2022 NBA All-Star Weekend overview – Welcome to The Land!

In an ongoing series for February, we'll be breaking down what to expect during the weekend of NBA All-Star festivities!

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February is here and the NBA All-Star Game is coming back to Cleveland at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday, February 20. For the first time in 25 years, the city of Cleveland will host NBA All-Star weekend. The weekend consists of many more events than just the All-Star Game. Some will be held at the Wolstein Center, home of the Cleveland Charge, while the big events will be at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. There will also be special health and safety protocols in place due to COVID-19.

Here is an overview of the schedule for All-Star festivities for the entire weekend:

  • Friday, February 18: The fun starts with the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at 7 p.m., followed by the Clorox Rising Stars challenge at 9 p.m. The Celebrity Game will happen at the Wolstein Center while Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse will host the Rising Stars challenge.
  • Saturday, February 19: All-Star Saturday begins at 11 a.m. with the NBA All-Star Practice Presented by AT&T. Then NBA x HBCU Classic Presented by AT&T will showcase Morgan State versus Howard University. Finally, the nightcap features the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the Mountain Dew 3-Point Contest and the AT&T Slam Dunk competition. All of the morning All-Star Saturday events will be at the Wolstein Center while the night events will be held at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
  • Sunday, February 20: At 2 p.m. the Wolstein Center will host the inaugural NBA G League Next Gem Game, featuring the NBA G League Ignite versus the Cleveland Charge. Finally, the All-Star Game itself will be played at 8 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

How players and coaches are selected for the events

The starting lineup for Sunday's main event is mostly determined by fan voting, accounting for 50% of the decision process through various means online. After that, NBA players and selected media members make up the remaining 50% of the voting process. Polls for starters in the All-Star game closed on Friday, January 21. Here are the final results along with the votes received:

  • Eastern Conference Starters:
    • Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (6,789,863 votes)
    • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (6,485,720 votes)
    • Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (4,323,865 votes)
    • Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (5,243,775 votes)
    • DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (2,771,070 votes)
  • Western Conference Starters:
    • LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (9,128,231 votes)
    • Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (5,311,167 votes)
    • Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors (3,452,586 votes)
    • Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (7,659,673 votes)
    • Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (3,571,695 votes)

With former Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James and former Cleveland Cavalier killer Kevin Durant getting the most votes for each conference, they'll be team captain for the All-Star player draft. The leading vote-getter in the All-Star balloting process is awarded the first pick in the All-Star Draft. For the 2022 All-Star Game, James will pick first. The captains take turns drafting from the pool of 22 players voted into the All-Star field — first, they select from the eight All-Star starters, then from the 14 All-Star reserves. Conference affiliation does not matter during the draft process.

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The All-Star reserves, meanwhile, are selected by the 30 coaches across the league. They vote for two guards, three frontcourt players and two players at any position in their respective conferences. NBA Commissioner Silver selects the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, choosing a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Silver’s selection would join the team that drafted the replaced player. The commissioner also has the power to create a special roster addition, which he did for the first time in 2019. The reserves will be named this Thursday, February 3 on TNT. The All-Star draft, meanwhile, will be on Thursday, Feburary 10.

The coaches for each team are determined by the standings two weeks before the All-Star Game. The coaching staff for the East and West leaders is matched with the captain from the respective conference. However, if the leading coaching staff coached the previous All-Star game, then the second place coaching staff is selected. The coach for Team Durant has yet to be named but Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams will coach Team James due to the Suns clinching the Western Conference's best overall record leading into the All-Star break.

The various jerseys worn all throughout All-Star weekend draw inspiration from Cleveland's culture and basketball history.

The head coaches for the All-Star game will be determined by who has the best record in each conference through the Sunday two weeks before the game, which this year is February 6. The only coaches who won’t be eligible are Doc Rivers of the 76ers and Quin Snyder of the Jazz because they coached in last year’s game.

For Friday's Rising Stars game, a pool of 28 players consisting of12 NBA rookies and 12 NBA sophomores, plus four NBA G League Ignite players will be broken down into four teams. The pool of NBA players will be chosen by NBA assistant coaches. The group of Ignite players will be chosen by NBA G League head coaches.

New rules for this year's Rising Star Game

The 2022 All-Star Clorox Rising Stars will feature an updated, mini-tournament format this year at All-Star weekend in Cleveland. Instead of Team World vs. Team USA (and previously Rookies vs. Sophomores), this year’s Rising Stars will feature three games between four teams of rookies, sophomores and for the first time players from NBA G League Ignite.

Each team will be coached by a member of the NBA 75 team and assistant coaches from the 2022 All-Star Game, who will draft their squads on an earlier date prior to the tournament. There will be one NBA G League Ignite player on each team. Each game will be played to a Final Target Score, meaning that a game will end with a made basket or a made free throw instead of with the clock running out. It will be a “Race to 75” to celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary season. Games 1 and 2 will be played until a team reaches 50 points while Game 3 will be played until a team reaches 25 points.

Here's how the tournament bracket will work for this year's Rising Stars Game:

  • Game 1: Team A vs. Team B
  • Game 2: Team C vs. Team D
  • Game 3: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2

In addition, a timed shooting competition called the Clorox Clutch Challenge will take place between Games 2 and 3 of Clorox Rising Stars. A total of eight NBA and NBA G League Ignite players will be divided into four teams of two and compete to make shots from five locations on the court tied to iconic shots made in the NBA Playoffs.

Each team will compete with one shared ball and its players must alternate shots so no player shoots two times consecutively. Team 1 is given 1 minute and 30 seconds (1:30 counting down) to make a shot from each of the five locations in any order. Team 1’s time is then the marker for Team 2. If Team 1’s time is 1:15, then Team 2 will have a 1:15 countdown clock to complete the competition. Each team that establishes a new standard sets the clock for the next team competing, and the fastest finisher will win the Clorox Clutch Challenge.

There's a very good chance that Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley will represent Cleveland during the Rising Stars Game. It remains to be seen if anyone else will participate in any of the other events.

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