8 Things You Need to Know About the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend
1. This year, Brooklyn’s the place to be. The rising borough is hosting its first ever NBA All-Star Weekend.
The Sunday night All-Star Game will be played at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, but the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night—including the Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk—will be held at the Barclay’s Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets. The state-of-the-art venue has already been put on the map for housing world-class events such as the 2013 MTV Music Awards and the 2013 NBA draft in the two years since its opening.
2. It’s not just a big weekend for basketball—it’s a big weekend for fashion, too.
New York Fashion Week also starts on Thursday, February 12th. One of NYC’s top industries will come alive as the world’s best designers flock to Manhattan to show off the latest looks for spring. Sports fans and fashion addicts alike will be crowding the city for these two great events, and New York will be more abuzz than usual.
3. Sports? Fashion? What about music? Kanye’s got you covered.
The infamous rapper will be putting on a free show outside of Madison Square Park on Thursday night, in collaboration with Kevin Durant and in honor of the NBA All-Star Weekend. And he’s not the only musician coming out to celebrate: Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and many other big names will be putting on shows throughout the weekend. Check out a full list here.
4. Now back to basketball. Think the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Game won’t be exciting? Think again.
One of the least anticipated games of the weekend is now one of the most. Why? Because the NBA’s switching up the rules. Instead of a rookie vs. sophomore game, the league is debuting a format that pits 10 first- and second-year players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year players from around the world. It’s no longer just a showcase of premier young talent in the league, it’s a competition for national pride and bragging rights.
5. Another highly-anticipated event? The Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.
This year’s shoot out will be one of the most competitive to date, with defending champion Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs going up against the top three-point shooters in the league. He’ll have to beat players like Stephen Curry, point guard for the Golden State Warriors and the top vote-getter in NBA All-Star Balloting 2015 presented by Sprint; Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks, who has a three-point percentage of .532; and the Warriors’ Klay Thomspon, currently ranked second in the league, in order to be the first to win two consecutive editions since Jason Kapono in 2007-2008.
6. Who are the East All-Stars?
The Sunday night All-Star Game is the ultimate battle between the best of the East and the West, but some are skeptical about how good the Eastern Conference team really is. Fans were surprised to hear that three players from the Atlanta Hawks—Jeff Teague, Al Horford, and Paul Millsap—made it onto the squad, while crowd favorites 2011 MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and Kevin Love, power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, were snubbed from the game.
7. But will the West do much better?
Kobe Bryant, a longtime big name of the NBA, got the second most votes in this year’s All-Star Balloting after Stephen Curry, but is unable to play due to a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Replacing him is the Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins, who is having a stellar year. So will they?
8. Not if Damian Lillard has anything to say about it.
The top unexpected snub from the Western Conference All-Stars is Damian Lillard, point guard for the Portland Trailblazers. Last year he participated in five events; this year, he won’t be in any. He’s too old for the Rising Stars Challenge. No dunk contest. No three-point shoot out. And an invitation to the All-Stars game? Nowhere in sight. So he’s declined to even defend his back-to-back titles in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, leaving his co-defending champ, Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz, in the dust.
So get ready for this weekend, New York, because it’s going to be one of the best we’ve ever had. To learn more about events happening around the city, keep checking back on Platinum Talk or follow us on Twitter and ‘like’ us on Facebook.