🏀 A guide to the NBA’s 2024 All-Star Weekend
Weekend plans? Consider them confirmed. NBA All-Star 2024 presented by DoorDash begins this Friday, February 16th, in Indianapolis, Indiana, with three nights of star-studded events. And with a pair of Canadians in their Smash Mouth era, you don’t want to miss a minute.
💫 Friday’s NBA Rising Stars
The action begins on Friday night with the Panini Rising Stars showcase at 9 p.m. ET, on TSN. Twenty-eight NBA rookies (including San Antonio Spurs phenom Victor Wembanyama), sophomores, and G League athletes are competing in a three-game mini-tournament.
- Montréal’s own Bennedict Mathurin is returning to Rising Stars for a second time after another stellar season with the Indiana Pacers.
- And Canada’s up-and-comers have a history of performing well at the event. The Denver Nuggets Jamal Murray took home the Rising Star MVP award in 2017 as did then–Minnesota Timberwolf Andrew Wiggins in 2015. *mic drop*
🤩 Saturday’s All-Star Saturday Night
Move over Saturday Night Live, all eyes will be on All-Star’s 3-Point Challenge this year. For the first time ever, the event will feature the NBA’s best against the WNBA’s brightest, with Golden State Warrior Steph Curry facing off against the NY Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu.
- Curry is the NBA’s all-time three-point leader, while Ionescu is the WNBA’s single-season three-point record holder, making this a must-see showdown.
- Originally, Curry was set to shoot from the NBA’s three-point line with his league’s regulation basketball and Ionescu from the WNBA three-point line with her league’s ball, but Ionescu is already raising the stakes, saying she’ll take her shots from Curry’s line. Spicy.
Stephen vs. Sabrina isn’t the only battle on Saturday night. Prior to their competition, there’s the 3-Point Contest and afterwards, it’s the Slam Dunk challenge, both which are sure to delight. All the fun begins at 8 p.m. ET on TSN.
⭐ Sunday’s 73rd NBA All-Star Game
Come Sunday, it’s time for the main course: the All-Star Game (ASG) at 8 p.m. ET on Sportsnet. The ASG is returning to its original East vs. West format this year, with selected players suiting up for their respective Eastern or Western conference.
- And much like a typical NBA game, the ASG will have four 12-minute quarters and follow a traditional scoring system once again. Back to basics in the best way.
Canada’s own Shai Gigeous-Alexander (SGA) was named one of 10 All-Star starters, selected by a combination of votes from fans, current NBA players, and members of the media.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder stalwart made his first All-Star appearance in 2023 as an All-Star reserve, but this year, he’ll be a top player for the Western Conference.
- SGA locked in his starting spot as the league’s leader in 30-point games this season, notably edging out the aforementioned Steph Curry, who was named an All-Star reserve. Guess that’s what happens when you’re playing like an MVP.
Beyond SGA, we have to talk about the other key players to watch. The Eastern Conference team is captained by Milwaukee Buck Giannis Antetokounmpo (pronounced YAHN-iss ah-dedo-KOON-bo) and the Western Conference by LA Laker LeBron James, the league’s first 20-time (!!!) All-Star.
- Additionally, James is a team captain for the seventh straight year. In that time, his squad has only lost once (which just so happened to be last year). Expect the GOAT to be on the quest for redemption.
The Eastern Conference team is loaded, with Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum making a triumphant return to the ASG after scoring a record-setting 55 points and winning the ASG MVP in 2023. What, like it’s hard?
- Rounding out the East is Antetokounmpo’s Bucks teammate Damian Lillard and Indiana Pacer Tyrese Haliburton who, like Gilgeous-Alexander, is making his first ASG start, but second appearance.
- And while the East will be without reigning MVP and Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid, who recently underwent knee surgery, they’ll score a boost from newly-minted All-Star and fan-favorite Toronto Raptor, Scottie Barnes.
The Western Conference squad is equally stacked, boasting Denver Nugget and reigning NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokić and Phoenix Sun Kevin Durant, who was named an All-Star for the 14th time. Sheesh.
- And if that wasn’t enough, the West’s starting lineup also includes Dallas Maverick Luka Dončić, as well as the aforementioned James and Gilgeous-Alexander. Expect fireworks.