The National Basketball Association (NBA) holds an All-Star Weekend every February, with a variety of basketball-related events, exhibitions, and performances culminating in the NBA All-Star Game held on Sunday night.
The All-Star Game
The All-Star Game, held on Sunday, is the main event of the weekend. The 2008 game and its associated festivities were be held in New Orleans at the New Orleans Arena.
Events of All-Star Weekend
Major events held during All-Star Weekend include two exhibition games held on Friday and several competitions held on "All-Star Saturday":
- Rookie Challenge: This event pits selected rookies (first year players) against selected sophomores (second year players) of the league.
- Celebrity All-Star Game: Many different celebrities are selected such as actors and singers to play against each other in an East vs. West Game. Each team gets one WNBA player to play on their team.
- D-League All-Star game: First held in 2007, this game features the best players from the NBA's "minor league". The First winner was the East by a score of 114-100. The D-League All-Star game was not held in the same arena as all the other All-Star Saturday activities. Instead, it was held on NBA Jam Session's practice court. Pops Mensah-Bonsu won the MVP award of the game with 30 points and 7 rebounds.
- Slam Dunk Contest: This competition showcases the creativity and athletic ability of some of the league's best dunkers. The specific rules of the contest are decided each year, but the competition is always judged subjectively. After each dunk, or attempted dunk, competitors are awarded a mark out of 10 from five judges, giving a possible high score of 50. The usual rules of 'traveling' and double dribbling do not apply.
- Three-point Shootout: The league's best three point shooters shoot five shots from five different spots around the three point line. Each shot is worth one point except the last ball of each rack (informally called 'money balls'), which is worth two points. The highest score available in one round is 30 points.
- Skills Challenge: A relatively new event that pits selected players in a timed obstacle course of dribbling, shooting and passing. Agility, quickness and accuracy all come into play.
- Shooting Stars Competition: A retired NBA player, a current NBA player and a WNBA player, representing their teams' cities compete together in a shooting competition.
- Legends Classic: Held from 1984 to 1993, the Classic was a game featuring retired NBA players. As in the All-Star Game, the teams were designated East and West. The Legends game opened the Saturday program. The NBA canceled the Legends Classic after 1994 due to the players' frequent injuries from the game, perhaps due to the large range in fitness levels among younger and older alumni.Template:Fact The Shooting Stars competition is largely its replacement.
Additionally, the NBA Jam Session, a "theme park of basketball", has been a part of the All-Star festivities since 1992, with fans able to take part in numerous interactive basketball related activities from Thursday through Monday. The Jam Session is usually targeted to young fans.