Yes folks the 2018 All-star Weekend is just around the corner marking it the 67th edition commemorating the success of the NBA franchise. The much-awaited all-star weekend will be held on 16th to 18th Feb with the exhibition match on the final day.
This year’s host, the city of Los Angeles, home of the LA Lakers and LA Clippers, will definitely put on a great show since it is their 6th All-star hosting; last one being way back in 2011. The great Staples Center will see the return of captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry, two all-star NBA champions and competitive rivals since the Finals of 2015.
The past two decades saw a decline in fan interest and overall competitiveness in the weekend due to NBA players not taking it seriously. Especially the Slam Dunk contest, where nominated players took easy dunks without adding any flare or bringing the heat making the entire competition casual. This mentality went on to the rest of the weekend and hence the All-star weekend lost its flare.
However, Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, believes its time to revamp the competition by changing the format. That is why this year the All-star game will comprise of two teams of all-stars handpicked from by their team captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry from a pool of voted candidates. This changes up the old western conference vs eastern conference format that has gotten stale.
Team Lebron and co. consists of starters Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Paul George, former team mate Kyrie Irving and the King himself whereas Team Steph brings in James Harden, Joel Embiid, Gianis A., Demar Derozan and Steph as starters. Coaches Dwane Casey of the Raptors and Mike D’Antoni of the Rockets also assisted in the picks and will determine which rotation and play the teams will decide to go with for the match.
LeBron having the most number of votes got the first pick and he went with Steph’s teammate Kevin Durant. To add to his reserves, LeBron has KIA MVP Russel Westbrook for heat as wells as John Wall and teammate Kevin Love. Curry’s reserves consist teammate Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler and Damian Lillard among others. The competitive edge will bring out a very good game out of these players and to add fuel, Adam Silver decided to award $100,000 to each player of the winning team.
It is definitely going to be an entertaining match considering the amount of firepower in each team.
As part of the NBA weekend, the Slam Dunk contest will happen on the first day with Aaron Gordon coming up for the second time alongside first timers Larry Nance Jr., Victor Oladipo and Dennis Smith Jr. However this year, the Rookie/Sophomore battle will be worth watching with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid from Team World battling it out with Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum from Team USA.
Ben Simmons was a respectable candidate for the All-star game however he was snubbed due to being a rookie by Adam Silver. Another event to look out for is the 3PT Contest which showcases this years’ best shot snipers and the Celebrity all-star game bringing on our everyday A-listers battling it out with each other like Snoop Dogg, Drake and Chris Brown from past appearances.
And who could forget the Half-time Show spearheaded by comedian Kevin Hart and song-writer/producer Pharrell Williams.
This All-star game is going to be an octane fueled rocket with the cherry on top being the first of many battles between James and Curry.