The NBA Heads to Salt Lake for All Star Weekend

02/17/2023 The NBA Heads to Salt Lake for All Star Weekend

By: Matthew Cahill

The 72nd NBA All-Star Game: Player Draft, Saturday Events & Everything Else You Need to Know for All-Star Weekend

The NBA has become much more experimental when it comes to its All-Star Game in recent years. Back in 2018, the league got rid of the traditional format of the Eastern Conference playing against the Western Conference. Instead, the two leading vote-getters draft their own teams from a pool of the rest of the All-Star selections. This year, there is another twist – we won’t know what the teams are until game time. Captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be drafting their teams live during the pregame show on Sunday night. There never was much coaching or play calls anyways, but the new schoolyard style of picking teams right before tipoff means that this year’s All-Star game eliminates any chance for preparation and will feature pure pickup basketball vibes similar to your local rec center.


Keep Your Eye Eye on Mac McClung

In an effort to give the dunk contest a much-needed boost, the NBA selected Mac McClung as a participant in the event. Despite spending all of this season in the G-League, McClung is a respected high-flyer who was a viral sensation in high school for his incredible dunking ability. In a contest that has seemingly seen every dunk under the sun, Mac recently said that he has ‘at least’ two new dunks that nobody has ever done up his sleeve. He’s talked a big game up until this point. We’ll see if he can back it up on Saturday night.


NBA All-Star Weekend Schedule of Events


Friday Night

All-Star Celebrity Game (7:00 pm ET)

Rising Stars Game (9:00 pm ET)


Saturday Night

Skills Challenge (8:00 pm ET)

Team Antetokounmpo: Giannis, Thanasis & Alex Antetokounmpo

Team Jazz: Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler & Collin Sexton

Team Rookies: Paolo Banchero (ORL), Jaden Ivey (DET) & Jabari Smith Jr. (HOU)


3-Point Contest (8:00 pm ET)

Participants: Tyrese Haliburton (IND), Tyler Herro (MIA), Buddy Hield (IND), Kevin Huerter (SAC), Damian Lillard (POR), Lauri Markkanen (UTA), Julius Randle (NYK), Jayson Tatum (BOS)


Slam Dunk Contest (8:00 pm ET)

Participants: Kenyon Martin Jr. (HOU), Mac McClung (PHI), Trey Murphy III (NOP), Jericho Sims (NYK)


Sunday Night

72nd NBA All-Star Game (7:30 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

NBA: NBA All-Star 2023: By the Numbers

ESPN: Giannis Antetokounmpo Sprains Right Wrist, All-Star Game Status Unknown

CBS: Julius Randle to Replace Injured Anfernee Simons in 3-Point Contest


Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images