It is that time of the year in the NBA when players such as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James kick the entertainment factor into high gear as the All-Star weekend returns. Such high-profiled stars on show are set to entertain basketball fans in a three-day event during the All-Star weekend, which starts on Friday at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The weekend will start with the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge and will be followed by the All-Star celebrity game, where a number of well-known names -- mostly from America -- take part to amaze the fans. This celebrity match has always been well attended and with names such as James Hart, Nick Cannon (both actors) and Drake (rapper) set to take part this year, one sees no reason why the fans are not going to pour out in numbers.
If you think these players will not be able to reproduce some magical moments with the ball, former players such as Tracy McGrady, Chauncey Billups and Muggsy Bogues, who are set to feature on Friday, will make sure that the quality is top-notch as well.
If the celebrity game is still not enough to woo the fans on Friday, the Rising Stars Challenge, which will be contested between the US and the Rest of the World, should set the centre alight. The first and second year players, who represent both the teams, have been selected by assistant coaches of the NBA.
However, the best part of the NBA-All Star weekend has always been the events on Saturday, including skills challenge, three-point and the slam dunk contest. It starts off with the skills challenge, where the players are tested with their shooting, passing and dribbling skills.
The three-point contest is expected to be a cracker this time around with some in-form shooters having agreed to participate in the competition. Curry, James Harden, Klay Thompson and JJ Reddick are some stars who are set to dazzle the fans in Canada with their sharp shooting skills.
The last event on Sunday has always been the show stopper with high-flying acrobatic dunks, which gets you out of your seat. The dunk contest will only be contested among four participants, which includes Zach LaVine, Aaron Gordon, Will Barton, and Andre Drummond. It could be anyone's game with judges in the dunk contest looking for original dunks and the level of difficulty among other qualities.
The last day of the weekend will witness a host number of stars like Curry, Harden, Bryant, Draymond Green and Carmelo Anthony representing their respective conferences in a battle of the east vs west. Primarily, the first half witnesses some crazy moves from both teams to entertain the massive crowd, and the second half is bit serious with players going all out for a win.
All in all, the three-day affair will provide plenty of memories to cherish for fans in the US and the world over.
Complete schedule for All-Star weekend
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
Time: 7 p.m. ET (5:30 a.m. IST)
TV: ESPN (US)
Rising Stars Challenge
Time: 9 p.m. ET (7:30 a.m. IST)
TV:TNT (US), India (Sony Six)
Skills Challenge, three-point and dunk contest
Starts from: 8 p.m. (6:30 a.m. IST)
TV: TNT (US), India (Sony Six)
NBA All-Star Game
Time: 8:30 p.m. (7 a.m. IST)
TV: TNT (US), India (Sony Six)