The NBA All-Star Game has evolved into one that plays more like a stop on the And1 Mixtape tour instead of a regular basketball game. No one plays defense and both teams regularly score over 150 points. If that’s your thing, cool. But we think the All-Star Saturday Night festivities are way more fun (although the less said about the celebrity game on Friday night, the better).
Saturday night is home to the three marquee competitions, the Skills Challenge, the Three-Point Contest, and the Dunk Contest (no, we won’t be referring to them by their officially corporate sponsored titles). The NBA announced the rosters for each competition today, and they are packed with great players.
Skills Challenge: Kristaps Porzingis, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward, John Wall, Devin Booker
Three-Point Contest: Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Wesley Matthews, Kemba Walker, Nick Young, CJ McCollum, Eric Gordon
Slam Dunk Contest: Aaron Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, Glenn Robinson III, Derrick Jones Jr.
Those are some great lineups. Our only gripe is that two-time defending Dunk champion Zach LeVine isn’t coming back to try for a historic threepeat.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished everything I could in the dunk contest,” LaVine said Thursday, according to Sportsnet. “It would be hard for me to go back and outdo myself.
“I’m never saying I won’t ever do it again, but I’m focused on this year,” he said. “We’re getting close to being able to make the playoffs and we have that in our mind. Getting the rest and just focusing more on just the game is the main thing.”
Of course, it also sucks that Steph Curry isn’t competing in the Three-Point Contest, but since he’s basically proven himself as the best long-range shooter in history already, everyone else can fight for second place. Curry’s Golden State teammate Klay Thompson was the 2016 champion and is back to defend his crown.
All-Star Saturday Night goes down February 18, with the All-Star game the following day.