Kevin Durant and Lebron James will lead their teams into the 2021 NBA All-Star Game to be held in Atlanta on March 7.
Despite the shortened and compact season, the NBA is finally pushing through with the NBA All-Star day. Instead of having it as a full weekend, the NBA has decided to compress the festivity to a single day.
The format on March 7 will be jam-packed. Starting the evening will be the Taco Bell skills challenge and the Mountain Dew 3-point contest. Immediately after that will be the main All-Star game. The twist during the game will be the half-time dunk contest, which should keep the audience glued to their screen throughout the night.
Healthy Kevin Durant will square off with Lebron James
After being sidelined for a full-year with an Achilles injury, Kevin Durant has been made the captain of the Eastern-Conference team. The other team’s captain is the perennial All-Star, Lebron James.
Completing the starters for the East are Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. In the West, joining Lebron James will be Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, and Kawhi Leonard.
The reserves for each team haven’t been named yet, but regular All-star names, including new ones, are expected to pop-up. The list will most probably have two of the most explosive rookies in 2020, Ja Morant and Zion Williamson.
Who will they play for?
Earlier in January, Lebron James admitted that he had no energy to play in an All-Star game because of the COVID-19 situation in the U.S. However, since he probably has a contract to fulfill, he is expected to show up nonetheless.
Fortunately, the NBA has mounted this game for a cause, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA reports,
“As part of this year’s events, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced that they will commit more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and support and awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines.”
NBA All-Star game format
Last year’s game was one for the books. In a tribute to Kobe Bryant, the NBA devised a unique format for the game. The players will have to follow the same this year.
The game will have three quarters of 12 minutes each. Each quarter will start at a 0-0 score, and the team that gets the higher score at the end of the 12-minute mark wins. The fourth quarter will have the timer turned off. The goal is for either team to reach the Final Target Score.
This final target will be determined by the sum of the winning team’s total score through the three quarters with an additional 24 points. Whichever team hits the final score first ultimately wins the game.
Image from NBA/ YouTube thumbnail