NBA All-Star 2022 – A timeline of uniform designs, ’90s cropped shorts to flare sleeves and more
The 2022 NBA All-Star Game is the 71st edition of the mid-season showcase.
Although welcoming the league’s biggest stars to a single court has been a constant for several decades, with the exception of 1999, due to the NBA lockout, a lot has changed since the beginning of the game in 1951.
One change that easily catches the eye of viewers is the ever-increasing number of uniform jumpsuits that have been worn over the years.
The 2021-2022 season has seen its fair share of fashion statements. As the league celebrates its 75th anniversary, 123 different uniforms have been worn across the Association, with teams each receiving four editions of jerseys: Association, Icon, City and Statement. As if that weren’t enough, three of the league’s original franchises, the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors (then Philadelphia), and Boston Celtics wore a classic fifth edition that debuted in December.
For the fifth straight year of Jordan-branded gear, the All-Stars can add another jersey to their extensive collection. But before that, here’s a look at how the designs have evolved over the years.
1951: East 111, West 94
MVP: Ed Macauley, Boston Celtics
The All-Stars playing for the Eastern Conference wore a simple white jersey with blue accents, while opposing conference players wore the reverse in the inaugural game. The waistband is perhaps the uniform’s most distinctive feature, as elastic waistbands weren’t standard on basketball shorts in the 1950s.
1960: East 125, West 115
MVP: Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors
The 1960s design was similar to that of earlier years. Additions of the Eastern or Western Conference designation to the front of jerseys was a distinction that became common later in the decade.
1967: West 135, East 120
Location: Daly City, California
MVP: Rick Barry, San Francisco Warriors
The end of the aforementioned decade introduced a new trend of honoring the city in which the game was played. Warriors’ City Edition uniforms were the primary inspiration for the new look.
1972: West 112, East 110
Location: Inglewood, California
MVP: Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers
Players donned Lakers-themed outfits when the team’s arena, The Forum, hosted the All-Star Game.
1980: East 144, West 136 (OT)
Location: Landover, Maryland
MVP: George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs
Washington was the last team to see their jerseys serve as the template for the conference matchup.
1985: West 140, East 129
MVP: Ralph Sampson, Houston Rockets
This style was very popular, as the design was used for six consecutive years. He was even brought back after a short hiatus for the 2003 and 2004 All-Star Games.
1991: East 116, West 114
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
MVP: Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers
Arguably the most memorable All-Star uniforms were created in the 90s, starting with this version that was used from 1991 to 1994.
1995: West 139, East 112
MVP: Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
Another recognizable design is a product from the last century. The vibrant colors contrasted sharply with the typical red, white and blue uniforms that have been used for the majority of the All-Star Games’ existence.
1997: East 132, West 120
MVPs: Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets
The decade was capped off by another well-known trend for the league’s mid-season showcase. Eastern Conference players wore their home jerseys, while Western Conference players wore their road uniforms.
2003: West 155, East 145 (2 TO)
MVP: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
This fan-favorite design from the late 80s reappeared for two years in the early 2000s.
2004: West 136, East 132
Location: Los Angeles
MVP: Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
The first style of the new millennium was distinguished by diagonal lettering, but it was also the last time this format was used. Big opening, big closing.
2007: West 153, East 132
Location: Las Vegas
MVP: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Cursive font returned to the front of All-Star jerseys for the first time in more than two decades, but this uniform was only used once.
2014: East 163, West 155
Location: New Orleans
MVP: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Sleeve shirts were a real fad when they were introduced in the 2013-14 season. They were also seen on the NBA’s Christmas Day slate, in addition to making an appearance at the All-Star Game. This style has only been used once.
2015: West 163, East 158
Location: New York
MVP: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
This minimalist design mirrors that of the first All-Star Games jerseys. This marked the first time that black and white were the primary uniform colors, with the former representing the Western Conference and the latter being used for the Eastern Conference. The first and last names of the players were also printed on the back.
2018: Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145
Location: Los Angeles
MVP: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
It was the first year the league adopted its current format, making East and West designations a thing of the past. Similar to the style used in 2015, black and white differentiates the two teams, but each player’s team logo is prominently displayed on the front.