The NBA All-Star Weekend is right around the corner and people nationwide are excited for all the events. If you aren’t familiar with basketball or these special games, the NWN is going to break it down for you. The All-Star Celebrity game on Friday Feb. 17, the skills challenge, three point contest, and dunk contest on Saturday Feb. 18, leading up to the 66th NBA All-Star game on Sunday, Feb. 19.
The celebrity game has two teams, Team East and Team West. They consist of comedians, singers, actors, former players, and others. The players on Team East are Brandon Armstrong, Win Butler, Nick Cannon, Rachel DeMita, Ansel Elgort, Marc Lasry, Caleb McLaughlin, Peter Rosenberg, Oscar Schmidt, Lindsay Whalen, Jason Williams, and Kris Wu. This team will be coached by ESPN host Jemele Hill, assisted by Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors, and rapper Fat Joe.
The players on Team West are Miles Brown, Tom Cavanagh, Mark Cuban, Baron Davis, Andy Grammer, Jiang Jinfu, Anthony Mackie, Romeo Miller, Hasan Minhaj, Master P, Candace Parker, and Aaron Sanchez. They are being coached by ESPN host Michael Smith, assisted by Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, and television personality and model Rocsi Diaz.
The Skills Challenge, sponsored by Taco Bell, is a race between players to complete an identical course. Whoever finishes the fastest advances to the next round. This competition is between Devin Booker from the Suns, DeMarcus Cousins from the Kings, Anthony Davis from the Pelicans, Joel Embiid from the 76ers, Gordon Hayward from the Jazz, Kristaps Porzingis from the Knicks, Isiah Thomas from the Celtics, and John Wall from the Wizards.
The Three Point Contest, sponsored by JBL, takes place next. This is a two-round, timed competition in which players have five locations around the three-point arc where they have to shoot from. Four racks contain orange balls each worth one point, and one multi colored ball worth two. The fifth rack is called “the all-money ball rack” and the players can choose where they want to shoot the balls on these racks. Each of those balls is worth two points. The players have one minute to shoot as many of the 25 balls as they can. This year Eric Gordon from the Rockets, Kyrie Irving from the Cavaliers, Kyle Lowry from the Raptors, Wes Matthews from the Mavericks, CJ McCollum from the Blazers, Klay Thompson from the Warriors, Kemba Walker from the Hornets, and Nick Young from the Lakers will participate.
The Slam Dunk Contest, sponsored by Verizon, is the last event on Saturday. This is a two-round event with four participants. They can dunk however they choose without being timed. They have up to three attempts to complete each dunk. Judges score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10. Participating in this year’s Dunk Contest are: Aaron Gordon from the Magic, DeAndre Jordan from the Clippers, Glenn Robinson III from the Pacers, and Derrick Jones Jr. from the Suns.
On Sunday Feb. 19 is when the last game, the 66th NBA All-Star Game, will take place. Players were voted in through the twitter hashtag #NBAVote. This game consists of some of the most hardworking, motivated, and well-known players in the league. Starting in the Eastern Conference is Kyrie Irving from the Cavaliers, DeMar DeRozan from the Raptors, Lebron James from the Cavaliers, Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Bucks, and Jimmy Butler from the Bulls. In the Western Conference is Stephen Curry from the Warriors, James Harden from the Rockets, Kevin Durant from the Warriors, Kawhi Leonard from the Spurs, and Anthony Davis from the Pelicans.
The NBA All-Star Game hasn’t disappointed for the past 65 years, so stay tuned for year 66. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this year’s game and your predictions on who will win.