However, safe in the knowledge that the majority of their heroes will be getting a rare chance to rest up, there will still be plenty for Clipper Nation to get excited about over the course of the three days.
The weekend’s festivities tip off on Friday night with the Celebrity Game on ESPN, but the real action for fans to feast their eyes upon will be over on TNT with the Rising Stars game at 6pm Pacific time, with Hyland taking part in the three-game mini-tournament as part of Team Deron Wiliams. Former Clipper Joakim Noah is also coaching, alongside Los Angeles Lakers legend Pau Gasol and our 2015 playoff nemesis Jason Terry.
Saturday’s TNT action starts with a nod to the NBA’s growing support of HBCUs, of which Robert Covington has been a central figure, with Grambling State University and Southern University men’s basketball programs facing off. All-Star’s Saturday night festivity follows later that evening at 5pm PT, with the Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and the Dunk Contest.
The last Clippers player to take part in the Skills Challenge was Patrick Beverley back in 2020, who previously won it as a Houston Rocket back in 2015. Luke Kennard reached the finals of last year’s Three-Point Contest, while Blake Griffin will forever be the most famous Dunk Contest participant from the 213 after he jumped over a Kia and took home the trophy.
All-Star Sunday starts with a new event, the G League Next Up Game on NBA TV, in which 24 players from the NBA’s development league will square off. The finale then gets underway at the earlier-than-usual time of 4.30pm PT on TNT, where George and his fellow All-Stars will find out live which team they’re drafted to in playground fashion. It will be the Clippers star’s eighth appearance, the most on the roster with 2020’s Kobe Bryant MVP Kawhi Leonard in second with five.
Last time PG starred as a reserve on Team LeBron James, he scored 17 points in just over 26 minutes, though it would be nice if he featured a little less this year and got the chance to rest ahead of a crucial few months for his team. Bones can be the guy to turn it up and represent the franchise in the Rising Stars game, just so long as both come back happy and healthy.
DraftKings Odds - Josh’s Predictions:
- Team LeBron to win the All-Star Game: -130
- Jayson Tatum to win the Three-Point contest: +500
- Team Rookies to win the Skills Challenge: +140