What Is the NBA All-Star Weekend?

What Is the NBA All Star Weekend

The NBA’s All-Star Weekend is a festival of basketball events held over a weekend every February. The festival takes place during the NBA’s All-Star break in the middle of the regular season. The original and most notable events are the All-Star Game, Slam Dunk Contest, and Three-Point Contest, but several other competitions take place over the course of the weekend.

  • Venue: Vivint Arena (changes yearly)
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah (changes yearly)
  • First Festival: 1986
  • Friday Events: NBA Rising Stars Practice, Basketball Hall of Fame News Conference, Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, NBA Rising Stars
  • Saturday Events: NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Media Day, NBA x HBCU Classic, Commissioner’s News Conference, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night (Skills Challenge, PepsiCo 3-Point Contest, and AT&T Slam Dunk Contest)
  • Sunday Event: NBA G-League Next Up Game, NBA All-Star Draft, NBA All-Star Game


Although the NBA All-Star Game had been around since 1951, the All-Star Weekend did not begin until 1986. The Slam Dunk Contest started 10 years earlier, but it was the introduction of the Three-Point Contest that kicked off the first All-Star Weekend. Since then, several other events have been added to the slate. Early staples included H-O-R-S-E, the Shooting Stars competitions, and the Legends Classic. These events have evolved into the competitions included in today’s NBA All-Star Weekend.

Friday Events

NBA All-Star Weekend has two full days of special games and contests that lead up to the NBA All-Star Game on the third and final day. On the first day (Friday), there is the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, a fun exhibition game in which celebrities from art, music, entertainment, etc., get to compete against one another for the amusement of fans. The second event on Friday night is the Rising Stars Challenge, another exhibition game in which first and second-year players from both of the NBA league’s compete against one another.

Saturday Events

On the Saturday of NBA All-Star Weekend, several basketball skills contests and the NBA x HBCU Classic game is held. The HBCU Classic is a game between two college basketball programs, in partnership with the NBA, to highlight the talent of these players and promote historically black colleges and universities. The NBA also donates $100,000 to each school that participates each year.

After the HBCU Classic, there is a series of basketball skills contests known as All-Star Saturday Night. The first such skills contest is called the Skills Challenge and comprises a series of obstacles that players must overcome while showing off basketball skills. The Three Point Contest is the second skills contest, which focuses on three-point shooting. The Slam Dunk Contest is the third and most popular Saturday event, in which NBA players compete to see who is the best dunker.

NBA All-Star Game (Sunday)

On the Sunday night of NBA All-Star Weekend, the official NBA All-Star Game is held. The top 24 players from the previous season, which are drafted into two separate teams before the game, are captained by the two most-voted All-Star players of the current NBA season. The game uses a unique format, where the score is reset at the end of each quarter. The NBA All-Star game is heavily focused on philanthropy, with the winner of each quarter earning $100,000 for the charity chosen by the team’s captain. In the final quarter, teams aim to reach a target score, with the first team to reach the score being declared the overall winner of the contest.

In addition to the NBA All-Star Game, the NBA G League Next Up Game is held earlier in the day. This game is similar to the NBA All-Star Game in that it highlights the best players from the NBA’s developmental league, the G League, and has them compete in an exhibition game.


What is the NBA All-Star Weekend?

The NBA All-Star Weekend is a full weekend of contests and exhibition games that honor the best of the previous NBA season. The first two days (Friday and Saturday) of the NBA All-Star Weekend are filled with amusing basketball skills contests, minor league exhibition games, and even a Celebrity All-Star Game. On the Sunday night of NBA All-Star Weekend, the official NBA All-Star Game is played with the season’s top 24 players.

The most popular events in the NBA All-Star Weekend are the All-Star Game, Slam Dunk Contest, and Three-Point Contest. In addition to having the season’s best players, the NBA All-Star Game also naturally comprises most of the season’s most popular players as well. The Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Contest are then quite popular as amusing, non-traditional ways for players to show off their basketball skills.