The NBA All-Star Weekend 2017 schedule tips off Friday, providing entertaining events that diehard basketball fans will be checking out over the next several days. Among them are the annual attempt by celebrities to show their skills on the hardwood, as well as the Rising Stars Challenge featuring the young stars of the NBA.
However, Saturday night’s events tend to draw in more viewers with the excitement of the three-point and slam dunk contests. Sunday will cap things off with the annual NBA All-Star Game from New Orleans, Louisiana. The latest schedule, along with betting odds, will give viewers an early preview of what to expect in the coming days.
Friday night brings the 2017 NBA Celebrity Game. According to CBS Sports, among the featured competitors will be Shark Tank star and Dallas Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban, former NBA stars Baron Davis and Jason Williams, actor/musician Nick Cannon, WNBA players Candace Parker and Lindsay Whalen, and former MVP Win Butler of Arcade Fire. Fans who watched last year’s game will remember that Butler’s award win brought about some interesting post-game comments with interviewer Sage Steele on hand for the event. He may be let loose again if ESPN allows it. The game starts at 7 p.m. Eastern Time Friday on ESPN.
Also, Friday night is the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. In previous years, the contest was simply the “rookie All-Star game.” It then turned into rookies vs. sophomores, merged into a combination of the two, and is now is set up featuring young stars in a World vs. USA matchup. That game will be on TNT and features young talents on the U.S. roster such as Devin Booker, Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and Karl Anthony-Towns. On the international team’s roster will be several young stars, including Buddy Hield, Nikola Jovic, Dante Exum, Trey Lyles, and Alex Abrines. Game time is 9 p.m. Eastern Time, giving fans time to finish up their celebrity game viewing parties first.
Saturday night brings more fun-filled events such as the three-point shootout, skills challenge, and the slam dunk contest. Klay Thompson will be on hand to defend his three-point title against big shot maker Kyrie Irving of the Cavs, Charlotte Hornets’ All-Star Kemba Walker, Raptors’ All-Star Kyle Lowry, and Lakers player Nick Young. The dunk contest features just four competitors, as Aaron Gordon looks to capture the title against a field that includes Derrick Jones Jr., DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers, and Glen Robinson III of the Indiana Pacers.
NBA All-Star Weekend 2017 Schedule
Friday 2/17 – Celebrity All-Star Game – 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Friday 2/17 – BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 9 p.m. ET (TNT)
Saturday 2/18 – All-Star Saturday Night – 8 p.m. ET (TNT)
- Skills Challenge
- Three-Point Contest
- Slam Dunk Contest
Sunday 2/19 – 2017 NBA All-Star Game – 8 p.m. ET (TNT)
Fans watching the Saturday night action should keep their eye on a few favorites. Clearly, the frontrunners are Klay Thompson and Aaron Gordon, to win the three-point and dunk contests respectively. Sports Illustrated reports that Thompson is the favorite to successfully defend his title with a betting price of +110. Irving is next on the odds list at +400 odds, followed by CJ McCollum at +800. This particular competition can always feature a longshot winner, just based on previous years and the fact that even Klay Thompson can have a bad shooting night. He’s hoping that’s not the case, and this year he won’t have his “Splash Brothers” teammate Steph Curry to worry about.
You put it so mildly!????????????#GoCougs
— Cougar Dudette (@CougarDudette) November 16, 2016
The Skills Challenge recently changed to feature big men and smaller players. The Skills winner in 2016 was Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. He won’t be competing this year against the runner-up from last year’s contest, Isaiah Thomas. The speedy Boston Celtics point guard is a two to one favorite to win the event, according to Vegas Insider. John Wall is next at 12 to five, followed by Devin Booker at four to one, and Gordon Hayward at eight to one. Booker could be one to watch based on his shooting skills, but it’s hard to argue against Thomas’ skills on the court, plus his experience factor at the event.
For the NBA Slam dunk contest, the defending champion, Zach Levine, won’t be participating against last year’s runner-up Aaron Gordon of the Magic. That gives Gordon the top odds to win lead the field at -155, but the relatively unknown newcomer Jones Jr. from Phoenix is second on the odds with a +130 price. Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan is +800, with Robinson III at +900, making him the “Big Underdog” heading into Saturday night’s event.
Sunday night is what it’s really all about for basketball fans, with the Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Stars finally getting on the court to show off. While this won’t be a demonstration of what strategic coaching and defense can do for a team of stars, it will showcase some fun moments from the best of the best in the league.
With recent news of Kevin Love’s injury, it means he’ll be replaced by Carmelo Anthony on the East roster. Love and Anthony had been mentioned previously in NBA trade rumors, which would send the Knicks star to join forces with LeBron James on the Cavs. With the trade deadline less than a week away, it could be Anthony’s audition alongside LeBron and Kyrie for the East.
The game will also include MVP frontrunners such as Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Houston’s James Harden, and Cleveland’s LeBron James. Fan favorites such as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the home favorite Anthony Davis will also be featured during this year’s edition. Westbrook was last year’s All-Star Game MVP winner and at the time, Kevin Durant was still a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. A lot has changed since then.
With the game on TNT, the slogan “We know drama” could make plenty of sense as the former teammates may be reunited on the hardwood. Will they play nice, though? Game time is slated for 8 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday night on TNT.
[Featured Image by Getty Images]