Everything to know about the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award


One All-Star always shines brightest.

The NBA All-Star Game provides a stage for the best of the best to show off against one another. While the exhibition doesn’t really count for anything, there are bonuses and an additional trophy at stake during the annual festivities.

Across 72 years, all kinds of NBA legends have been named MVP of the All-Star Game. In 2023, players from Team LeBron and Team Giannis will aim to be the next recipient of the Kobe Bryant Trophy. 

Here is some history on the NBA’s All-Star Game MVP Award ahead of the 2023 contest in Salt Lake City:

How has won the most NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards?

Kobe Bryant and Bob Pettit share the NBA record with four All-Star Game MVP Awards apiece. Pettit first earned the award in 1956, the year of the sixth NBA All-Star Game, and won it again in 1958, 1959 and 1962. Bryant took the honor home in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011.


Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James are next on the list with three All-Star MVPs apiece. Eight more players have taken home All-Star MVP honors twice: Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

When did the NBA name the All-Star Game MVP Award after Kobe Bryant?

The NBA renamed its All-Star Game MVP Award after Kobe Bryant in February 2020, just weeks after the four-time winner of the award died in a helicopter crash. Two years later, the league unveiled a new trophy:

In addition to the trophy name, the NBA also honored Bryant at the All-Star Game with the Elam Ending. The league made it so that the target score would be 24 – one of Bryant’s retired numbers with the Los Angeles Lakers – more points than the total from the team that is leading after three quarters.

Who won the first NBA All-Star Game MVP Award?

Ed Macauley was the MVP of the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951, but he was not the first player to receive the award.

The NBA did not award an MVP in real time for the first two editions of the All-Star Game and finally instituted a game MVP in 1953. George Mikan was given the honor for that year’s game, and the league handed out the award for the prior two All-Star contests. Macaulay was named the winner for 1951 and Paul Arizin got it for 1952.


Who won the most recent NBA All-Star Game MVP Award?

Steph Curry was the first player to lift the new MVP trophy in 2022. The Golden State Warriors star drained an All-Star record 16 3-pointers and scored 50 points, lifting Team LeBron to a 163-160 win over Team Durant in Cleveland.

Have there ever been Co-All-Star Game MVP Award winners?

There have been four instances in which two players shared All-Star Game MVP honors.

Pettit and Elgin Baylor were the first pair to do so in 1959. The next occurrence came when Jazz teammates Karl Malone and John Stockton shared the award in 1993, the last time the All-Star Game was in Utah.

Shaquille O’Neal was named a Co-All-Star Game MVP twice. He split the award with Tim Duncan in 2000 and Bryant in 2009.

Every NBA All-Star Game MVP Award winner

Here are the MVPs from every NBA All-Star Game: 

  • 1951: Ed Macauley
  • 1952: Paul Arizin
  • 1953: George Mikan
  • 1954: Bob Cousy
  • 1955: Bill Sharman
  • 1956: Bob Pettit
  • 1957: Bob Cousy
  • 1958: Bob Pettit
  • 1959: Elgin Baylor, Bob Pettit
  • 1960: Wilt Chamberlain
  • 1961: Oscar Robertson
  • 1962: Bob Pettit
  • 1963: Bill Russell
  • 1964: Oscar Robertson
  • 1965: Jerry Lucas
  • 1966: Adrian Smith
  • 1967: Rick Barry
  • 1968: Hal Greer
  • 1969: Oscar Robertson
  • 1970: Willis Reed
  • 1971: Lenny Wilkens
  • 1972: Jerry West
  • 1973: Dave Cowens
  • 1974: Bob Lanier
  • 1975: Walt Frazier
  • 1976: Dave Bing
  • 1977: Julius Erving
  • 1978: Randy Smith
  • 1979: David Thompson
  • 1980: George Gervin
  • 1981: Tiny Archibald
  • 1982: Larry Bird
  • 1983: Julius Erving
  • 1984: Isiah Thomas
  • 1985: Ralph Sampson
  • 1986: Isiah Thomas
  • 1987: Tom Chambers
  • 1988: Michael Jordan
  • 1989: Karl Malone
  • 1990: Magic Johnson
  • 1991: Charles Barkley
  • 1992: Magic Johnson
  • 1993: Karl Malone, John Stockton
  • 1994: Scottie Pippen
  • 1995: Mitch Richmond
  • 1996: Michael Jordan
  • 1997: Glen Rice
  • 1998: Michael Jordan
  • 2000: Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal
  • 2001: Allen Iverson
  • 2002: Kobe Bryant
  • 2003: Kevin Garnett
  • 2004: Shaquille O’Neal
  • 2005: Allen Iverson
  • 2006: LeBron James
  • 2007: Kobe Bryant
  • 2008: LeBron James
  • 2009: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal
  • 2010: Dwyane Wade
  • 2011: Kobe Bryant
  • 2012: Kevin Durant
  • 2013: Chris Paul
  • 2014: Kyrie Irving
  • 2015: Russell Westbrook
  • 2016: Russell Westbrook
  • 2017: Anthony Davis
  • 2018: LeBron James
  • 2019: Kevin Durant
  • 2020: Kawhi Leonard
  • 2021: Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • 2022: Steph Curry