2021 All-Star Weekend will look a lot different than previous years. This year’s events will take place all on a single night at State Farm Arena, in Atlanta, Georgia. This will be the third time the city has hosted the game, and the first time the game has taken place there since 2003. The event was originally scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, but due to scheduling conflicts with NCAA March Madness, the NBA decided to move their game. To honor the city of Atlanta and its rich Black History, the NBA has partnered up with HBCU alumni to add flair to the game court design. Plus, the players will be wearing patches honoring the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and UNCF with the NBA supporting $3 million to both funds, NAFEO and Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity.
By taking the extra precautions and following their health and safety protocols, this weekend’s festivities were condensed into one night due to the NBA not wanting to risk an outbreak. One of the most notable changes in this year’s event is that there will not be a Rising Stars Challenge (Rookie-Sophomore) aka Team USA vs. Team World game; however, players were still honored by being selected. The Celebrity Game will not be played either.
There will be a few celebrity singers in the building, when Gladys Knight and Alessia Cara sing the American and Canadian National Anthems, respectively. Prior to tip-off, rapper and FAMU alumnus Common will introduce the Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society Choir will perform an original rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” To honor frontline workers and those who have been affected by COVID-19, Anthony Hamilton will perform his song “Fine Again” during the event.
There will be a limited number of spectators at the event. The NBA invited 500 frontline workers, community partners, HBCU alumni, students, and faculty to attend the festivities; however, cord cutters can find out how to watch all of Sunday’s NBA All-Star events below.
NBA All-Star Game Schedule
For the first time in the event’s history, NBA All-Star Game and skills competitions will take place on the same night. On Sunday, March 7, 2021, TNT will cover all of the NBA’s biggest and brightest stars with TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax beginning at 5 p.m. ET
- Taco Bell Skills Challenge and MTN Dew 3-Point Contest begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
- The 2021 All-Star Game will tip-off at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and TBS
- The AT&T Slam Dunk Contest will take place at halftime during the All-Star Game.
|Taco Bell Skills Challenge Contestants|
|G||Chris Paul||Phoenix Suns|
|G/F||Luka Dončić||Dallas Mavericks|
|F||Robert Covington||Portland Trail Blazers|
|F/C||Domantas Sabonis||Indiana Pacers|
|F/C||Julius Randle||New York Knicks|
|C||Nikola Vučević||Orlando Magic|
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will start things off this Sunday. This will be the 19th edition of the Skills Challenge, an imposing obstacle-course competition that tests players’ agility, passing, dribbling, and 3-point shooting skills. This will be Chris Paul’s record-setting fifth appearance in the event and he will be looking for his first win. Luka Dončić, Nikola Vučević, Domantas Sabonis will be making their second appearance and searching for their first victory. Robert Convington and Julius Randle are making their Skills Challenge debuts.
|MTN Dew 3-Point Contest Contestants|
|G||Devin Booker (Injured)||Phoenix Suns|
|G||Mike Conley Jr. (Replacement)||Utah Jazz|
|G||Stephen Curry||Golden State Warriors|
|G||Donovan Mitchell||Utah Jazz|
|G/F||Zach LaVine||Chicago Bulls|
|G/F||Jayen Brown||Boston Celtics|
|F||Jayson Tatutm||Boston Celtics|
The MTN Dew 3-Point Contest will directly follow. This will be the 35th edition of the contest and the first in its long history where every contestant is an All-Star. Former 3-point champions Steph Curry and Devin Booker were supposed to headline the event, but Booker was replaced with the debuting and first-time All-Star Mike Conley due to a knee injury. Curry won the contest in 2015 and will be making his seventh appearance, the second-most of all-time. Two former Slam Dunk Contest champions, Zach Levine (second appearance) and Donovan Mitchell (debut) will be participating this year and could be the first player to ever win the dunk and 3-point competitions.
|AT&T Slam Dunk Contest Contestants|
|G||Anfernee Simons||Portland Trail Blazers|
|G||Cassius Stanley||Indiana Pacers|
|F||Obi Toppin||New York Knicks|
At halftime, the 36th annual AT&T Slam Dunk Contest will crown a new King of Flight in the NBA. All three participants are first-timers for the event, Cassius Stanley and Obi Toppin are rookies, while Anfernee Simons is a 3rd-year player. The city of Atlanta will be well represented in the judges’ booth as Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, former 2-time Slam Dunk champion, and former Atlanta Hawks great “The Human Highlight Reel” Dominique Wilkins leads a panel that includes five past Slam Dunk champions. He will be joined by ‘91 winner Dee Brown, ‘02 and ‘03 winner Jason Richardson, and fellow former Hawks ‘05 winner Josh Smith, and ‘86 winner Spud Webb.
At 8 p.m. ET, the main event will take place when Team LeBron goes head-to-head against Team Duran in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game on TNT. Since the Philadelphia 76ers have the best record in the Eastern Conference, head coach Doc Rivers will be the coach of Team Durant. This will be his third-time as All-Star game head coach. With the Utah Jazz leading the Western Conference, their head coach Quin Snyder will coach Team LeBron in his All-Star game debut.
Since LeBron James led all players in votes (5,922,554 fans, 214 players, and 100 media) he was able to secure the top pick in the All-Star draft. Due to injury, Kevin Durant will not be able to play on Sunday, and Jayson Tatum will take his spot in Durant’s lineup. Durant was replaced by Damantis Sabonis in the talent pool. Other players that will not be available include Anthony Davis who was replaced by Trae Young and Devin Booker who has been replaced by Mike Conley.
How to watch the 2021 NBA All-Star Game
Cord cutters have a few choices when it comes to watching all of Sunday’s game and the surrounding competitions on Roku, Firestick, Apple TV, or any device. Below is a listing and prices of the major live TV streaming services that carry TNT.
- AT&T TV has TNT available in their Entertainment package for $60/mo.
- fuboTV has TNT in their Family package for only $64.99/mo.
- Hulu + Live TV has TNT for only $64.99/mo
- Sling TV offers TNT in its Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages for a low price of $35/mo.
- Youtube TV gives you access to TNT and more for only $64.99/mo.
Predictions: Going to keep this one short and sweet.
Skills challenge: Luka Dončić
3-Point Shootout: Anfernee Simons. Prepare to see something we have never seen.
All-Star Game: Team LeBron in a blow out.
Source: Cord Cutters News