NBA All-Star Weekend participants tracker: Wembanyama, Edwards, Haliburton in skills challenge – The Athletic

By Tobias BassFeb 5, 2024

NBA All-Star Weekend will unfold Feb. 16-18 in Indianapolis. The Rising Stars game will tip off that Friday, followed by the skills challenge, 3-point contest, slam dunk contest and a new 3-point challenge featuring Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu on Saturday night. The 73rd NBA All-Star Game closes out the weekend on Sunday.

Players are beginning to commit to the All-Star events and we’re keeping track of who will compete. This story will be updated as the field develops.

All-Star skills challenge

  • Victor Wembanyama (Spurs)
  • Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves)
  • Paolo Banchero (Magic)
  • Tyrese Maxey (76ers)
  • Trae Young (Hawks)
  • Scottie Barnes (Raptors)
  • Tyrese Haliburton (Pacers)
  • Myles Turner (Pacers)
  • Benedict Mathurin (Pacers)

Pass, dribble, shoot is the name of the game and Victor Wembanyama can do all three. The San Antonio Spurs rookie was the first player known to commit to the challenge. The NBA announced the full field Thursday, which includes Team Pacers with Indiana teammates Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner and Bennedict Mathurin.

3-point contest

This year’s event features some flamethrowers and big names. League sources have confirmed the following participants:

  • Damian Lillard (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
  • Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers) — per ESPN
  • Malik Beasley (Bucks)
  • Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks)
  • Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)

Four of the five have made at least one All-Star Game and all have made over 120 triples so far this season. Lillard, last year’s winner, will look to become the first player to win back-to-back 3-point contest titles since Jason Kapono in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Slam dunk contest

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that these are the ‘likely’ participants:

  • Mac McClung (Osceola Magic)
  • Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
  • Jacob Toppin (Westchester Knicks)
  • Jamie Jaquez Jr. (Miami Heat)

This contest has historically headlined All-Star Saturday, but the buzz has died down over the past few years. McClung, of the G League’s Osceola Magic, revitalized it last year. Of his four dunks, three received a perfect score of 50 from the judges, and he completed all of his dunks on the first try.

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Stephen Curry vs. Sabrina Ionescu

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu will go head-to-head in All-Star Weekend’s first NBA-versus-WNBA 3-point challenge.

The event will feature five racks of balls per shooter. Each rack will be placed behind the arc and will contain five balls. The first four racks have four game balls and one “money” ball, while the fifth rack (money rack) is all money balls. Additionally, each competitor will have two starry-range shots (shots located well behind the arc). Curry and Ionescu will decide which of the five racks they will earmark as their “money rack.”

Successful game ball shots are worth one point, money balls are worth two and starry-range shots are worth three.

Ionescu will shoot from behind the WNBA-mandated 3-point line with WNBA-sized basketballs, while Curry will shoot from behind the NBA-mandated 3-point line with NBA-sized basketballs.

Rising Stars game

The future of the NBA is in good hands. G League Ignite sports four players from its roster as well in a game with the league’s top rookies and sophomores.

A year ago, several NBA scouts were in attendance to watch Scoot Henderson play in this game. This year could be similar with three Ignite players (Ron Holland, Matas Buzelis and Tyler Smith) boasting lottery-pick potential.

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NBA rookies: Bilal Coulibaly (Wizards), Keyonte George (Jazz), Jordan Hawkins (Pelicans), Scoot Henderson (Trail Blazers), Chet Holmgren (Thunder), Jaime Jaquez. Jr. (Heat), Dereck Lively II (Mavericks), Brandon Miller (Hornets), Brandin Podziemski (Warriors), Cason Wallace (Thunder), Victor Wembanyama (Spurs).

NBA sophomores: Paolo Banchero (Magic), Dyson Daniels (Pelicans), Jalen Duren (Pistons), Jaden Ivey (Pistons), Walker Kessler (Jazz), Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers), Keegan Murray (Kings), Shaedon Sharpe (Trail Blazers), Jabari Smith Jr. (Rockets), Jalen Williams (Thunder).

G League players: Izan Almansa (G League Ignite), Matas Buzelis (G League Ignite), Ron Holland (G League Ignite), Mac McClung (Osceola Magic), Tyler Smith (G League Ignite), Oscar Tshiebwe (Indiana Mad Ants), Alondes Williams (Sioux Falls Skyforce).

Required reading

  • NBA All-Star reserves include Donovan Mitchell, Jalen Brunson but no Kings or Trae Young
  • NBA All-Star starters announced: LeBron James, Tyrese Haliburton highlight lineups
  • NBA All-Star Game returning to East vs. West format in 2024

(Photo: Sam Navarro / USA Today)

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