The NBA All-Star game is easily the best All-Star event of all the major sporting leagues.
It’s got a whole weekend dedicated to it, celebrities and stars flock to the location every year, social media lights up with all the thirst traps and ridiculous stunting, and… there’s some basketball too.
But with all of the events and general extraness of All-Star Weekend (the fact that it’s in Los Angeles this year only adds to that extraness), knowing exactly what to follow can be a little overwhelming.
With that in mind, I thought I’d breakdown the most important aspects of NBA All-Star Weekend and what to watch out for.
Top quality social media content
All of the popping people you follow on Instagram will be in Los Angeles this weekend and the content will be very good.
Maybe it’ll be your favorite musical artist hanging with your favorite player (wholesome), perhaps your favorite player will be risking it all for your favorite ‘Gram model (less wholesome), or maybe your favorite player will just be openly sauced on social media.
Melo off the Henny & a few pulls of sour, ready to jeopardize it all. pic.twitter.com/1ZnBNOVn69
— Bojan BossDonavic (@Mariannoo) May 6, 2014
Rest assured that no matter the source, social media will be incredibly fire this weekend.
Always fun to know you have the reliability of All-Star Weekend Instagram content to distract you from your otherwise meaningless life.
Whatever cool shit Kendrick does
There was a time between To Pimp a Butterfly and Damn. where I thought I had Kendrick fatigue. But after dropping the best album of 2017 and curating the most culturally important album of 2018 thus far, Kendrick has confirmed himself as his generation’s most important artist.
King Kenny will be performing Friday night after the Rising Stars game and he’s sure to do the most back home in his hometown during All-Star Weekend, it will definitely be a fire performance.
For whatever it’s worth, The Killers will perform on Saturday night, so you can compare how awesome Kendrick’s set it is to how weird and out of place The Killers are at All-Star Weekend. I get that the league has to appease the fans in middle America or whatever, but The Killers? Really?
Various celebrities/washed players struggling on the floor
The Celebrity Game is a great source of entertainment if you’re high and bored enough on Friday night (shoutout every Friday night).
This year, the Celeb Game rosters were determined through a “draft” with ESPN analysts Rachel Nichols and Katie Nolan as coaches.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 7, 2018
Nichols v. Nolan is a pretty intense meeting of the minds. What kind of schemes will they be employing with their talent pools? Will Nolan use Anthony Anderson’s pick-and-roll game to perfection or will Nichols and Nick Cannon’s pace-and-space set up win out?
With Migos’ Quavo and Justin Bieber added today (both of who can actually ball), there might be some quality out on the floor.
But it’s also hilarious seeing various celebrities suck or a former player looking just wildly out of shape (Paul Pierce better not make me rethink my entire childhood). Arcade Fire’s Win Butler being kind of good despite looking like the least athletic person of all-time is also a great plot point here.
No Kevin Hart for the first time in like a century is pretty refreshing as well.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons taking on AMERICA
The Rising Stars Challenge (a game featuring the best 1st and second year players in the league) format pits foreign players versus their American counterparts and this one is going to be lit.
The NBA keeps making smart moves to improve the quality and fan interest in all the events of All-Star Weekend and this is no different. Seems kinda like the World team, led by Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jamal Murray is going to shit all over the USA team led by Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, and Kyle Kuzma.
The World vs. USA format always heightens the stakes. But with 76ers teammates Embiid and Simmons suiting up together for the World, it might be a wrap for our entire country. We don’t win anymore!
Young dunkers going off
With Victor Oladipo, Larry Nance Jr., Dennis Smith Jr., and Donovan Mitchell squaring off in the dunk contest, we’re definitely gonna be treated to some wild bunnies.
Oladipo and Larry Nance are the elder statesmen of the group (at 25) and Smith Jr. and Mitchell are both rookies, so we’re getting some wild young dunkers with something to prove.
With Oladipo, Smith Jr., and Mitchell as the high-flying guards with the hops, and Nance Jr. as a whole-ass 6’8″, there’s a couple different dunking styles on offer. I’m always down to see the high-flying short dudes put on for short dudes (in the NBA sense of short), but there’s something thrilling about a big man with crazy dunks.
While these aren’t really the star-studded names that we might want, this is a lowkey fire dunk contest field.
The thrilling potential for pettiness
Pettiness is one of the great sources of narrative throughout the NBA season. The All-Star game brings these personalities together on a collision course for pettiness.
With the new format of captains instead of the typical East v. West model, we get to see Kryie playing with LeBron again, KD and Westbrook reunited, and the Warriors split up, there will definitely be some shit-talking, both playful and serious.
The All-Star game usually disappoints but with the new captain format, and the potential for pettiness and former teammates coming back together, this game will be entertaining to watch, at least to see how certain players interact with each other.
So keep Instagram open, get high and watch the celebrity game, pray for our country vs. Embiid and Simmons, try to recreate Larry Nance’s dunking, and keep an eye open for any possible pettiness. It’ll be a good weekend.