Boston, 1951: Fearing a lack of fan interest would embarrass the fledgling league, NBA commissioner Mo Podoloff almost cancels the first All-Star game. Hey, have you committed names like Red Rocha and Dike Eddleman to memory? Exactly.

St. Louis, '62: Philadelphia Warriors rookie Wilt Chamberlain shows an early penchant for big numbers (we're not talking about that type of "scoring”) with a then–ASG record 42 points for the East. The Big Dipper's big digits are wasted, however, in a 150-130 West victory.

Chicago, '73: With the league low on star power but high on cocaine, the East triumphs 104-84 in the lowest-scoring ASG of the shot-clock era.

Denver, '76: The ninth and final ABA All-Star game features a pregame concert (headlined by pop-country pimp Glen Campbell) and the first-ever dunk contest. Julius Erving takes off from the foul line, and the struggling NBA takes notice.

Dallas, '86: Leaping leprechaun Spud Webb wins the dunk contest, and Isiah Thomas takes the game MVP. But the baddest man on the court is Larry Bird. Before winning the three-point shootout, he announces in the locker room, "Which one of you motherfuckers is going to finish second?”

Chicago, '88: Michael Jordan wins an epic battle with Dominique Wilkins for the slam-dunk crown, then takes MVP honors on his home floor. Hasn't 'Nique heard of the Jordan Rules?

Orlando, '92: After announcing in November 1991 that he was HIV positive, Earvin "Magic” Johnson retires from the NBA. But just three months later, a healthy, still smiling Magic returns, swishing fade-away three pointers at will and winning the MVP award. Next stop: the Dream Team.

Phoenix, '95/San Antonio, '96: "Hey, you know what All-Star jerseys need? Region-specific vegetation!” We're not sure which NBA official said this, but we got purple-and-orange cactus unis in '95 and teal uniforms adorned with a giant chili pepper in '96. And David Stern is worried about what his players wear off the court?

Oakland, '00: C-listers like Cedric Ceballos, Harold Miner and Brent Barry do their damnedest to kill the dunk contest. Enter Vince Carter: the 360 windmill; the between-the-legs alley-oop; the elbow hang. Best dunker of his generation? Maybe the best ever.

Washington, D.C., '01: Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury—all tats, swagger and head-snapping handles—confirm the league's hip-hop takeover, leading the East out of a 21-point fourth-quarter hole in the best ASG finish ever. Of note: Kobe Bryant has the ball for the last shot…and he passes. Hasn't happened since.

Philadelphia, '02: Throwbacks are en vogue and everyone's rocking Mitchell & Ness, but on the court, the past is no match for the present. Kobe is booed by his "hometown” crowd as he lifts the MVP, while Michael returns (again) and blows a wide-open dunk.

Las Vegas, '07: Reports of a Blood 'n' Crip weekend takeover are (surprise!) overblown by the mainstream media. Instead, the usual All-Star crowd of groupies, male and female alike, rolls into Lost Wages for the first-ever ASG in a non-NBA city. Vegas will be one soon—just don't expect Pacman Jones to be invited back. —Ryan Jones