BOSTON (CBS) — NBA All-Star weekend is here, which means a much-needed week of rest of the Boston Celtics. At least for some of them, that is.
While most of their teammates will enjoy some R&R, four Celtics will be part of the NBA’s gloriously overblown weekend, which tips off on Friday night in Los Angeles. A pair of their stars of the future will play in Friday evening’s Rising Stars Game, their silent leader will show off his skills on Saturday, and the Celtics will trot out a pair of players to represent them on both sides of Sunday night’s annual exhibition game.
Unfortunately, Brad Stevens will not be there for another dramatic and thrilling entrance.
Here’s a quick breakdown of when you can see Boston’s All-Star representatives this weekend:
Rising Stars Game
Checking in at a combined age of 40 are Boston’s two young stars in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, both of whom will play for the U.S. team in Friday night’s Rising Stars Game. Brown did not make the team last season, so it will be the first All-Star weekend for both players.
Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
John Collins (Hawks)
Kris Dunn (Bulls)
Brandon Ingram (Lakers)
Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks)
Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
Taurean Prince (Hawks)
De’Aaron Fox (Kings)
(Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon both made the U.S. team but will not play due to injuries)
Bogdan Bogdanovic (Kings)
Dillon Brooks (Grizzlies)
Joel Embiid (76ers)
Buddy Hield (Kings)
Lauri Markkanen (Bulls)
Jamal Murray (Nuggets)
Frank Ntilikina (Knicks)
Domantas Sabonis (Pacers)
Dario Saric (76ers)
Ben Simmons (76ers)
It’ll be a busy weekend for Brown even though he isn’t participating in any other All-Star activities after Friday night. The second-year guard will host a technology and networking lunch called “Tech Hustle” on Saturday, with roughly 200 NBA stars, entertainers and startups expected to attend.
“My thought process is to just educate athletes and people around you about what is really going on, especially basketball players,” Brown recently told The Undefeated. “A lot of people wait until the end of their careers to really get things going. I thought it would be more beneficial to start early, put your foot in the door and start educating yourself, because technology investments are where the real money is at.”
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
Before the stars of the future take the floor on Friday night, the NBA will trot out stars of yesteryear and celebrities trying to be athletes for the annual celebrity game. They’re even breaking out a 4-point line in the second half of the “game” to spark some more interest, so we’re not too far from the game becoming a less-physical version of Slamball.
This one is a hard sell, but at least there will be a former Celtics star taking part. Fresh off having his Celtics jersey retired last weekend, Paul Pierce will be a player-coach in this year’s All-Star Celebrity Game. He’ll share the bench with Framingham’s own Katie Nolan, one of the two celebrity head coaches this year.
Here’s a look at both rosters:
Team Clippers: Anthony Anderson (ABC’s “black-ish”), Brandon Armstrong (actor), Miles Brown (ABC’s “black-ish”), Win Butler (Arcade Fire), Common (actor, recording artist), Andre De Grasse (Olympic sprinter), Stefanie Dolson (WNBA’s Chicago Sky), Jamie Foxx (actor, musician), Paul Pierce (former NBA player), Dascha Polanco (actress, activist), Bubba Watson (two-time Masters champion) and Jason Williams (former NBA player).
Team Lakers: Sterling Brim (MTV’s “Ridiculousness”), Nick Cannon (actor, recording artist), Terence Crawford (boxer), Rachel DeMita (NBA2KTV host), Jerry Ferrara (HBO’s “Entourage”, STARZ’s “Power”), Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks co-owner), Tracy McGrady (former NBA player), Caleb McLaughlin (Netflix’s “Stranger Things”), Candace Parker (WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks), Nate Robinson (former NBA player), Drew Scott (HGTV’s “Property Brothers”) and Kris Wu (actor, singer, music producer).
So yeah, it’s a pretty hard sell with very limited entertainment value. But maybe Pierce will employ the double cell phone tactic he used at last year’s All-Star game:
NBA Skills Challenge
The Dunk Contest and Three Point Challenge are the talk of Saturday night, but not to be forgotten is the Skills Challenge. And really, it’s all Celtics fans have to look forward to on Saturday night.
After having Isaiah Thomas represent them in in the competition the last two years, Al Horford will be the one showing off his skills on Saturday night. The event was dominated by guards when it first started, but big men have brought home the Skills Challenge crown in each of the last two years in Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns. So there is some hope that Horford can pass, dribble and shoot his way to a skills title this year.
The C’s big man will be taking on Joel Embiid (76ers), Buddy Hield (Kings), Lou Williams (Clippers), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Lauri Markkanen (Bulls), Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets), and Jamal Murray (Nuggets).
Before Thomas’ two-year run in the Skills Challenge, Rajon Rondo was the last Celtics player to participate in 2012.
And if you’re just going to tune in for the other two events, here are their participants:
Three-Point Contest: Eric Gordon (Rockets), Devin Booker (Suns), Klay Thompson (Warriors), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Wayne Ellington (Heat), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Tobias Harris (Clippers), Paul George (Thunder)
Slam-Dunk Contest: Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Larry Nance, Jr. (Cavaliers), Dennis Smith Jr.(Mavericks)
NBA All-Star Game
The weekend ends with the annual exhibition on Sunday night, where thunderous dunks get thrown down every 12 seconds and defense is means for disqualification. It’s essentially two-plus hours of a glorified layup line, fake laughter on the bench and Taco Bell ads.
But we get to watch a pair of Celtics take the floor in Kyrie Irving and Horford, and they won’t be sharing the floor with each other. The NBA changed things up this year, scrapping the East vs. West matchup and letting stars LeBron James and Stephen Curry draft the two teams.
James and Irving will share the floor once again, playing on the same team for the first time since Irving’s messy breakup with the Cavs during the offseason.
Here’s what the two squads will look like on Sunday:
Team LeBron: LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Victor Oladipo, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Andre Drummond, Goran Dragic, Kemba Walker
DeMarcus Cousins (injured), Kevin Love (injured), Kristaps Porzingis (injured), John Wall (injured),
Team Stephen: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Joel Embiid, Draymond Green, James Harden, Al Horford, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson, Karl-Anthony Towns
As you can see, Team LeBron had a little trouble staying healthy ahead of the game. Hopefully that injury bug doesn’t bite anyone during Sunday’s meaningless exhibition, especially Irving. He has a big seven weeks ahead of him when the Celtics return to action on Feb. 23.