Looking Back: 1993 All-Star Weekend In Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The 1993 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City was a historic event in the history of basketball in Utah.
Not only were the best players in the world in one place to celebrate the game, but the hometown heroes, John Stockton and Karl Malone, took home the MVP honors after the game.
“I guess if you were writing a storybook, this is just about how you’d write it,” said Malone after the game.
But before the legendary duo hoisted the MVP trophy together after the game on Sunday, the weekend was filled with all the activities that made the All-Star Break the magical weekend that it was.
Jordan Skips Media Day
The weekend began with the arrival of the players on Friday. Icons of the game like Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Patrick Ewing were all present to do a media session with a large gathering of press. One player who elected to skip the pre-All-Star Game festivities was the biggest star int he game, and arguably the biggest menace in Jazz history, Michael Jordan.
His “Airness” elected to wait until just before the game on Sunday to come into town, preferring to spend some time golfing in Las Vegas.
A Dud Of A Dunk Contest
One of the highlights of All-Star Weekend is always the Slam Dunk Contest. Unfortunatley for the fans in Salt Lake City, they were treated to one of the worst contests in the history of the event. While Jordan and Dominique Wilkins, the two biggest names in the contest’s history were featured in the game on Sunday, neither participated in the contest on Saturday.
Seattle’s Shawn Kemp, one of the most exciting dunkers in the game at the time, was slated to participate, but withdrew from the event at the last minute. That made room for Harold Miner of the Miami Heat to win the contest on a 360 tomahawk that would hardly move the needle in today’s age.
In the 3-point contest that followed, Cleveland’s Mark Price took home the title.
Stockton, Malone Shine In Game
Finally, Sunday arrived and the game was on.
Malone and Stockton both started for the Western Conference and shined on the big stage in front of the hometown crowd.
One of the most satisfying photos in '90s basketball history: John Stockton and Karl Malone share co-MVP honors at the 1993 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, right on the same weekend NBA Jam made its big debut and solidified the greatness of the Stockton/Malone combo. pic.twitter.com/phat58BqiX
— NBA Jam (the book) (@nbajambook) January 5, 2019
Malone led the Western Conference All-Stars with 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting. He also completed a double-double with 10 rebounds.
Stockton was the key distributor for his All-Star teammates with a game-high 15 assists. He also added nine points to his co-MVP stat line.
Cheers filled the building that was then known as the Delta Center as the two raised the MVP trophy together at the conclusion of the game. It was the perfect finish to the weekend.
A Possible Return To SLC?
In the 26 years since, the All-Star Game has yet to return to Salt Lake City. That could change in the near future as the Jazz organization submitted a bid last year to host the game in either the 2022 or 2023 edition.
Time will tell if perhaps should-be-All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell will lift the MVP trophy together, should the game return to Utah.
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