and this season is no different. The action tipped off on Friday with the Rising Stars game, though things really pick up on All-Star Saturday Night. Always one of the most exciting nights of the season, the pre-cursor to the All-Star Game will once again feature a trio of star-studded events: the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 iteration of All-Star Saturday night:
- When: Saturday, Feb. 18
- Time: 8 p.m. ET (first event) | TV channel: TNT
- Team Antetokounmpo: Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks) (Replacing Giannis Antetokounmpo), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Alex Antetokounmpo (Wisconsin Herd)
- Team Jazz: Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler, Collin Sexton
- Team Rooks: Paolo Banchero (Orlando Magic), Jaden Ivey (Detroit Pistons), Jabari Smith Jr. (Houston Rockets)
The Skills Challenge, which debuted in 2003, is the night’s opening act. The league has often toyed with the Skills Challenge format, and they recently debuted a new team format that is back again and features three teams. As always, participating players will make their way through an obstacle course that challenges their ability in major facets of the game: dribbling, passing and shooting.
- Odds: Team Jazz -120; Team Rookies +165; Team Antetokounmpo +450 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
- When: Saturday, Feb. 18 .....................
- Time: After Skills Challenge (roughly 8:45 p.m. ET) | TV channel: TNT
- Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
- Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
- Kevin Huerter, Sacramento Kings
- Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
- Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers
- Buddy Hield, Indiana Pacers
- Julius Randle, New York Knicks
- Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz
The 3-Point Contest has seen a few new wrinkles in recent years; there are now two additional long-range shots worth three points each and the time limit has been increased to 70 seconds. The basic premise, though, has remained unchanged since its inception, which helps add to the mystique.
- Odds: Lillard +325; Hield +420; Huerter +550; Herro +650; Haliburton +650; Markkanen +650; Tatum +750; Randle +950 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
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- When: Saturday, Feb. 18
- Time: After 3-point Contest (roughly 9:30 p.m. ET) | TV channel: TNT
- KJ Martin, Houston Rockets
- Mac McClung, Delaware Blue Coats/Philadelphia 76ers
- Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans
- Jericho Sims, New York Knicks
Closing out the night is the main event, the Dunk Contest, which has produced some of the most iconic moments in NBA history. This one is as simple as it gets. You try to do the sickest dunk possible, and the five judges score your effort on a scale of 1-10, which makes a maximum of 50 points available. Each contestant gets two dunks in the first round, and the two highest combined scores move on to the championship round, where they get two more dunks to decide the winner.