boston Celtics in 1 game. The last winner of the award who did not go all the way to the fabled series was Michael Jordan in 1989.
Since that time, no non-winning MVP has been named or awarded. However, several players have been nominated but not selected by either of the two committees that decide the award. In 1994, Patrick Ewing was considered the frontrunner before injuring his knee late in the regular season. With Ewing out for the rest of the year, the New York Knicks failed to make the playoffs which eliminated them as candidates. In 2005, David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs was expected to win the award but an injury prevented him from doing so. No replacement was named since the league prefers not to force any player into taking part in a championship series when he isn't fully healed.