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 2015 game was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, home of the New York Knicks. Toronto will host in 2016. Charlotte will host in 2017.
Events of All-Star Weekend
- 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 1995 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).
- 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: A retired NBA player, a current NBA player and a WNBA player compete together in a shooting competition.
Starting with the 2013 event, points will be awarded to the conference winner in each of the four events. The total score will determine the champion of All-Star Saturday Night.
- Old-Timers Game: Held 1957 and 1964
- 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 Rookie Challenge is its replacement.
- 2Ball Contest: Held 1998, 2000-2001
- Hoop-it-up All Star Tournament: Held 2002-2003
- H–O–R–S–E Competition: Held 2009-2010
Additionally, 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 Jam Session is usually targeted to young fans.