Less than 10 years after Utah’s All-Star Game, the state staged an even bigger event: the 2002 Winter Olympics.
“It gave the city great credibility,” former Jazz coach, general manager and president Frank Layden once told The Tribune. “It announced that we were truly a major-league city. It had a lot to do with the Olympics coming here. … Major-league sports had arrived.”
The All-Star Game was played on Feb. 21, 1993. It featured seven members of the Dream Team: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Charles Barkley, Stockton and Malone.
Detroit’s Isiah Thomas played in the last of his 12 All-Star Games, finishing with eight points and four assists in 32 minutes.
Orlando rookie Shaquille O’Neal played his first All-Star Game. He was selected to play 14 more times during his 18-year career.
O’Neal was also the victim of a leaping at-the-rim block by Malone, which became a highlight of a game that was surprisingly competitive and intense.
“… It was a very good basketball game,” said local broadcaster Steve Klauke, “as opposed to what it’s become in this day and age.”
It didn’t take long for the All-Stars to set the tone.
Jordan forced a turnover on the West’s first possession and, moments later, O’Neal took a hard foul to prevent a dunk by Robinson. Each team committed a 24-second violation in the opening three minutes, when it couldn’t find an open shot.
At the time, Ewing called it “the best defensive All-Star Game I’ve ever played in. Both teams were focused and really getting after each other.”
East coach Pat Riley said, “I think instinct took over. These guys started getting after one another. This was a pretty good game.”
Utah fans were delighted when Stockton nailed an early 3-pointer and Malone scored twice in the first five minutes — once on a post-up jumper and once on a dunk after a Stockton-led fast break.« Previous Page Next Page »