The 2017 NBA All-Star Game takes over New Orleans for the weekend with special events, contests and fan experiences. It all comes to a head when the Eastern Conference All-Stars meet the Western Conference All-Stars Sunday night at 8 pm ET on TNT.
ESPN will air the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at 7 pm ET on Friday live from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. ESPN media personalities and SportsCenter hosts Michael Smith (Western) and Jemele Hill (Eastern) serve as guest coaches.
Following the Celebrity Game the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge takes place at 9 pm ET at the Smoothie King Center. The game is a showcase of the NBA’s young talent of first and second year players and will be televised on TNT.
The teams are split between a U.S. Team and a World Team.
The action picks back up Saturday afternoon at 2:30 pm ET with the NBA D-League All-Star Game. Then Saturday evening kicks off the fan-favorites Taco Bell Skills Challenge, JBL Three-Point Contest and the Verizon Slam Dunk contest.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge pits All-Stars Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, Devin Booker, Kristaps Porzingis and Nikola Jokic in a obstacle course competition. The contest involves dribbling, passing and shooting skills in head-to-head competitions.
The JBL Three Point Contest features eight players, Eric Gordon, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Wes Matthews, CJ McCollum, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker and Nic Young, competing in a timed event with five shooting stations. Each station contains four regular balls worth one point each and one multicolored “money” ball worth two points. Contestants can have one all-money ball rack at one of the stations and have one minute to make as many shots as they can. The top three shooters with the highest scores advance to the championship round.
The most iconic competition of All-Star Weekend is the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest with four players competing for the title. Aaron Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, Derrick Jones Jr. and Glenn Robinson III have two scored dunks in the first round with the two highest scoring players going head-to-head with another two dunks to determine the winner.
The 66th NBA All-Star Game tips off at 8:30 pm ET with pre-game coverage starting at 7 pm on TNT. New Orleans hosts the game for the third time and the starting lineups were determined by fan, player and media votes.
The Eastern Conference starters are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving and Lebron James. Butler and DeRozan made the squard for the third time, Antetokounmpo is a first-time player, Irving has been four times and James made his 13th consecutive All-Star game. He is the leading scorer with 291 career points and is the fifth player to start at least 13 games (Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Bob Cousy and Michael Jordan).
The Western Conference starters are Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard. Leonard was elected for the second time, Davis and Curry are on their fourth All-Star squad, Harden has his fifth and Durant is on his eighth All-Star team and holds the highest scoring average in the game’s history with 25.6 ppg.