This weekend, basketball fans will tune in to NBA All-Star Weekend, three days highlighting the NBA's brightest stars and living legends as they pay the ultimate tribute to the sport.
This Sunday, around 20,000 spectators will witness one of basketball's great spectacles. The Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City will host the NBA All-Star Game, which will pit the game's top 24 players against each other on two teams: Team LeBron, captained by the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, and Team Giannis, led by Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
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This year's All-Star Game will offer a new twist: the teams will be selected just minutes before the game is played. The captains, James and Antetokounmpo, will choose amongst the available starters and reserves, trying to put together the best squad.
The Eastern Conference will be represented by Antetokounmpo, Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, DeMar DeRozan, Tyrese Haliburton (first All-Star Game appearance), Jrue Holiday, Julius Randle, Bam Adebayo, Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam, who replaces Kevin Durant (out due to injury).
The Western Conference players chosen were James, who recently became the NBA's all-time leading scorer, Luka Dončić, Nikola Jokić, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (first All-Star Game appearance), Damian Lillard, Ja Morant, Paul George, Jaren Jackson Jr. (first appearance), Lauri Markkanen (first appearance) and Domantas Sabonis, in addition to Anthony Edwards (first appearance) and De'Aaron Fox (first appearance) to fill the injury absences of Stephen Curry and Zion Williamson.
With this year's selection, LeBron James has tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most NBA All-Star Game appearances (19). The best player of the All-Star Game will receive the Kobe Bryant Award, renamed before the 2020 edition following the tragic death of the NBA legend.
Slam dunks, three pointers and more at NBA All-Star Weekend 2023
In addition to the All-Star Game, fans will enjoy the other spectacles that All-Star Weekend has to offer. The first is the Rising Stars, a game of the NBA's promising young players that takes place on Friday in a "final four" format. Four teams made up of 12 rookies, 12 second-year players and four more from the G-League (NBA developmental league) will face off. There will also be the Celebrity Game, where celebrities such as singer Ozuna and actor Simu Liu will show off their skills on the hardwood.
On Saturday, fans will enjoy their favorite players' tantalizing athleticism in the Slam Dunk Contest; sharpshooters in the Three-Point Shootout; and ballhandling wizards in the Skills Competition. These three challenges will put players' skills the test. The festivities conclude on Sunday with the aforementioned All-Star Game.