NBA All-Star Weekend 2021: Dates, TV Schedule, Event Info and Preview

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMarch 3, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James goes to the basket during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Typically, the NBA All-Star Weekend provides several days of festivities, beginning on Friday and culminating with the annual All-Star Game on Sunday night. That won't be the case in 2021.

Instead of the typical schedule, every All-Star event will be taking place Sunday night at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, which will limit the amount of time that the players and staff will be at the arena. This was what the NBA decided on after it originally wasn't going to hold an All-Star Weekend while playing this season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's All-Star Weekend won't feature all of the traditional events, but several will still be taking place. In addition to the All-Star Game, there will also be the Skills Challenge, Three-point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest, all of which usually take place on Saturday night.

Here's a look at everything else you need to know for this year's unorthodox All-Star Weekend.


2021 NBA All-Star Weekend Schedule

Sunday, March 7 (All coverage on TNT)

Skills Challenge, 6:30 p.m. ET

Three-point Contest, following Skills Challenge

All-Star Game, 8 p.m. ET

Slam Dunk Contest, halftime of All-Star Game


All-Star Weekend Preview

In 2018, the NBA decided to get rid of the traditional Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format, which had been used since the league's first All-Star Game in 1951. Now, there are two team captains who will draft teams from the available pool of All-Star players.

This year's captains are Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant. James has been a captain each of the four years since this format has been introduced, while this will be Durant's first time serving as a captain.

James and Durant will pick their teams during the 2021 NBA All-Star Draft, which will air Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on TNT. The full list of All-Star players can be found at NBA.com.

James has been successful in drafting his previous All-Star teams, as he's led his squad to victory each of the past three years. In 2018, he led his players to victory over a team led by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, while his players were victorious over teams led by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo each of the past two years.

Before the All-Star Game tips off on Sunday night, the festivities will begin with the Skills Challenge. The six players participating in this year's event are: Portland Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis and Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic.

After the Skills Challenge will be the Three-point Contest. And the six players competing in that event are: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, Curry, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.

The Slam Dunk Contest, which is often the most exciting event of All-Star Weekend, will be taking place during halftime of the All-Star Game. There will only be three players participating: Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons, Pacers guard Cassius Stanley and Knicks forward Obi Toppin.

Stanley and Toppin are both rookies, so this will give them an early opportunity to showcase their dunking skills in the national spotlight. Simons, who is in his third NBA season, has also never previously competed in the Slam Dunk Contest.

While battling it out in the two-round competition, the three dunkers will be looking to impress this year's five legend judges: Dee Brown, Jason Richardson, Josh Smith, Spud Webb and Dominique Wilkins.

So, this year's NBA All-Star Weekend may have a different look. But Sunday night should provide plenty of the action and excitement that fans have come to expect over the years.