The elite of the NBA come together mid-season to celebrate the best basketball in the world and their skills on the court. In this edition, All Star Weekend travels to the Vivint Arena, home of the Utah Jazz, led by Lebron James and Gianni Antetokounmpo, the two players who received the most votes and, therefore, who will captain the Western Conference teams and This, respectively, in the all-star game. The activities, from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 February, include a mini-tournament between rookies called to be future stars, the iconic skills contests and close with the All Star Game on Sunday night.
Rising Stars Challenge
The all-star weekend kicks off on Friday with the Rising Stars, a home run that pits the league’s youngest players against emerging talent. Divided into four teams that will meet in a knockout format, the 11 rookies, 10 sophomores and 7 standouts from the G League, the NBA’s developmental league, will play two semifinals and the grand final to decide the tournament champion starting at 8:00 p.m.
The three teams with NBA rookies and sophomores will be led by three NBA legends: Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Deron Williams; while Jason Terry, assistant coach of the Utah Jazz, will command the G League quintet. In search of greater appeal, the Rising Stars matches will not be played until the clock runs out, but rather for a points objective. While the semifinals are agreed to 40 points, the final, which will face the winners of both brackets, will be decided by 25 points.
After the skills contest, eight of the best shooters in the league will face each other in rounds against the clock to try to hit as many 3-pointers as possible from different angles. These are this year’s participants:
- Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
- Tyler Herro (Miami Heat)
- Buddy Hield (Indiana Pacers)
- Kevin Huerter (Sacramento Kings)
- Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
- Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
- Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
The competition that has seen legends such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or Vince Carter crowned, the dunking contest, closes the activities on Saturday. In this edition, Kenyon Martin Jr. (Houston Rockets), Mac McClung (Philadelphia 76ers), Trey Murphy III (New Orleans Pelicans) and Jericho Sims (New York Knicks) will compete for the title.
All Star: NBA All-Star Game
The main event that combines fantasy plays, long distance shots and acrobatic dunks will pit Lebron James’ team (Western Conference) against Gianni Antetokounmpo’s team (Eastern Conference). For the first time in the 72-year history of the All-Star game, Lebron and Gianni will choose the players for each team in a lightning draft one hour before the game. The starting five for both teams, chosen through a joint vote between fans, players and the press, is made up as follows:
Western Conference: Lebron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) and Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz).
NBA All Star Weekend Schedule
In Mexico, the competitions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday can be seen live on ESPN (cable television) and the Star+ app, with a prior subscription.
Rising Stars Challenge
Friday, February 17, with the first game of the home run starting at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 18, with the skills rally starting at 7:00 p.m., followed by the triple contest and the star event of the night, the dunk contest.
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