1973 NBA All-Star recap

Dave Cowens earns All-Star Game MVP honors after posting 15 points and 13 rebounds, powering the East.

EAST 104, WEST 84, at Chicago Stadium


MVP: Dave Cowens, Boston Celtics

Box score

At Chicago Stadium in the 1973 All-Star Game, Dave Cowens stepped out of the shadow of Celtics teammate John Havlicek and took center stage. Cowens, who, with Havlicek, led the Celtics to the East’s best record in 1972-73, had 15 points and 13 rebounds in the East’s 104-84 win as he was named MVP. Havlicek finished with 14 points and the Knicks’ Dave DeBusschere was solid (nine points, seven rebounds) all-around, but the night belonged to Cowens and his gritty style of play, which set the tone for the East’s romp.

Wilt Chamberlain, in his All-Star finale, started the game for the West and finished with one of his worst stat lines (two points, seven rebounds, three assists) ever. He left as the All-Star Game’s leader in games played (13), minutes played (388) and rebounds (197), though his marks in games and minutes played were eventually surpassed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He also set single-game All-Star records for points (42 in 1962), field goals made (17 in 1962) and free throw attempts (16 in 1962).

Though this was the first All-Star game in the “Second City”, there were plenty of firsts worth noting. Lenny Wilkens appeared in his first (and only) All-Star Game as a member of the Cavaliers. Pete Maravich, a five-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer, made his All-Star debut with the Atlanta Hawks. So too did Bill Bradley, a Hall of Fame guard for the Knicks. Elvin Hayes, a staple of the West All-Star team during his days in San Diego and Houston, made his first appearance on the East team as a member of the Baltimore Bullets.

Tiny Archibald made two “firsts” in the 1973 All-Star Game: it was his first of six career All-Star appearances and he was the first All-Star for the Kings — a franchise formerly known as the Cincinnati Royals — during their inaugural season in Kansas City-Omaha.

Finally, Nate Thurmond and Rick Barry were All-Stars again for the Warriors — the first such All-Stars for the franchise since moving to Oakland (and being renamed Golden State) before the 1971-72 season.

All-Star Game rosters

Eastern Conference

Pete Maravich (Atlanta Hawks)

Walt Frazier (New York Knicks)

Dave Cowens (Boston Celtics)

John Havlicek (Boston Celtics)

Dave DeBusschere (New York Knicks)

Elvin Hayes (Baltimore Bullets)

Wes Unseld (Baltimore Bullets)

Jo Jo White (Boston Celtics)

Bill Bradley (New York Knicks)

Jack Marin (Houston Rockets)

Lou Hudson (Atlanta Hawks)

Bob Kauffman (Buffalo Braves)

John Block (Philadelphia 76ers)

Lenny Wilkens (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Coach: Tom Heinsohn (Celtics)

Western Conference

Tiny Archibald (Kansas City-Omaha Kings)

Jerry West (L.A. Lakers)

Wilt Chamberlain (L.A. Lakers)

Spencer Haywood (Seattle SuperSonics)

Sidney Wicks (Portland Trail Blazers)

Dave Bing (Detroit Pistons)

Bob Lanier (Detroit Pistons)

Chet Walker (Chicago Bulls)

Bob Love (Chicago Bulls)

Gail Goodrich (L.A. Lakers)

Nate Thurmond (Golden State Warriors)

Charlie Scott (Phoenix Suns)

Connie Hawkins (Phoenix Suns)

Bob Dandridge (Milwaukee Bucks)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee Bucks) *

Rick Barry (Golden State Warriors) *

Coach: Bill Sharman (Lakers)

NOTE: * = missed game due to injury; ** = injury replacement