In an effort to even the All-Star rosters, the NBA has decided to go a different route of picking teams. This year, teams were chosen in a draft-style. The top two players with the most All-Star votes are named team captains of the Eastern and Western Conference.
After the team captains were set, each captain got to fill his roster with players from any team (on either conference), based on the remaining All-Star voting list.
Here’s how the rosters were drafted. Gold stars designate starters, the rest are reserves.
Each team chose a local or national charity to support, and the winning team will have a major contribution made on behalf of the players and NBA.
The winning team will donate $350,000 to their teams charity, and the losing team will donate $150,000.
Unfortunately for #TeamLebron, the injury bug has found it’s way to his roster. With injuries to one of his starters (DeMarcus Cousins) and three of his reserves (John Wall, Kevin Love and Kristaps Porzingis), the team has had to find replacements.
Paul George is replacing Cousins, following his Achilles injury. Andre Drummond is replacing Wall after his knee injury. Goran Dragic is replacing Love, following his hand injury. And Kemba Walker is replacing Porzingis after his ACL tear.
Three of the four replacements are playing in their first or second All-Star game, and Paul George is playing in his fifth.
Other aspects of the weekend are the Skills Challenges, Celebrity Game and the Rising Stars Game.
Participants in the events are not considered NBA All-Stars, but are invited to attend in the events the are participating in.
Here is a link to the participants in each of the skills events.
The other big game of the weekend is the Rising Stars Game, which includes only the best first and second year players from across the league.
In the past, this game has mimicked the All-Star game with East vs. West, and even Rookies vs. Sophomores (2nd years). Since 2015, this game has been “Team USA vs. Team World” with teams made up of at least three rookies and three sophomores (for balance).
Team USA was comprised of players in the NBA originally from the US while Team World was players in the NBA from other countries.
Here are this years rosters.
The Rising Stars Challenge will be played on Friday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. central time and will be televised on TNT.
This years All-Star game will feature specialty jerseys by Jordan. The jerseys will have each players last name, team logo and number on them, as well as the “All-Star Edition” patch for the weekend. This is the first All-Star game with Jordan jerseys, and the sleekness of all black and white jerseys looks good. We’ll see what they look like on the court next weekend.
Keep an eye out for the highest scoring game during the NBA season. That’s how you know the All-Star game has been played.
Come back next week for a recap and update on how the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend went.
Until next time.