DALLAS – It will be a marathon and a different day of basketball, but in the end it will be full of stars.
The NBA will play its traditional midseason game in Atlanta in an unconventional way, although they hope it will be just as attractive to basketball fans, who will have to watch it on television for the vast majority.
The traditional weekend of the All-Star Game was reduced to just one event this Sunday, in which skills competitions will be held, nailed to the baskets, three-point shots and will close with the stellar game, with the players who have the best season. they’re living, plus some fan favorites.
“The All-Star Game is part of our league,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “It starts and ends with the fans. It’s an event that the fans want to see. They love seeing the players together.”
In person, it will only be a few invited people, health workers who have already been vaccinated against Covid-19, who will be in the arena of the Atlanta Hawks, who had to enter the remove, to replace Indianapolis.
Some players questioned the All-Star Game because of the rush and closeness between the season that ended in the summer in the Orlando bubble and the one that began on December 22, which will have 72 games, that is, 10 less than a normal season, Except for the previous one, which as a result of the pandemic had to stop and then resume to complete the same number of around 70 games with the teams that were still in competition for a ticket to the playoffs.
“Either way, it’s an honor to be considered for the All-Star Game,” said Luka Doncic, who will become the first player in Dallas Mavericks history to start this type of game in consecutive seasons. “True, maybe a little rest would have been good for us. But no one can complain about being there. It’s a great honor.”
Again, as was the case for the previous three years, the format will not be East vs. West. Two teams were assembled as if they were going to play a “cascarita” in which the two captains, who are the ones who received the most votes to be in the event, choose their players.
LeBron James selected Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Nikola Jokic (Denver) to his starting five. At first glance, it seems stronger than Kevin Durant, who despite being the great absentee due to injury, chose his partner with the Brooklyn Nets to Kyrie Irvin, Kawhi Leonard (Clippers), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia) and Bradley Beal (Washington).
The rest of Team LeBron will consist of Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Domantas Sabonis, Ben Simmons, Jaylen Brown and Paul George.
Durant will have Jayson Tatum on hand, who replaces him in the starting job; James Harden, Zack Levin, Donovan Mitchell, Julius Randle, Nicola Vucevich, Zion Williamson, and Mike Conley. Anthony Davis and Devin Booler were replaced due to injury.
The day will begin at 6:30 pm ET with the skills and triples competitions. And at 8 pm ET the All-Star Game will begin, with the show of the “nailed” at halftime.
The second half of the NBA season will resume on Wednesday and end on May 21, one day before the playoffs begin.