1988 Week: Live-Tweeting the 1988 NBA All-Star Game

1988 was a game-changing year. 

The NBA was ruled by a flying men, Bad Boys and His Airness. The PBA was ushering in a new era with a bunch of hotshot rookies. The rivalry between Katipunan and Taft was starting anew in the UAAP.

Beyond basketball, 1988 gave us icons like Rain Man, Big and Die Hard. Another Michael was rising up the charts with his own Bad style. DJ Jazzy Jeff, NWA, Biz Markie, Run DMC were all rolling. Even in the world of sneakers something fresh was coming. Mike rocked a pair of J’s that shone brightest, even though surrounded by All-Stars.

Good, bad, hilarious and legendary, 1988 is a year to remember. It’s a classic year, an iconic time, a perfect 50.


The 1988 All-Star Game was one of the best ever because it had one of the best performances of the best ever: Michael Jordan.

It was his night. Eleven other All-Stars (okay, except Mo Cheeks) took a crack at the spotlight, but all their efforts were futile. The ’88 game, played in Chicago, was all about MJ. He shocked with the Air Jordan moves; he rocked the Air Jordan shoes.

The other legends—Magic, Bird, Isiah, Kareem, Malone, Wilkins—brought their own sets of highlights: reverse lay-ups, reverse dunks, no-look passes, sky hooks, and yes, even midrange jumpers (this was the 80s).

The game had everything. Well, almost everything. It didn’t have Basketball Twitter.

So, since it’s 1988 Week, let’s try to fix that with this collection of bad takes disguised as bad tweets, 30 years too late.

00:59 – If a montage of highlights featuring Jordan, Bird, and Magic isn’t enough to hype you up for the game, then something is wrong with you.

1:28 – The West All-Stars are being introduced. First up is Steve Johnson, who’s injured and in a suit. Not a good start.

1:38 – Kareem is coming off the bench! This is his 18th All-Star appearance. Quota na.

3:32 – Western Conference All-Star Starters: Magic, Malone, Olajuwon, Fat Lever, Alex English

4:23 – Fat Lever is a Top 5 person name.

4:35 – Magic gets the biggest cheers for the West squad. Star power-wise, only he can outshine Jordan in Chicago. Sorry, Nique.

4:52 – Coach Pat Riley is the Pat Riley before Pat Riley grew fangs and became a vampire.


5:30 – Charles Barkley looks weird with hair.

6:50 – Eastern Conference All-Star Starters: Bird, Wilkins, Moses Malone, Isiah, MJ

7:56 – “The charismatic star of the Chicago Bulls.” Yup, that’s one way to describe Jordan.

8:30 – Shout out to Mike Fratello’s hair. He looks like a wrestler whose name I forgot.

10:50 – How much does Bird respect MJ’s athleticism? First play of the game and he throws him a 20-foot lob that goes out of bounds.

12:00 – Second play, Zeke tries another lob to MJ. Ball is stolen.

12:39 – Jordan starts the game with two missed lobs and a missed jumper. Maybe he should switch to baseball.

12:52 – Then in a span of five seconds, Jordan gets a block and an assist. The Road to MVP begins.

14:14 – Isiah Thomas is booed heavily. In his hometown of Chicago. #freezeout

14:55 – Can’t imagine the pressure if you get a no-look pass from Magic. I might pass back to him and be like, “Sa iba nalang, bro, steady lang ako.”

15:30 – Fat Lever is 6-foot-3, leads the league in triple doubles, and always plays with a chip on his shoulder. Sound familiar?

16:20 – Hakeem is the 3rd leading vote-getter behind MJ and Magic. Fitting that he won back-to-back titles when MJ gone.

22:05 – Doc Rivers makes his All-Star Game debut. ’88 Doc vs ’17 Austin Rivers one-on-one, who you got?

22:39 – Magic with another no-look pass to Hakeem. If it was Hakeem and Magic instead of Kareem and Magic, would the Lakers be as successful?

23:22 – Kareem enters the game. Is he the oldest All-Star here? He sure looks like it.

25:50 – Sid Justice. That’s who Mike Fratello looks like with that hair.


27:11 – Danny Ainge hits a cold-blooded jumper! (But not as cold-blooded as his front office moves)

28:05 – Where Were You When Xavier McDaniel Was An All-Star?

30:10 – Abdul Jabbar Sky Hook sighting! Classic signature move, right up there with the Stone Cold Stunner.

30:53 – An image that never goes old: Patrick Ewing profusely sweating at the free throw line.

35:45 – This has been a long ass first quarter. Stop playing D, NBA legends!

36:10 – West is up 5, 32-27. This is a low-scoring affair in today’s standards. East ’17 scored 53 after the first.

39:36 – Doc on a fastbreak: Nique on his right, MJ on his left. Of course he chooses his Hawks teammate. #PettyWarz

39:57 – Jordan had Doc wide open to his right, but he drives it all the way to the basket for the missed layup. #PettyWarz

42:39 – Magic can make a textbook bounce pass look like a goddamn miracle.


44:35 – Jordan with the dipsy doo! Have we already raised ‘dipsy doo’ to the rafters? I feel like we should.

46:53 – Peak Mike Tyson talks nonsense jk Iron Mike you the man

50:28 – Jordan swipes the ball from Malone and dunks it at the other end. A glimpse of The Mailman’s gloomy future in the NBA.

51:15 – That highlight package with the double-pump dunk would make for a great Air Jordan III ad.

52:25 – East is up thanks to Jordan and Wilkins resuming their highlight reel battle from All-Star Saturday.

57:08 – Hot take: Moses Malone at the free throw line has Jimmy Santos vibes. #bonjing


58:40 – Referee: “Keep your mouth shut!” Chuck:

1:12:33 – Road to MVP Update: MJ has 20 points.

1:13:50 – There have been scoring spurts, but terrific defense is being played in this game. #analysis

1:20:05 – West All-Stars lead 78-75 at the end of the half. In last year’s All-Star Game, the West scored 97 points after 3.

1:20:17 – Who the hell is Paul Mokeski?

1:22:00 – Isiah passed no-look ala Magic, so Magic answered with a coast-to-coast drive ala Isiah. #PumepettyWarzDin

1:22:20 – Larry Bird is such a smart player. He’s playing chess and everyone else is playing Bejewelled.

1:25:57 – Bird applauding from the bench after a Danny Ainge 3. An animated and happy Larry Bird is a great sight.

1:26:59 – East key takeaway so far: they are really good when Jordan is on the floor. When he’s on the bench: CR break.

1:27:29 – West key takeaway so far: When Magic’s not on the floor, their offense becomes a joke with no punchline.

1:27:55 – David Stern sighting! I kind of miss David Stern.

1:32:07 – Kareem misses a long 2 at the buzzer.

1:32:08 – And they count it! As a 3-pointer! Kareem is now the all-time leading scorer in NBA All-Star history. Bizarre.


1:32:09 – West is in desperate need of 3s in this game. Where’s Steph Curry when you need him? In his mother’s womb, that’s where.

1:33:30 – Kareem’s buzzer-beater is nullified. So he didn’t beat the record. Weird.

1:34:05 – Doc Rivers is James Harden-ing his way to the rim. 9 FT attempts already.

1:37:06 – Mo Cheeks, who’s hurt, is the only All-Star who hasn’t scored. Makasali lang eh.

1:37:47 – Ainge with another 3! Ainge and Bird, OG Splash Brothers?

1:39:19 – What’s your most memorable All-Star Game moment? Doc Rivers: I fished for fouls.

1:43:52 – East is up 112-100, 7 minutes left. If they win, and MJ doesn’t win MVP, do we riot?

1:46:35 – Noticed that Karl Malone isn’t talking to himself (yet) on the free throw line. He deserves MVP if the West wins.

1:47:00 – Road to MVP Update: Jordan scores again, this time against five defenders.

1:48:17 – MJ’s statline: 28 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals. He’s good at basketball.


1:52:00 – Nique wants a piece of that MVP trophy. Wilkins = 29, Jordan = 32.

1:56:45 – WE. WANT. KAREEM. Tito Kareem is two points shy of the All-Star Game scoring record.

1:57:44 – Off a Riley timeout, Kareem hits his perfect, patented sky hook shot to set the scoring record. If you think the NBA is scripted, submit this as evidence.

1:58:12 – The Jordan Show won’t be denied! He scored 16 points in the last 5:30. Did someone whisper to him that he might not win MVP?

1:58:42 – Jordan’s stats: 40 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks, 4 steals. He’s really good at basketball.

1:59:18 – East wins, 138-133. But really, Chicago wins. But really, really, Jordan wins.

2:00:05 – They hand Jordan the MVP trophy as a formality. He recites a speech he practiced many times before. He won the award months ago, after all. #GOAT


Photos from Getty Images

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