In 1951 few people thought the idea of NBA publicist Haskell Cohen to hold a midseason All-Star Game had much of a chance. One of the few, however, was Walter Brown, then owner of the Boston Celtics.

"It was at the time of the college scandals and basketball had a black eye," Brown later recalled. "Things were going so badly that even my wife wanted me to get out of the business. But I thought the All-Star Game would be a good thing. I told the league I would take care of all the expenses and all the losses if there were any.

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"Even up until the last week, the game was in doubt. A few days before the game, Maurice Podoloff, the Commissioner, called me on the phone and asked me to call it off. He said that everyone he had talked to said it would be a flop, and that the league would look bad."

The indomitable Brown refused to back down. The game went on, and the rest is history.

A crowd of 10,094 flocked to Boston Garden to watch 20 of the NBA's finest compete in the first All-Star Game. The East had little trouble taking it, 111-94, as "Easy Ed" Macauley of the Boston Celtics won the MVP trophy. Macauley not only scored a game-high 20 points, but he also held George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers to only 4 field goals.

Top man for the West was Alex Groza of the Indianapolis Olympians with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Joe Fulks of the Philadelphia Warriors contributed 19 points for the winners.