NBA All-Star weekend is widely known as the biggest party weekend of the year for athletes, actors, musicians, and really any type of celebrity. This is when anyone who is anyone gets together to let loose and this year, it takes place in one of the most heavily celebrity populated cities in America, Los Angeles. Most will not have to travel far this year for the parties that surround All-Star weekend and it will make for a very easy commute to the game on Sunday, and the other festivities on Saturday night. With all the new plans going into this year's All-Star weekend it should make for a lot of excitement and what is happening on the court is only half of the real event. It is always interesting to see what big names come out to show support for their favorite teams and players, but one thing you can always count on is that the All-Stars representing this event will put on quite a show.
From The Dunk Contest to The Three Point Contest, all the way to the All-Star Game on Sunday night, we will get to see some great action. But the halftime performance and after-parties might actually be what steals the show and the real reason you'll never forget All-Star weekend 2018 in LA. There is so much to be excited about concerning the NBA's mid-season party. Here are the top 20 reasons why you won't be forgetting All-Star weekend in LA this year.
20 N.E.R.D. Performing At Halftime
Pharrell has teamed back up with N.E.R.D. and this year they will be the ones performing the halftime show of the All-Star game. The group is coming off a strong year after releasing their new album No One Ever Really Dies, and this should make for a very exciting performance. Some big stars were featured on many of N.E.R.D.'s singles in 2017, including Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and Future and it would not be surprising to see the group bring one of these big names on stage for the performance. The popular song "Lemon" with Rihanna was one of the top hits of 2017 and I can't imagine it would be too hard to get her to Los Angeles for All-Star weekend. The NBA always knows they need an exciting halftime show for the All-Star game and this year, fans getting to see Pharrell and N.E.R.D. back together performing should be very memorable.
19 The Dunk Contest
Everyone's favorite part of All-Star weekend is The Dunk Contest. You never know when you might be witnessing history when the NBA's most electric athletes take the floor on Saturday night. From Michael Jordan's free throw line dunk to Vince Carter sticking his arm in the rim, there have been quite a few dunk contests to remember. This year should be one of those events that go down in history with some stacked competitors. Two of the top rookies, Donovan Mitchell and Dennis Smith Jr., are going to be going up against each other in the fan favorite event. Dennis Smith Jr. is one of the most high flying athletes the NBA has seen in a long time and he has been putting on dunking shows since he was in high school. So far in the NBA we have seen him jump out of the gym during some of the Mavericks games, so it will be very exciting to see what he can do with no defense and some time to prepare. Smith Jr. and Mitchell will also be going up against the electrifying Victor Oladipo and Larry Nance, who puts more players on posters than anybody in the NBA.
18 Klay Thompson And Devin Booker In The Three Point Contest
The Dunk Contest may bring the high flying excitement but the Three Point Contest is what brings out the stars. This year, not only two of the NBA's best three point shooters, but two of the NBA's biggest stars will be competing in Devin Booker of the Suns and Klay Thompson of the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder has also entered the contest and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors joined in as well, so this year's contest is stacked, to say the least. Every player's entire team will most likely be watching and cheering them on so a lot of pressure comes with this contest. We have seen some players who don't get off to hot starts post some embarrassing numbers in the past and we have also seen some perfect scores as well. With Klay Thompson's quick release, he seems to be the early favorite to win but a lot of people are also leaning towards the young Devin Booker. We could see these two end up going against each other in the finals but no matter what happens, it will be fun to watch!
17 City Of Stars
Los Angeles is the city of stars and this is the event they all love to come out for. Most of the time celebrities will travel halfway across the country to be there for All-Star weekend, so now that it is right in their backyard, we can expect to see many famous faces. As most NBA and Lakers fans know, Jack Nicholson is known for always being spotted court-side at the Staples Center and with the All-Star Game in his hometown, it is not likely he will miss it. Spotting all the celebrities this year will be nearly impossible and it will be interesting to see which ones paid the big bucks for court-side seats with Jack. I think we can expect to see the camera closing in on many different celebrities before the commercial breaks this year; they shouldn't be hard to find.
16 NBA Stars And Their Family Watching Front Row
It is always so much fun to see how the players react to the Saturday night events during All-Star weekend. Whether it is The Dunk Contest or The Three Point Contest, they are always right there, front row, cheering on and reacting to the events taking place. Back in the day they used to have their video cameras ready and would go crazy jumping up and down after the great dunks. When their teammate would win The Three Point Contest it ended up being a whole team celebration on the court. This is where you get to see the family presence in the NBA and just how close these players really are to each other. At the end of the day they are fans just like us and when something incredible happens, they are jumping out of their seats, just like we do. The All-Star weekend is just where we finally get to see it and in Los Angeles, I'm sure players that were chosen to compete will be bringing as many teammates as possible to join them.
15 The All-Star Game Itself
The All-Star game is what we build up to all weekend and it is where all the fans tune in to see the best players in the league on the floor at the same time. This is where we have gotten to see rivalries like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant heat up and even Michael Jordan go up against Kobe Bryant. It is always interesting to see how hard the players are going to compete but most of all, it is filled with plenty of dunks and even more three pointers. It will be the LeBron James Team going up against the Steph Curry Team. Expect a high scoring game like always and all the biggest faces to be there in the crowd taking it all in. LeBron James has a chip on his shoulder leading his team into this game and I expect that we will see him want to show the fans that he is still the best on the floor, no matter what how many stars are out there. This is the grand finale of the weekend.
14 Skills Competition
These are the competitions where we get to see the players have a little more fun, as there is not so much pressure on them to put on a show. Lately we have been seeing some big men win this competition that used to be run by all guards. Kristaps Porzingis and Karl Anthony-Towns have both been big men to win the competition and this year, Joel Embid and Lauri Markkanen will try to keep the trophy in the hands of the center position against the rest of the competition. The players will have to go through different drills that include passing a ball through a tight hole, dribbling around cones, and making a layup and hitting a shot, to name a few. The player that can do this the fastest wins, so it seems to be a competition that is set up for point guards to win but we have been surprised in the past. Now it has grown to be the big men against the smaller players and we will see who can take home the trophy this year.
13 Rising Stars Game
This is the game where we see all the best young talent in the NBA on the floor. This game used to be the rookies going up against the sophomores but the NBA recently changed it to the USA team against the World team. This could possibly be a preview of the players that will be in the All-Star game a few years down the road. We have seen players in the past, like Karl Anthony-Towns and Kristaps Porzingis, shine in this game and then find themselves competing in the All-Star game years later. We will see if the USA team can get some revenge on the World team this year and pull off a victory. Keep your eyes on this game though, there are a lot of great young players in the NBA right now and this year you will get to witness an exciting match-up.
12 New Teams
This year the NBA has also put a new format into the All-Star game. The days of East against West are gone and they had team captains Steph Curry and LeBron James pick teams instead. Now that the teams are mixed up it should bring a whole new vibe to Los Angeles and the All-Star weekend because the same players that usually play together every year will be on different teams. We will also get to see who the better captain was and who picked their team the best. Although, there are already people calling the LeBron James team cursed because so many players have gotten injured since he picked the team, including Kristaps Porzingis, John Wall and Kevin Love. Both of these players will be coming into the game wanting to prove they picked the best team and it should bring some fireworks. Also, with a lot of big NBA players set to be free agents at the end of the year, this is a chance to experiment playing with some of the stars in the league.
11 The Big Names In Music Will Be There
All-Star Weekend is also the time for all the big names in music to show up as well. In Drake's hometown of Toronto, he practically hosted the All-Star weekend in 2016 and since then, he has been a staple in the big weekend for the NBA. We already know that Pharrell and N.E.R.D. will be there for the halftime show but it will be interesting to see what other big names in music show up. Just like the celebrities in the movie and television industry, a lot of big name musicians live in Los Angeles and this would not be one of the All-Star weekends you would want to miss. There will be many parties and events hosted by different musical performers going on all weekend but the ones who show up to the game and all the events on Saturday usually get a lot of air-time and get to be heavily involved with the players on the court. It will be exciting to see who comes out in Los Angeles.
10 The Parties
This weekend is the only real break for the NBA players during the season, so this is also a time for them to have some fun and relieve some stress. Nothing does that better than going to a good party and on All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, they will not be hard to find. There is always talk surrounding the big weekend of who is going to have the best party and who is going to attend where. There will be plenty of pictures being taken of athletes and celebrities all in the same place having a good time. I'm sure Instagram will be going crazy with posts from the NBA All-Stars. The parties always ring in a few headlines and it is interesting to see which players are seen hanging out together and how close they really are with the celebrities that come in for All-Star weekend.
9 The Celebrity Game
Kevin Hart has been making us laugh in the NBA celebrity game for years but it looks like he is going to sit this game out and let somebody else shine. This year Jamie Foxx and his Team Clippers will be going up against Nick Cannon and his Team Lakers. This should be a lot of fun and most of all, we get a lot of laughs watching most of these celebrities trying to play basketball. Many would have to admit, even though Kevin Hart was short he was always one of the better players in the game. Now we will get to see who can shine the most in his absence, both with laughs and buckets. It was also announced that Michael B. Jordan will be one of the coaches for Team Lakers coaching against Common for Team Clippers. It looks like the NBA has stacked the spread with celebrities and now we finally get to enjoy watching them compete in something they may not be so great at.
8 LeBron Vs. Steph
No matter what these guys say leading up to the game trying to deflect it, there certainly is tension between them. Steph does not like losing to LeBron and LeBron does not like losing to Steph. Now the NBA has pitted them up against each other once again as captains for their respective teams in the All-Star game. This will not be just another game for these two, they both are going to want this win to be able to say that they got one over on the other once again. Right now Steph Curry has won two out of the three finals against James, and it seems as if LeBron has had a chip on his shoulder ever since the finals ended. It will be interesting to see if these guys get to match-up against each other on the court and if they do, who will get the better of who. It was no coincidence putting these two against each other as captains, this rivalry is heated right now.
7 All-Star MVP
The All-Star MVP is one of the most popular bets people make leading up to the game. There are odds on all the different players and depending on how big of an underdog you take, it can really pay out. In a game that is meant to really just be for fun, some players, mainly Russell Westbrook, have been accused of trying to pad their stats in order to assure an MVP win. It has been said that he goes after rebounds he normally wouldn't or tries to rack up assists early in the game to go for the triple-double numbers and get the trophy. Westbrook seems to do this with his own team in the regular season as well though, so it doesn't appear to be anything new for him. This year he is one of the favorites to win again but so are starters like LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. The Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is a low-key player that has a good chance of winning MVP because of his size and speed.
6 Hollywood Boulevard
One of the most common tourist spots in Los Angeles is Hollywood Boulevard and of course you can expect to see some players there taking pictures during All-Star weekend. But Hollywood Boulevard also has a great night scene and that is when I would expect the NBA All-Stars, as well as different celebrities, to make appearances and have some fun. There are many different clubs and bars to go to and for the players who don't get to spend too much time in the city, it could be a lot of fun. I would expect to see the paparazzi out taking plenty of pictures of the players as they make their way down one of the most famous streets in America and it will be fun to see who shows up where. Look for this to be one of the memorable spots from NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles.
5 The TNT Crew
Most people can agree that the NBA on TNT crew is one of the best in sports television. There have been so many times these guys had us laughing out loud and it is all because of their chemistry together. But nothing is better than the TNT crew on All-Star weekend; this is truly when they are at their best. The crew consists of Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley and nothing is better than when these guys are having fun throughout All-Star weekend. From their announcing of the Three Point and Dunk Contests to the pre-game show of the All-Star game, they truly bring the best and the funniest material they have on this weekend. This team has already won an Emmy for their performance on the show and after this All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, there may be many more to come.
4 Broken Records
Every year it seems like another record gets broken at the All-Star game. The athletes seem to only be getting better and more athletic and with that happening, the records are going to continue falling. Last year Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans broke the record for most points in a game by scoring 52. The record was also broken for most total points in the game between both teams last year when East and West scored a combined 374 points. Now all eyes will be on what record is going to be broken this year and with the way the teams are stacked, it is very possible that the total points record will be broken again. A lot of people are pointing to Russell Westbrook to break one of the individual records this year with the way he has been a stat machine in the regular season so far. Right now the record for most rebounds in the All-Star game is held by Bob Pettit with 27 in 1962. The record for most assists is held by Magic Johnson when he dished out 22 in 1984. Let's see what records still stand after the game this year.
As mentioned before, Drake has become a staple in the NBA game today. There is a lot of talk about whether or not Drake is going to be attending the 2018 All-Star game in Los Angeles and he has neither confirmed or denied that he will be there. Many are leaning towards him coming because of his ties to the Toronto Raptors and his friendships with so many of the players in the league. Drake seems to have that charm that makes everyone love him, and not just the players on his hometown Toronto Raptors team. He has been seen having close relationships with many of the players on the Golden State Warriors, including Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, and is friends with LeBron James as well. Drake seems to be good for All-Star weekend as well, as his presence always helps bring in a lot of fun and many laughs and jokes from the players. It would be surprising if we did not see him in LA this year for the game.
2 Blake Griffin Homecoming
Although Blake Griffin did not make the All-Star game this year, he is still expected to be in Los Angeles for All-Star weekend. Griffin was just recently traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Detroit Pistons after the Clippers signed him to a long term five year contract just this past off-season. There was a lot of talk about him being the Clippers franchise player and even being a Clipper for life but then just like that, he was gone. It will be interesting to see how the fans in Los Angeles at the Staples Center react to him being back in town. One would assume that he would be greeted in a positive manner since it was not his decision to leave the franchise and there really was nothing he could do about it. Now that Los Angeles is more evenly divided between Lakers and Clippers fans, it is very likely he will get some sort of feedback from the crowd, but whether it is positive or negative will be memorable for him and the fans.
1 Retired NBA Players
The All-Star weekend is a time when many of the former fan favorite retired players come out. This year, being in Los Angeles, it is heavily expected that Kobe Bryant will be there; whether he will be participating in any of the events or just observing is unknown though. We have seen players like Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson come out for the All-Star game in the past and it would not be surprising to see them and many more back again this year. This is a fun place for retired players to go and be able to say hello to their fans again, and also be able to see some of the players still in the league that they used to play with. We have even seen some of the older retired players get involved in judging the Dunk Contest in previous years. With this year being in Los Angeles, I expect not only Kobe but many other retired Lakers players to be in attendance as well. It will be a night to remember for fans.