Most NBA All-Star Appearances
NBA All-Star voting has started for the 2020/21 season. Each season, the voting process is criticized and debated. Fringe All-Stars are pitted against one another.
Part of the reason it is such a contentious topic is how few spaces there are to go around. In any given season, at least a handful of players are locked into their respective All-Star teams. Those inner-circle all-time greats, the All-NBA caliber stars, the MVP contenders, are guaranteed to make the All-Star Game if they are healthy.
6 Players with the most NBA All-Star selection
Mix that with longevity, and you’ve got a career with 10 or more All-Star selections. Some make it closer to 20 – here are the players with the most NBA All-Star selections.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 19
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is wrongly left out of the GOAT discussions. His longevity as a great NBA player is unmatched, which is evidenced in his total points record and 19 All-Star selections.
The six-time MVP was selected to all but one All-Star game between 1970 and 1989. It’s an almost incomprehensible achievement, even for a player who achieved as much as Abdul-Jabbar did.
Celebrating his 74th birthday in 2021, Kareem’s skyhook would probably still be unguardable.
Kobe Bryant – 18
The late, great Kobe Bryant meant so much more to basketball than his achievements. Bryant inspired a generation, he captivated audiences in a way few athletes can.
After becoming the league’s youngest All-Star in 1998, Kobe missed out in 1999. That was the last All-Star game he wasn’t selected for until his retirement in 2016, though there were a few he didn’t play in.
All-Star games are about seeing the most iconic, most loved players take each other on. No player had as committed a fan base as Kobe.
LeBron James – 16
The NBA betting odds on LeBron James making this 17 in 2021 are incredibly short. Even in his 18th season, and closer to his 40th birthday than his 30th, LeBron is still the best player in the NBA and an absolute lock to make the All-Star Game.
Records are tumbling on almost a weekly basis. James will probably pass Kareem on the all-time points list. He may well end up with 20 or more All-Star appearances, too.
There are no words for what LeBron continues to achieve. He shows no sign of slowing down yet, either.
Tim Duncan – 15
The Big Fundamental appeared in 15 All-Star games. Unlike others on this list, he didn’t sit out a single one. Sitting joint-fourth on this list is a long way down Tim Duncan’s collection of accolades.
Few players in NBA history can rival Duncan’s resume. He’s the last big man to win consecutive MVPs, and when he achieved the feat, he was the first to do so since Moses Malone. He’s a five-time champion and was named to All-NBA on 15 occasions.
History will remember Duncan’s career even more kindly than the basketball world does now.
Kevin Garnett – 15
Between 1997 and 2013, Kevin Garnett missed just two All-Star games. Garnett is recognized as one of the best defensive players of all-time, but it’s unfair to pigeon-hole his game as a defensive master.
The MVP of the All-Star Game in 2003 and NBA MVP in 2004, Garnett’s career changed when he swapped the Timberwolves for the Celtics to form a big three with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.
The 2008 title is what Garnett is best remembered for, but his career goes far beyond one successful playoff run.
Shaquille O’Neal – 15
Shaquille O’Neal achieved everything there is to achieve in the NBA. A four-time champion, an MVP and Rookie of the Year, O’Neal is also one of the most selected All-Stars in league history.
It isn’t a surprise to see one of the 10 greatest players ever slot in at joint-fourth on this list. Some may wonder if O’Neal could have extended his peak years with better conditioning, and perhaps collected a couple more All-Star picks.
His legacy is secure, though. Shaq is one of five best centers in NBA history – Kareem is the only big man with All-Star appearances.