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2018 NBA All-Star Weekend Preview

by Daniel Gerbick on Friday, February 16th, 2018

2018-NBA-All-Star-GameStars from across the NBA are coming together this weekend for a time in the spotlight in Los Angeles as the 2018 NBA All-Star Game gets a new format and Justin Bieber returns to the NBA Celebrity Game for the first time since 2011.

Staples Center will host the weekend festivities that begin tonight at 7 p.m. ET with the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, followed at 9 p.m. by the Rising Stars challenge, in which the best American rookies and sophomores go up against their counterparts from the rest of the world.

The All-Star game takes place on Sunday at 8 p.m. featuring two teams handpicked (regardless of conference affiliation) by team captains Stephen Curry (Warriors) and Lebron James (Cavaliers) from a pool of players voted as starters and reserves. The new All-Star Game format replaces the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.

For Team LeBron, James picked LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Kevin Durant (Warriors), Kyrie Irving (Celtics), Kevin Love (Cavaliers), Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Paul George (Thunder), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Goran Dragic (Heat).

For Team Stephen, Curry chose Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), Joel Embiid (76ers), Draymond Green (Warriors), James Harden (Rockets), Al Horford (Celtics), Damian Lillard (Blazers), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Klay Thompson (Warriors) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves).

The first event that takes place Saturday night and always gets a lot of buzz is the Skills Challenge, which despite missing 2017 winner Kristaps Porzingis, has a lot of extraordinary players to make fans marvel at the contestants’ ball-handling, passing and shooting abilities.

The 2018 participants are Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets), Joel Embiid (76ers), Al Horford (Celtics), Lauri Markkanen (Bulls), Buddy Hield (Kings), Jamal Murray (Nuggets), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Lou Williams (L.A Clippers).

The second event on Saturday is the Three-Point Contest, which always gets the fans going. It will see eight great shooters dueling it out, including last year’s winner Eric Gordon (Rockets) and 2016 winner Klay Thompson (Warriors).

The other contestants battling for the title of top sharpshooter are Bradley Beal (Wizards), Paul George (Thunder), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Devin Booker (Suns), Wayne Ellington (Heat) and Tobias Harris (Clippers).

Another fan favorite event is the Slam Dunk contest, which closes the Saturday night festivities. This year includes NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo and first-time participants Larry Nance Jr. (Cavaliers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks) and Donovan Mitchell (Jazz).

On Sunday at 4:30 p.m. the action begins with the NBA G League International Challenge, which features a game between the team of NBA G League USA against Mexico’s National Team.

Note: All times Eastern

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