After all the waiting, we finally know who is going to be a part of All-Star weekend! Thursday night on TNT, all of the information on participants was revealed. The weekend will be as follows.
BBVA Rising Stars Challenge – Friday February, 14th
Teams had to be drafted by the “acting GM’s” Chris Webber and Grant Hill. Team Webber got the first pick and then Team Hill received the next, and so forth.
Anthony Davis, Michael Carter-Williams, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jared Sullinger, Trey Burke, Victor Oladipo, Mason Plumlee, Steven Adams, & Kelly Olynyk.
Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jonas Valaciunas, Dion Waiters, Pero Antic.
At first glance, Team Webber is full of speed. They look to have loaded up on guards and wings wanting to get out and run. Trey not only gets to be on this quick team, but he also gets to team up with former teammates of his. Tim Hardaway Jr was one of his teammates at the University of Michigan. Jared Sullinger was a high school teammate and childhood friend.
Congrats to Trey on being selected to play in the game!
Sears Shooting Stars Challenge – All-Star Saturday Night
In a competition that kicks off All-Star Saturday Night, teams of 3 try and hit shots from different spots on the floor. A player has to shoot until they make the shot before the next player can shoot from their designated spot. The goal is to make all the shots before the time runs out. There are 2 teams from the East and 2 teams from the West.
East Team 1: Tim Hardaway Jr., Tim Hardaway Sr., & Elena Delle Donne.
East 2 – Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins, & Swin Cash.
West 1 – Stephen Curry, Dell Curry, & Becky Hammon.
West 2 – Kevin Durant, Karl Malone, & Skylar Diggins.
In what was the most impressive thing to me, we get to see The Mailman, Karl Malone, back in action and be apart of All-Star weekend again. He will team up with players out of the state of Oklahoma. Some fans wondered why Malone did not play with players from Utah. One main reason is that Utah does not have a current WNBA team. That may or may not made a difference, but regardless, I am happy to see the Mailman back on the court!
Taco Bell Skills Challenge – All-Star Saturday Night
In a course that is set up for point guards to show their ball handling, passing, and shooting skills, the Jazz will get to put their point guard to work in this category. Not only does he get put to work, but the rookie from Milwaukee, a forward, gets in the competition as well.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge:
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Demar Derozan, Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Damian Lillard, Goran Dragic, & Reggie Jackson.
Trey is going up against some pretty solid competition in this event. Trey is a pretty good passer and ball handler though so he might be able to hold his own pretty good. Can’t wait to find out!
Foot Locker 3 Point Shootout – All-Star Saturday Night
An exciting competition that shows fans the leagues best 3 point shooters, competing to try and complete all the racks of balls before the time runs out.
Foot Locker 3 Point Shootout:
Aaron Afflalo, Bradley Beal, Kyrie Irving, Joe Johnson, Marco Belinelli, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, & Kevin Love.
The Jazz fans won’t get to see any hometown guys in this event, but this should be some good watching. Kyrie is the defending champ and will be seeing some tough competition, especially from Steph Curry.
Sprite Slam Dunk Contest – All-Star Saturday Night
An event that is always the headliner for Saturday night, has been kind of a dud the last few years. Fans were upset because bigger name guys didn’t want to participate. Fans got their wish a little bit this year and the field is solid from top to bottom.
Sprite Slam Dunk Contest:
Paul George, Damian Lillard, Terrence Ross, John Wall, Harrison Barnes, & Ben McLemore.
Ross, the defending champion, had to beat out the Jazz’s Jeremy Evans last year in this event to win. This season, if he wants to win, he is going to have to do something crazy.
All-Star Game – Sunday February 16th
After all the events of the weekend have concluded, the main game will take place on Sunday in New Orleans. We have known for a week now who is going to be in the game, but in case you haven’t heard, here are the players who were selected to play in the All-Star game.
East: LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, Roy Hibbert, Chris Bosh, Paul Millsap, John Wall, DeMar Derozan, Joe Johnson, & Joakim Noah.
West: Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Dwight Howard, Tony Parker, James Harden, Chris Paul, & Dirk Nowitzki.
Kobe Bryant will not play in the game, but was selected as a starter. Chris Paul has been dealing with an injury, but he is set to return to action this week and will play in the All-Star game.
This is shaping up to be a very good All-Star Weekend. To me, it could be one of the better All-Star Weekends we have seen in quite some time. The dunk contest finally has guys in it that everyone knows very well! The 3 point shootout is full of sharp shooters that don’t miss very often. We finally get to see the Mailman back on the court in the Shooting Stars Challenge. We also get to see Trey Burke show what he can do in multiple events.
Former Weber State guard, Damian Lillard, is the first player to ever compete in all 5 events at All-Star Weekend. When asked why he was doing it, his response was, “I might as well.” That is going to be fun to watch.
Also, on the TNT broadcast, the guys were talking about how Michael Carter-Williams will be the Rookie of the Year. After they stated this, Charles Barkley said, “Don’t sleep on Trey Burke for Rookie of the Year, either. He is coming on strong.” Let’s hope that this All-Star weekend will give Trey a chance to show up Carter-Williams a little bit and try and push the odds in his favor a bit.
All in all it should be a fantastic weekend!