The term “alley oop” originated in American football with the San Francisco 49ers to describe a high-arcing pass to the wide receiver. In basketball, the alley-oop can be dated as far back as the 1950s with Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell in their college days; however, these alley-oops mostly came off of what is now known as offensive interference plays. Some credit the alley-oop to Al Tucker at Oklahoma Baptist University in the 1960s, while others credit David Thompson for popularizing the exciting alley-oop at North Carolina State University in the 1070s, even though dunking was illegal in the NCAA during this time.
When dunking in the NCAA became legal again in 1976, alley-oops became a household basketball term and skyrocketed in popularity with Magic Johnson during his tenure at Michigan State.
The alley-oop became more of a staple in basketball in the 1990s due to the evolving nature of the game. The more athletic the players became, the more alley-oops occurred.
An alley-oop needs timing, teamwork, vision and passing/finishing skills. Every year in the NBA, the fans are rewarded with one night that meshes the best the game has to offer. Since an alley-oop remains arguably the most exhilarating and amazing play to watch, let’s take a look at the 10 best alley-oops that occurred during an All-Star Game.
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10. Rondo’s midcourt lob to LeBron
Anyone that has seen LeBron James play at least one game can tell you that the four-time MVP is one of the best finishers at the rim, especially in the open court. On the same note, anyone who has seen Rajon Rondo play at least one time can tell you about his phenomenal playmaking and passing skills. So, imagine the beauty that occurs when these two connect for an alley-oop. That’s just what happened in the 2012 All-Star Game at Amway Center in Orlando when Rondo threw an oop from midcourt for ‘Bron to attack the rim with a powerful reverse.
9. Iverson’s backboard pass to McGrady
The eighth-best alley-oop in an All-Star Game came from two players who had phenomenal skills and talent, but are often overlooked due to injuries and attitude. Allen Iverson was a wizard with a basketball, and during the 2004 All-Star Game in downtown Los Angeles, he showed off one of his weapons with a ridiculous lob off the backboard to Tracy McGrady for a huge reverse dunk. I’m sure we’ll see both A.I. and T-Mac on this list again.