Superstars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant will descend upon Los Angeles for the big event—but this time they won’t battle for Eastern or Western Conference supremacy.
The new format has the All-Star teams split like a street ball battle, with Team LeBron going up against Team Stephen. The new format—and the big stars in the game—has the All-Star Game as one of the hottest sports tickets of the season.
Ticket prices have reflected the buzz of the game—which features five players who were Los Angeles high school stars, including Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, and Harden—with the median price for the matchup going for around $2,500 (as of Monday). Amazingly, that’s a 200 percent increase from the game last year. Take a look in-depth at how hot this ticket has become in this cool infographic from Vivid Seats.
Defense will be at a minimum as these athletic stars show off what they can do.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 All-Star Game.
Where: The 2018 NBA All-Star Game will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, at which both the Clippers and Lakers play.
When: The game starts at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 18, with TV coverage from TNT.
The All-Star Game brings in the best of the best from the NBA. Keep an eye on these stars:
LeBron James (Cavaliers): James is already showing some re-energized play on the court after the Cavs retooled their roster at the trade deadline. Here’s a look at James hitting the weight room during the 2017 NBA playoffs, and James doing his very intense “core and mind” stability ball balance workout.
Jimmy Butler (Wolves): Butler’s trade to the Timberwolves has been a complete success for the team. After a decade of missing the playoffs, the Wolves are poised to snap that postseason drought, and Butler is one of the main reasons why. One reason he keeps making the All-Star team? His intense off-season workout routine. Here’s a look at Butler doing kettlebell moves, stepups, a beach med ball workout, and more in the weight room.
Joel Embiid (Sixers): Embiid is making his All-Star debut in a big way: The center is the first 76ers player to start an All-Star Game since Allen Iverson did so in 2006. Embiid is one of only five players averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season, and he’s already played more games this year than he did last season—43 to 31—when he averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game. This season, Embiid is ranked in the top five in the NBA in blocks. Might be because of these boxing workouts Embiid’s been doing.
Victor Oladipo (Pacers): Oladipo underwent quite the body transformation over the summer—take a look at how he sculpted his six-pack here—and it translated to the court, too. Oladipo is putting up career-high numbers across the board, averaging 24.3 points, 4 assists, and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 48% from the floor.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks): The “Greek Freak” is proving to the league why he’s the future of the sport, dominating both ends of the floor with his 6'11", 222-lb frame. Antetokounmpo is ranked second in the NBA in scoring behind James Harden, and he’s pulling in a career-best 10.3 rebounds per game.
Karl-Anthony Towns (Wolves): The former No.1-overall pick made his first All-Star appearance this season while scoring 20 points per game and ranking fifth in the league in rebounding. Towns showed off some of his off-season workout routine on Instagram, including pushups with chains and a dumbbell workout while flashing his sculpted core.
Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers): The 6'3" point guard is one of many basketball players using boxing in their off-season workout programs. Lillard returns to the All-Star Game for the first time since 2015 after averaging 25.5 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game.
The NBA decided to change the classic format of Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference for the 2018 game, instead going with a draft-style format. The captains for each team—decided by the top vote-getters in each conference, this year being LeBron James and Stephen Curry—then picked their roster from the pool of starters and reserves.
Each team selected a charity for which to play—Team LeBron picked After-School All-Stars Los Angeles, while Team Stephen picked Brotherhood Crusade—and the winning team will donate $350,000 and the losing team will donate $150,000 to their organizations.
From the NBA's press release on the charity selection: "After-School All-Stars Los Angeles provides comprehensive out-of-school programming for more than 13,000 students in need across 52 schools while Brotherhood Crusade works to empower and support underserved youth in South Los Angeles through mentoring, education, health and wellness, and leadership programs."
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Replaced injured players:
Goran Dragic, Miami Heat
Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Out with injuries:
Starter: DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans
Reserves: Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
James Harden, Houston Rockets
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Al Horford, Boston Celtics
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Everyone loves the Slam Dunk Contest.
2018 Participants: Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Larry Nance Jr. (Cavaliers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks), and Donovan Mitchell (Jazz) as the participants.
When: Saturday, Feb. 17 | 8 p.m. ET
Where: STAPLES Center
-There are four first-time All-Stars among Eastern Conference players, including Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks), although he won’t play in the game due to injury. Bradley Beal (Wizards), Joel Embiid (Sixers), and Victor Oladipo (Pacers) are the other players.
-Beal, who's in his sixth season, comes into the game averaging a career-high 23 points per game, and ranks in the top 10 in the NBA in games with at least 20 points. Beal ranks alongside players like Giannis Antetokounmpo (40), James Harden (38), LeBron James (37), Russell Westbrook (37) and Kyrie Irving (36).
-Kyle Lowry (Raptors) is just the second player in NBA history to get selected for four All-Star games after not being an All-Star selection in his first eight seasons. Lowry is one of three players averaging at least 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, along with James and Westbrook.
It’s not a shock that the reigning NBA champions are well-represented in the All-Star Game, but it’s impressive nevertheless. Here’s why:
-The Warriors have four All-Stars for a second consecutive season, with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson making the game. No team has ever done that two years in a row.
-In fact, only 12 times ever in NBA history have four players from one team played in the All-Star game. The last time it happened besides the Warriors: 2015, when Al Horford, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague represented the Atlanta Hawks.
These shooters will go head-to-head to see who is the best from long range.
2018 Participants: Eric Gordon (Rockets), Klay Thompson (Warriors), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Paul George (Thunder), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Devin Booker (Suns), Wayne Ellington (Heat), Tobias Harris (Clippers)
What: JBL Three-Point Contest
When: Saturday, Feb. 17 | 8 p.m. ET (2nd Event)
Where: STAPLES Center
Here’s the full lineup of entertainment for the All-Star Game on Sunday night.
Host and Introductions: Superstar comedian and former Men’s Fitness cover man Kevin Hart will headline the festivities, including introducing the players for each squad.
United States National Anthem: Fergie
Canadian National Anthem: Black Eyed Peas
Halftime Show: Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D will perform. The show will feature a medley of some of Pharrell’s biggest chart-topping hits, including "Happy," and "Lemon" featuring Rihanna, the lead single off of N.E.R.D.’s new album, No One Ever Really Dies.
This year the Celebrity Game will have an all-LA theme, with Team Clippers taking on Team Lakers. The matchup will feature a special 4-point line nicknamed “The Ridge,” which should make it a very high-scoring affair. Here are the rosters.
Head coach: Rachel Nichols (ESPN host)
Assistant coach: Tracy McGrady (NBA legend, ESPN analyst)
Assistant coach: Michael B. Jordan (Creed 2, Black Panther star)
Sterling Brim (MTV’s Ridiculousness)
Nick Cannon (TV personality/actor/rapper)
Terence Crawford (Boxer)
Rachel DeMita (NBA2K TV personality)
Jerry Ferrara (Entourage, Power actor)
Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks owner)
Tracy McGrady (NBA legend)
Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things actor)
Candace Parker (WNBA player)
Nate Robinson (former NBA player)
Drew Scott (Property Brothers host)
Kris Wu (Chinese-Canadian actor/singer)
Head Coach: Katie Nolan (ESPN host)
Assistant Coach: Paul Pierce (NBA legend, ESPN analyst)
Assistant Coach: Common (John Wick 2 actor, rapper)
Anthony Anderson (Black-ish actor)
Brandon Armstrong (Social media star, former NBA D-League player)
Miles Brown (Actor)
Win Butler (Arcade Fire musician)
Common (John Wick 2 actor, rapper)
Andre De Grasse (Olympic sprinter)
Stefanie Dolson (WNBA player)
Jamie Foxx (Actor)
Paul Pierce (NBA legend, ESPN analyst)
Dascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black actress)
Bubba Watson (PGA Tour star)
Jason Williams (NBA legend)