Your Guide to the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend
Posted on February 11 2017
This year’s NBA All-Star Weekend will be held in New Orleans from February 17 to 19.
Friday, Feb. 17
7 PM: NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
(8am Saturday Feb 18th HKT)
Though we won’t get to see the current NBA players in the weekend’s first event, the celebrity game is always entertaining as it is a rare chance for our favorite celebrities (trying) to showcase their basketball skills. This year’s lineup has yet to be announced, but expect some familiar faces.
Last year’s celebrity game featured Drake and Kevin Hart as the head coaches, with players such as Nick Cannon, Jason Sudeikis, and Anthony Anderson taking part. Former NBA and WNBA players are also invited to play, which results in a surprisingly high standard of basketball and lots of fun.
9 PM: BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
(10am Saturday Feb 18th HKT)
This game is a showcase of the NBA’s premier young talent, featuring the best first and second year NBA players partaking in some friendly competition. Players represent either the U.S. or World Team, depending on where the player is from. Headlining the event will be the standout talents Karl-Anthony Towns of the U.S. Team and Joel Embiid of the World Team.
Saturday, Feb. 18
8 PM: State Farm All-Star Saturday Night
(9am Sunday Feb 19th HKT)
All-Star Saturday night has always been a fan favorite, as we get to witness three of the most popular NBA events in one night. Starting things off is the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, which pits eight NBA stars against each other in a race, testing their all-round skills, such as dribbling, passing, and shooting. The faster finisher in each pairing advances to the next round, and ultimately the last player standing is crowned winner. John Wall is my pick to win the event.
Next up will be the JBL Three-Point Contest, and this year’s participants feature eight of the best shooters in the NBA showcasing their range. Look out for where each player places their “money ball rack”, with each ball from this rack being worth two points instead of one. Players shoot as many of the 25 balls as they can within one minute. Let’s see if last year’s champion Klay Thompson can repeat his success.
The Verizon Slam Dunk competition caps off Saturday night, with four of the NBA’s highest flyers showing off their best and brightest dunks. Scores are given by five former player judges, with a maximum score of 50 for each dunk. Last year’s runner-up Aaron Gordon is my pick to be the new slam dunk champion.
Sunday, Feb. 19
8:30 PM: 66th NBA All-Star Game
(9:30 am Monday Feb 20th HKT)
The most anticipated event of the weekend showcases the best active ballers in the league playing with and against each other. Both the East and West teams’ starters were voted in by fans around the world, and the reserves were selected by the NBA coaches based on their performance this season.
Headlining the East team are LeBron James and Kyrie Irving of the defending NBA champs Cleveland Cavaliers, while the West is headlined by Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors who currently have the best record in the league.
Though it is a friendly game, the atmosphere and play in the all-star game can get intense. Look out for West team players James Harden and Russell Westbrook, who have both been on fire for their respective teams this season. Also pay close attention to the East team’s breakout talents Isaiah Thomas and Giannis Antetokounmpo, also known to fans as the “Greek Freak”.
The NBA All-Star Weekend never disappoints. Be sure to circle the dates for a weekend of entertainment!