Two weeks after the NFL and NHL celebrated their sports’ best players, it’s now the NBA’s turn. NBA All-Star Weekend 2016 begins on Friday at Toronto's Air Canada Centre with three consecutive days of events.
The weekend is highlighted by eight events, showcasing the NBA’s top players, as well as some of the league’s best young stars. The various events will be broadcast on either TNT, ESPN or NBA TV, culminating with the All-Star Game on Sunday night.
The All-Star Celebrity Game kicks off the weekend’s events. Stars like Drake, Kevin Hart, Nick Cannon and Jason Sudeikis will take part in the contest. The Rising Stars Challenge concludes Friday night’s activities, involving the best rookies and second-year players. The teams are separated by foreign and American players.
All-Star Saturday Night includes the Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest. Patrick Beverley won the Skills Challenge last year, but he won’t defend his title because of an injury. Stephen Curry is back in the Three-Point Contest after winning it in 2015, and Zach LaVine is the odds-on favorite to win the Slam Dunk Contest for a second straight year.
The All-Star Game is the only event set for Sunday. The game features four first-time selections, including Kawhi Leonard, who is starting for the Western Conference. Draymond Green is also a first-time selection, and he’ll play alongside Curry and Klay Thompson, giving the Golden State Warriors three players in the game.
Kobe Bryant, who has been named the game’s MVP four times, will start in his final All-Star Game. Jimmy Butler was selected as an Eastern Conference All-Star, but he won't play because of an injury. Butler was replaced by teammate Pau Gasol.
It’s the first time All-Star Weekend will take place in Toronto. The West beat the East in last year’s game at Madison Square Garden, where Russell Westbrook was named the MVP. The East has lost to the West in four of the last five years.
Friday, Feb. 12
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Rising Stars Challenge, 9 p.m. ET (TNT)
Saturday, Feb. 13
NBA D-League All-Star Game, 2 p.m. ET (NBA TV)
All-Star Saturday Night, 8.pm. ET (TNT)
Slam Dunk Contest
Sunday, Feb. 14
NBA All-Star Game, 8:30 p.m. ET (TNT)