The NBA All-Star Weekend 2023 party will kick off tonight and end with the fast-paced game between Team LeBron and Team Giannis on Sunday. The action will take place at Vivint Arena, home of the Utah Jazz, although there have been questions about whether the Greek Freak will be able to play.
Rising To The Occasion
Tonight, the gala will begin with the Rising Stars Challenge, which will have the participation of 28 first- and second-year players of the league. Participants will be divided into four teams, and there will also be players from the G league who are expected to arrive in the NBA soon.
At the 2022 Rising Stars Challenge, Kevin Durant, Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving finished as MVPs. This year, new talent is ready to show off.
On Saturday, the individual skills of the players will be exhibited. The first competition will be the skills race, followed by the traditional three-point contest. Damian Lillard, Julius Randle, Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Huerter and Tyler Herro will go for the glory, and the night will conclude with the Slam Dunk Contest.
Finally, on Sunday, February 19, the All-Star Game between Team LeBron vs Team Giannis will be played. LeBron and Giannis Antetokounmpo were the players with the highest number of votes from the Eastern and Western conferences.
LeBron recently surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the leading scorer in NBA history, a feat he accomplished against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Los Angeles Lakers star reached 38,388 points and broke the record that his predecessor held for almost four decades.
Likewise, manager Michael Malone will be in charge of the LeBron James team, while Joe Mazzulla will be part of Team Giannis. The NBA All-Star Game 2023 will have a different format than previous years.
The captains of the Eastern and Western Conferences will pick their players 30 minutes before the start of the game. They will select four starters as well as seven substitutes.
Team Giannis In Trouble
The alarms went off in the NBA Thursday after Antetokounmpo suffered an injury that casts doubt on his presence in the next 2023 All-Star Game. It happened in a game where his Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls, 112-100, but without much help from the Greek Freak.
Antetokounmpo barely played nine minutes. At the beginning of the second quarter, trying to block a rival shot, he went down hard and sprained his right wrist. After being reviewed by the medical staff, it was determined that Giannis would not return to the game.
Until that point, Giannis had only picked up two points, seven rebounds and three assists. The injury immediately raised concerns about whether he could be in the All-Star Game, and it looks like he might not.
Taking into account that he was the most-voted player in the Eastern Conference, Antetokounmpo will still choose as captain those who will be part of his team to face Team James, but he likely won’t be one of those on the court. Although there have been no reports through official channels, there’s not much of a reason to risk further injury.
After the game, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer clarified that Antetokounmpo’s condition was “encouraging.” He added that an X-ray was clean, which has to leave Milwaukee with a sense of relief as they work toward a playoff spot.
Even without the Greek Freak’s injury, Team LeBron was favored to win. However, if he’s out, it will definitely give LeBron and crew an additional edge.