The NBA All-Star Weekend begins with the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night and ends with the Sprite Slam Dunk contest on Sunday.
Here's everything you need to know about All-Star weekend at the United Center in Chicago.
The fans had a major influence on the All-Star votes. Other teams' fans had a strong influence in selecting players, and the fans were happy when multiple players from the same team won a trophy.
The NBA All-Star Game is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. PDT.
Of the 16 teams selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge, 12 of them have been in previous All-Star games. The exception is the San Antonio Spurs, the reigning champion, who were ineligible because they were the reserves for the All-Star Game.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were picked by fans and had three players selected by the coaches to participate. Zach LaVine, the fifth-overall pick in last June's draft, will lead the 16-man lineup. Kris Dunn, the 21st overall pick, and Lauri Markkanen, the fourth overall pick, will each play with Tom Thibodeau.
The reigning MVP is Dennis Smith Jr. The Dallas Mavericks' rookie guard was picked by fans and one by his coach. Minnesota's Jimmy Butler and Milwaukee's Eric Bledsoe were also chosen by their coaches.
The Shaq and Diddy-All-Star Saturday Night Skills Competition will take place on Saturday night at 6 p.m. The first hour will feature the Slam Dunk contest with the top 12 performers competing for the title of Rising Star and Dunk contest champion. The skills challenge will follow.
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were expected to have support among the fans this year, but with Jordan expected to participate in the Legends Game on Saturday, he was expected to have a tough time getting voted to the All-Star Game. But with a large percentage of the fans participating in the Dunk contest, Jordan was expected to get most of his votes from players who were in the dunk contest.
It would be difficult to pick a slam dunk winner, which caused a major shake-up in the pool of finalists. Bledsoe will probably be one of the favorites.
Who will win?
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