As the 2014-15 season approaches, the NBA is as enthralling and popular as ever, but it wasn’t long ago that it endured one of its roughest times.

In the fall of 2011, the Association went through a 161-day lockout—an exasperating time for fans, owners and players. But amid that dark time for the league, Josh Howard provided a source of light for fans and players alike.

J-Ho holds celebrity All-Star games every offseason, but the 2011 event in Dallas was a unique celebration of the game.

Some of the league’s biggest stars were on hand—including Kevin Durant, Nick Young and LaMarcus Aldridge—and together the group put on an incredible show.

Doyle Rader of SB Nation’s Mavs Moneyball recalled the exhibition recently. He wrote of Josh’s event and how

“It was a respite from the negativity surrounding the CBA negotiations for a few hours. And it was fun,” Rader wrote. “It was a high point in an otherwise fretful summer.”

KD, Swaggy P, sharpshooter Damon Jones and Isaiah Thomas stole the show in Big D, but more than a dozen NBA stars were in on the fun.

Outlandish shots from deep, contest-worthy dunks and stunning assists reminded fans in attendance that basketball would go on, no matter the issues between the league and its players.

Head over to Mavs Moneyball for the full flashback.