One of the most entertaining events of the year begins today with NBA All-Star Weekend. This event is always held in February and puts the spotlight on the top performing players in the NBA this season. There are numerous types of games being played this weekend, showing off the talent and skills of the players in the NBA.
Friday, February 15 starts All-Star weekend with the Celebrity Game at 7PM Eastern/4PM Pacific. In the Celebrity Game, actual celebrities get a chance to prove that they have skills on the basketball court, and is typically a hilarious game to watch.This year guarantees laughs as well as drama in a showdown game between two teams comprised of 1st and 2nd year players hand picked by coaches Charles “Chuck” Barkley and Shaquille “Diesel” Oneal. This game is called the Rising Stars Showdown, and begins at 6PM Pacific time right after the Celebrity Game.
Saturday, February 16 begins with the Development League All-Star game at 12PM Pacific time. This game gives the viewer a chance to get a look at the players being developed to get a shot in the NBA. There is a lot of talent in the D-League, and this is definitely a game to check out. Later at 4:30PM comes the always exhilarating NBA All-Star Saturday Night which includes the Shooting Stars Competition, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the Footlocker 3-Point Contest and the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
The Shooting Stars Competition is where a retired player, a NBA player and a WNBA player who played in the same city take various challenging shots from the court. For example, last years winners were Alan Houston who played for the Knicks in the late 90′s-early 2000′s, Landry Fields who was on the current Knicks Roster and Cappie Pondexter who plays for the New York Liberty in the WNBA. The team to make it from each spot with the fastest time wins the Competition.
Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs stole the skills title last year and will look to show the young guns how he did it.The Taco Bell Skills Challenge literally challenges the chosen players with numerous passing, dribbling, lay-up/dunk and shooting drills. The player to finish all of the drills the fastest wins. It ends with the top two players going head to head full speed in order to prove who has the top skills. (I will be rooting for Damian Lilard, a very talented rookie shining for the Portland Trailblazers.)
Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves surprised everyone last year by taking the 3-point crown, but will not be competing this year. In the 3-Point Contest the player is timed and has to make as many 3-point shots as possible in 1 minute. The players shoot from 5 different spots around the 3-point line, and one ball per spot is red, white and blue which is worth 2 points while the rest are only worth one. The player can get 30 points total, but the record is 25.
Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz was the slam dunk champ last year and will be defending his title this year. The Dunk Contest is typically the most entertaining event for Saturday night. Each Dunker will have 2 attempts to wow the crowd with their dunks. Each dunk will be graded 30-50, ending with the top two dunkers going head to head with their best 2 dunks.
Sunday will headline NBA All-Star Weekend with the NBA All-Star game beginning at 3PM Pacific with the pregame concert featuring Kesha and Ludacris. The NBA All-Star game will begin at 5PM Pacific time and surely be the highlight of the weekend and be the talk of the town next week. 4 of the 5 starters for the Western Conference are from LA and will prove to be a formidable match for Lebron James and the Eastern Conference. Another awesome part of this game is the chance of Oklahoma City Thunder players Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook reuniting with former Thunder and current Houston Rocket James Harden.