Your guide to the NBA All-Star game
Central Bureau Chief
As a basketball fan, the NBA All-Star Weekend is the most fun and explosive part of the season.
This is where all the best players put their differences aside and have a relaxed weekend to showcase their talent. From Feb. 15–17 of this year, we were delighted to have the NBA All-Star event come into Charlotte.
Back in 2017, Charlotte was originally going to have the event there, yet it was moved to New Orleans due to backlash of the inequality of gender bathrooms.
Emma Margolin writes from NBC News.com, “In one of the biggest economic consequences to come out of North Carolina’s controversial law that bans transgender people from using bathrooms in accordance with their gender identities, the National Basketball Association has decided to pull the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte.” So, it’s nice to see the festivities return to one of the best basketball cities.
RISING STARS CHALLENGE
Originally, the rising stars challenge had the best rookie players against the best sophomore players.
Since 2012, the notion evolved to have two general managers (hall of famers) choose from a pool of rookies and sophomores and have both teams play.
It was amusing to see Jeremy Lin alley-oop to Blake Griffin or Kyrie Irving cross up Brandon Knight and shoot a fadeaway.
By 2016, an even newer idea came to have players from USA play against players from foreign countries.
Personally, it’s fantastic to see how American and foreign players play the game.
Below are the rosters of each team courtesy of NBA.com
Jarrett Allen, Marvin Bagley III, Lonzo Ball (injured), John Collins, De’Aaron Fox, Jaren Jackson Jr., Kevin Knox, Kyle Kuzma, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum.
OG Anunoby, Deandre Ayton, Bogdan Bogdanović, Luka Dončić, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Rodions Kurucs, Lauri Markkanen, Josh Okogie, Cedi Osman and Ben Simmons.
ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT
Subsequently, Saturday night is filled with activities where players test their abilities.
We first have the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, in which players must complete an obstacle course by dribbling through hurdles, passing the ball to hit targets and make a layup and shoot a 3. Ensuing, we have the three-point contest where it’s self-explanatory.
In my view, this is the event to watch since this challenge is based on pure skill.
Finally, we have the slam dunk competition where contestants use their talent and creativity to try to go from one place to another.
How do you win? Tenacity + ingenuity + authority on the rim= Slam Dunk Champion.
Of course, players come up with crazy ideas like jumping over a car or using one hand to dunk while grabbing a toy from the rim with your teeth.
Here are the contestants of the following events
Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Mike Conley, Grizzlies
Luka Doncic, Mavericks
De›Aaron Fox, Kings
Nikola Jokic, Nuggets
Kyle Kuzma, Lakers
Jayson Tatum, Celtics
Nikola Vucevic, Magic
Trae Young, Hawks
3 Point Contest
Devin Booker, Suns
Seth Curry, Trail Blazers
Stephen Curry, Warriors
Danny Green, Raptors
Joe Harris, Nets
Buddy Hield, Kings
Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
Khris Middleton, Bucks
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
Kemba Walker, Hornets
Slam Dunk Contest
Miles Bridges, Hornets
John Collins, Hawks
Hamidou Diallo, Thunder
Dennis Smith Jr., Knicks
NBA ALL-STAR GAME
This is the moment we’ve all waited for. We see the best of the best battle to see whose team outranks who.
Traditionally, the all-star game had the best of the Western and Eastern Conference face off yet with viewership down, it was time to spice it up.
In 2018, a new concept was formed to have the best player from both conferences choose from a pool of who they want to play with. It’s so exhilarating to see LeBron pass to Kevin Durant for a fade-away three or have Russell Westbrook pass an alley-oop dunk to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Let’s duke it out boys to see who’s the best. Here’s your 2019 NBA All-Stars courtesy of NBA.com
• Starters: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden
• Reserves: Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, LeMarcus Aldridge, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal and Dwyane Wade.
• Starters:Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Paul George, Kemba Walker
• Reserves:Khris Middleton, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, D’Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic, Kyle Lowry and Dirk Nowitzki.
Photo: Thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo edges Dennis Smith Jr. to win underwhelming Dunk Contest. Photo courtesy of CBS Sports