The NBA All-Star game is a match played between the Eastern and Western conferences of the National Basketball Association. This game is one of the most anticipated games in the NBA each year, as the most popular players in the league compete against each other for one game. The first NBA All-Star game was played on March 2, 1951. The participants of the NBA All-Star game are decided through two methods. The first method is via a fan ballot that allows fans to choose the starting players for each position. The second is a coaches' poll that decides the reserve players for the game. The coaches are not allowed to choose their own players.
The coaches who lead the team with the most wins in their conference two weeks prior to the game is granted the honor of being able to coach their respective conferences. The same coach cannot coach the team in consecutive seasons. This is referred to as the “Riley Rule,” as coach Pat Riley of the 1980's Lakers team won so often that he made appearances at the All-Star game for nearly the entire decade.
The NBA All-Star game is always a scene for fanfare and pomp, as the game is meant to honor the most developed and well-regarded players in the league. Player introductions prior to the game are usually accompanied by lighting effects, dance music and pyrotechnics. Special uniforms are designed for the game each year, but some years the league allows for the players to wear their respective team's jerseys. The Star Spangled Banner is recited before every game, and is usually performed by a major act or musician. The halftime of the game is longer than a typical NBA game, to leave time for musical and other entertainment acts to please the crowd.