NBA All-Star Weekend
The National Basketball Association All-Star Weekend is a weekend festival held every February during the middle of the NBA regular season that consists of a variety of basketball events, exhibitions, and performances culminating in the NBA All-Star Game held on Sunday night. No regular season games are held during this period, which is also known as the All-Star break.
The All-Star Game
The All-Star Game, held on Sunday, is the main event of the weekend. The 2016 game was held at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, home of the Toronto Raptors. The 2017 NBA All-Star Game was originally scheduled to be in Charlotte, North Carolina but has since been relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Events of All-Star Weekend
The NBA Jam Session, a "theme park of basketball", has been a part of the All-Star festivities since 1992, with fans able to take part in numerous interactive basketball related activities from Thursday through Monday. The NBA Jam Session is usually targeted to young fans.
- NBA All-Star Celebrity Game: First held in 2003, the game features retired NBA players, WNBA players, actors, musicians, and athletes from sports other than basketball.
- Rising Stars Challenge: From 1994 until 1999, the event was called the "Rookie Game," and composed entirely of first-year players. From 2000 through 2011, the game, renamed the "Rookie Challenge", featured a team of first-year players ('Rookies') against a team of second-year players ('Sophomores'). The 2012 game debuted a new name, the "Rising Stars Challenge", and a new format. While the game continues to feature first- and second-year players, the participants are now assigned to teams in a "fantasy draft" by two honorary captains (Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal in 2012 and 2013, Grant Hill and Chris Webber in 2014). In 2015, the Rising Stars Challenge format was switched again to a USA vs the World format, which is the current format in use.
- D-League Dream Factory Friday Night: First held in 2008, the events includes a slam dunk contest, a three-point shootout and a H-O-R-S-E competition. These events were modeled after the NBA All-Star Saturday Night events.
- D-League All-Star Game: First held in 2007, this game features the best players from the NBA Development League (D-League). The First winner was the East by a score of 114-100. The D-League All-Star game was not held in the same arena as all the other All-Star Saturday activities. Instead, it was held on NBA Jam Session's practice court.
- Slam Dunk Contest: This competition showcases the creativity and athletic ability of some of the league's youngest best dunkers. The specific rules of the contest are decided each year, but the competition is always judged subjectively. After each dunk, or attempted dunk, competitors are awarded a mark out of 10 from five judges, giving a possible high score of 50. The usual rules of 'traveling' and double dribbling do not apply.
- Three-Point Contest: The league's best three point shooters shoot five basketballs from five different spots around the three-point line. Each shot is worth one point except the last ball of each rack (informally called 'money balls'), which is worth two points. The highest score available in one round is 30 points. The shooters have one minute to shoot the basketballs.
- Skills Challenge: Making its debut in 2003, the Skills Challenge pits selected players in a timed obstacle course of dribbling, shooting and passing. Agility, quickness and accuracy all come into play.
- Shooting Stars Competition: Held from 2004 to 2015
- Legends Classic: Held from 1984 to 1993, the Classic was a game featuring retired NBA players. As in the All-Star Game, the teams were designated East and West. The Legends game opened the Saturday program. The NBA canceled the Legends Classic after 1994 due to the players' frequent injuries from the game, perhaps due to the large range in fitness levels among younger and older alumni. The Rising Stars Challenge is its replacement.
- 2Ball Contest: Held 1998, 2000-2001
- H–O–R–S–E Competition: Held 2009-2010
- Hoop-it-up All Star Tournament: Held 2002-2003
- Old-Timers Game: Held in 1957 and 1964