The NBA's biggest names head to Utah this weekend, with the NBA All-Star game just around the corner.
Once again, the league’s annual showcase is packed with events and contests around the star-studded game itself.
The All-Star break is always a huge point in any NBA season, with an intense two-month run-in to follow a much more light-hearted affair in Utah.
However, 2020 showed us that All-Star games can be as competitive as a Play-off game, while Saturday’s individual contests and the spotlight games for younger stars add to the entertainment.
The NBA has worked hard to turn the weekend into a celebration of the sport and with a packed calendar ahead, here’s all you need to know about NBA All-Star 2023.
|What||NBA All-Star Weekend|
|Where||Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah|
|When||Friday 17th-Monday 20th February 2023|
|How to watch||Sky Sports, NBA League Pass|
The NBA regular season continues through Thursday night, with the first All-Star action taking place on Friday.
It’s a quick turnaround, with All-Star captain Giannis Antetokounmpo - who is coaching in the Rising Stars game on Friday - playing in Chicago on Thursday night. The Milwaukee Bucks star will need to jet off to Utah after facing the Bulls.
The All-Star game itself takes place on Sunday night at 1am. Meanwhile, Saturday night is reserved for the challenges and contests which tend to be a highlight of the weekend.
The Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest make up the bulk of All-Star Saturday Night, with the action set to kick-off at 1am in the early hours of Sunday UK time.
This year’s All-Star weekend takes place in Salt Lake City, Utah. It comes on the 30th anniversary of the first All-Star game played in the city back in 1993. This is only the second time that the All-Star game has come to Utah.
It’s not ideal timing for the host team, with the Jazz selling off their biggest stars last summer. However, a surprisingly good start has put them in the Play-in race and they’re 23/10 To Reach the Play-offs this season.
Sky Sports has live coverage of the Rising Stars game, All-Star Saturday night and the All-Star game itself.
If you want even more coverage, the celebrity game along with the other events is available to League Pass subscribers on the NBA app.
2023 will mark the 72nd edition of the NBA All-Star game, with the first in 1951. Last year’s event took place in Cleveland, while next year’s has already been scheduled for Indiana.
After canvassing fans, media, players and coaches the league finished with two 12-man rosters from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The 24 players will then be drafted by LeBron James and Giannis.
We know the eight players who will be starting alongside those two. Nikola Jokic, 5/8 To Win the MVP Award - has made the cut from the West alongside Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson.
However, both Steph and Zion are injured, to be replaced by Ja Morant and Lauri Markkanen.
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In the East, Kevin Durant misses out, so Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Joel Embiid are the starters.
Those eight will be drafted first, followed by the 14 All-Star reserves.
There are a wide range of big names attending across the weekend, including Shang-Chi himself Simu Liu and rapper 21 Savage, who feature on a celebrity team coached by Dwyane Wade.
The Rising Stars game features 28 players from the 2021 and 2022 drafts plus the NBA’s G-League. Number one pick from last year Paolo Banchero - 1/10 for Rookie of the Year - features in that one.
While the rumoured Dunk Contest line-up of Trey Murphy III, Kenyon Martin Jr, Jericho Sims and Mac McClung isn’t all that exciting, some big names have been linked with the Three-Point Contest.
Damien Lillard is set to headline that one on Saturday, while home-town support will be behind Utah Jazz forward Markkanen. He’s had a brilliant year for the Jazz and is an 11/10 shot to win the Most Improved Player award this term.
Right now there are no odds available for the NBA All-Star game because we don’t know the teams yet. In a new rule change, the two captains will draft players playground style before the game.
That’s bound to create some awkward exchanges, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports and the NBA app ahead of the game.