Each year, the NBA holds its annual All-Star break, which includes several events to entertain the fans. Although there are a few events such as the celebrity All-Star Game and the Rising Stars Challenge that take place on Friday, the real group of must-see TV is on the weekend. Here are the events to watch for over the next two days.
The NBA introduced this event back in 2003, which has been a mainstay over the last 15-plus years with some challenges over the previous few years.
There have been some progressive alterations to the event to which it has featured obstacles that will test the player’s dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. Instead of it being a course where the players have to go through it one-by-one to get the best time possible, it puts the group of eight players through an elimination bracket of one-on-ones over three rounds.
The player who finishes with a faster time in each matchup advances to the next round. This year’s field includes defending champion Jayson Tatum, Pascal Siakam, Domantas Sabonis, Khris Middleton, Spencer Dinwiddie, Patrick Beverley, and Bam Adebayo.
One of the most popular events from All-Star Weekend has undoubtedly been the 3-point contest.
It has seen many of the game’s best shooters over the years participate in the contest. However, this year’s go-around is a bit different with some rule changes that will alter things a bit.
The event will still have the usual five spots along the 3-point line with four balls (one point) and a money ball (two points). That also includes an entire money-ball rack in one of those five locations.
This year’s event will have two “MTN DEW Zones,” which are going to be put six feet behind the 3-point line with each zone having one green ball that is worth three points. The inclusion of these zones boosts the time limit from 60 seconds to 70 seconds, with the players having the chance to reach a maximum of 40 points instead of 34 points.
The event will feature two rounds, with the three highest scores advancing to the finals among the eight participants. With Damian Lillard out due to injury, Devin Booker has taken his spot joining the likes of defending champion Joe Harris, Buddy Hield, Zach LaVine, Duncan Robinson, Trae Young, Devonte’ Graham, and Davis Bertans.
Slam Dunk Contest
With the events all from Saturday night, the Slam Dunk Contest has been the crown jewel for years. Although there have been complaints that many of the game’s best players don’t participate, it has seen many memorable turnouts.
The Slam Dunk contest has gone through some alterations through the years; the format has stayed roughly the same. It features four players with two rounds as each player will have two attempts each. In the first round, the two highest scorers move to the finals.
There will be five judges for the event that will score each dunk between 6-10, which gives a baseline of 30 points and a maximum of 50. The 2020 field of competitors will include Dwight Howard, Aaron Gordon, Derrick Jones Jr., and Pat Connaughton.
The closing event for the weekend all comes down to the All-Star game, which features many of the game’s best talents facing off.
Given the sudden and tragic passing of former Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, the NBA has changed the classic format to honor the future First-Ballot Hall of Famer. LeBron James will wear Bryant’s daughter Gianna’s No.2 jersey, and Giannis Antetokounmpo will don No. 24 for the contest.
Following the first three quarters of the game, there will be no time for the final period as the team with the higher score plus 24 points will be the benchmark of the point total that needs to be reached to win the game. On top of that, the winning team will receive $200,000 towards their desired charity. Meanwhile, the team with the most points in each of the first three quarters of the contest will receive $100,000 in each instance that will go to their designated community organization.
The event will be a bit different, which will likely see emotions running a bit high due to Bryant’s passing, but it should bring the close to another memorable All-Star Weekend.