NBA All-Star Explained

NBA-All Star Weekend is one of the NBA’s premier attractions. Used as a mid-season break in February, All-Star Weekend brings together the stars of the NBA for an experience like no other.

Friday

Celebrity Game

The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game is the first main event of All-Star Weekend. The game features retired NBA Players, WNBA Players, actors, musicians, and athletes from other sports. The game consists of shortened ten minute quarters with a running shot clock for the last two minutes of every quarter. The game always provides humour and often surprises. Previous players include Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg and as seen below comedian Kevin Hart, who is a four-time Celebrity Game MVP.

Rising Stars Challenge

Previously known as the ‘Rookie Challenge’ the Rising Stars Challenge consists of an exhibition game between teams consisting of first and second year NBA Players. In 2015 the game pitted American NBA first and second years against an International team of players in their first and second NBA seasons. The players are selected by assistant NBA coaches and in recent years (excluding 2015) have been drafted by a mock GM, previously including Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, into teams. MVP’s of this game include Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and Kevin Durant.

Saturday

All-Star Saturday night is one of the most anticipated nights in the NBA calender, it features marquee events such as the three-point contest and the slam dunk contest.

Shooting Stars

The Shooting Stars challenge kicks off All-Star Saturday Night.  Four teams each consisting of a current NBA Player, a WNBA Player and an NBA Legend most score a basket from four spots of increasing difficulty on the floor. The first three must be taken in order (a designated player must make that shot) before they team up to try to make a half court shot as quickly as they can. After one round the two quickest teams advance to the finals. To better understand watch the video below.

Skills Challenge

The Skills Challenge is designed to test a players passing, ball-handling and shooting skills. In the current version of the contest a player starts by dribbling through five obstacles. They must then make a pass through a net that does not touch the ground before running back down the court to make a layup. Finally they dribble back down the court and must make a three pointer. Two players do this at the same time and the first one to finish advances tot the next round. See the championship round from this years challenge for a better understanding.

Three Point Contest

The Three Point Contest is one of the All-Star Weekends most famous events, coming behind only the dunk contest and the All-Star Game itself. In this event six shooters each try to make as many three pointers in a minute as they can. There are five ball racks situated on different points outside the three point line, each consisting of four normal balls, worth one point if made, and one ‘money ball’, which is worth two points. Shooters must work their way around these racks making as many shots as they can. After the first round of this three shooters then go into the final round where they must repeat this. The player with the highest score in the final round is crowned three point champion. Stephen Curry holds the record for the most points scored with 27 (recorded in the new 34-point system).

Past 5 Winners: Stephen Curry; Marco Bellineli; Kyrie Irving; Kevin Love & James Jones.

Dunk Contest

The NBA Dunk Contest is one of the best known contests in sports. Four players go head to head to prove they are the best dunkers. Each players get two dunks in the first round, judged by five NBA Legends. The players with the highest two scores then advance to the finals where they get two more dunks to impress, the winner is then voted for by the fans via text and social media. The Dunk Contest has provided some of the NBA’s most memorable moments such as Michael Jordan’s battles with Dominique Wilkins and Vince Carter’s 2000 dunk contest. In recent years it has come under some scrutiny as less and less NBA elites participate in the contest. Here is Zach LaVine’s dunks from this years contest.

Sunday- All-Star Game

The NBA All-Star Game is the conclusion of the whole All-Star Weekend. It pits the best players from the Eastern Conference against the best players from the Western Conference. Although it is never played with too much competitiveness, it is full of highlights and memorable moments. The starting lineup for each team is voted for by the fans, who vote for the two guards and three forwards they feel should make each All-Star team. The reserves are then voted for by the NBA Coaches from their respective conferences, however they cannot vote for their own player. The head coach of the team with the best record in the respective conference is selected as coach for their teams conference. The player who has the best game is awarded All-Star MVP.

Next: NBA Draft Explained

If you have any further questions let me know in the comments below or email/tweet me from the links on the contact page.

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