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5 Guys and a Girl pick their all-time favorite NBA All-Stars

As the city buzzes around us in preparation for the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, hosted jointly by the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, we caught up with a few of our office’s basketball fans to reflect on their all-time favorite NBA All-Stars — and their entries in the Oxford African American Studies Center. Without further ado, Oxford University Press New York’s ‘5 Guys and a Girl’ weigh in:

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Everett Jones: NY Office Services

Everett J

Everett J

Top Pick: Julius Erving
Second Pick: Bernard King

“Dr. J made it popular to dunk and have an above the rim game.”

Known to fans and announcers as Dr. J, Julius Erving set new standards of performance in his sport and made the slam-dunk into one of the most exciting moves in professional basketball.

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Kishiem Laws: NY Office Services

Kishiem L

Everett J

Top Pick: Kobe Bryant
Second Pick: Kevin Durant

“Kobe has 18 straight All-Star appearances.”

At age seventeen, Kobe Bryant became the youngest guard to be drafted in the history of the National Basketball Association. Bryant blossomed into an NBA superstar within his first three years and went on to lead the Lakers to three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002.

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Michael Franks: NY Office Services

Michael F

Everett J

Top Pick: Michael Jordan
Second Pick: Dominique Wilkins

“The 1987 Slam Dunk Contest says it all!”

In 1987, Michael Jordan ran from beyond half-court, leaped from the free-throw line, and glided through the air in a seemingly effortless manner—lifting the ball and then lowering it, contracting his legs and then spreading and extending them—finally dunking the ball fifteen feet later cinching the Dunk Contest Title over Dominique Wilkins.

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Godwin Joseph: NY Office Services

Godwin J

Everett J

Pick: Shaquille O’Neal
Second Pick: Dwayne Wade

“With 15 All-Star Team selections, how could I not pick Shaq?”

A 15-time NBA All-Star, Shaquille O’Neil quickly became one of the NBA’s top centers, and only one of three players in the history of the NBA to win the NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year.

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Fred Hampton: OUP US IT

Everett J

Everett J

Top Pick: Wilt Chamberlain
Second Pick: Kareem Adbul-Jabar

“He is the ORIGINAL.”

A legendary basketball player, Wilt Chamberlain was a gifted offensive shooter who scored and rebounded prolifically. In 1978 Chamberlain was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 1996 for the NBA’s fiftieth anniversary he was named one of the fifty greatest players in NBA history.

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Ayana Young: Online Marketing

Ayana Y

Everett J

Top Pick: Magic Johnson
Second Pick: Jerry West

“There’s a reason they called him Magic.”

Considered one of the greatest point guards and play-makers in the history of the NBA, Magic Johnson ended his 13-year professional career in 1991, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game becoming the first and only retired player to do so and win the All-Star MVP Award.

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Image credits: (1) Knicks v Thunder 2010 MSG. Photo by Matt Pirecki. CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (2) Julius Erving, 6 November 1974, Sport Magazine Archives. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. (3) Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against the Washington Wizards in Washington, D.C., USA on February 3, 2007. Photo by Keith Allison. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (4) Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 1997. Photo by Steve Lipofsky at Basketballphoto.com. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (5) Shaquille O’Neal preparing to shoot a free throw in 2009. Photo by Keith Allison. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (6) Wilt Chamberlain, 1967. Philadelphia 76ers press photo. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. (7) Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson and Boston Celtics Larry Bird in Game two of the 1985 NBA Finals at Boston Garden. Photo by Steve Lipofsky at Basketballphoto.com. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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