NBA

The Complete Guide to NBA All-Star 2021

We've reached the midway point in the 2020-21 NBA season, meaning All-Star Weekend is upon us, with the All-Star Game set to take place on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA.

After the season opened in late December, this year's All-Star festivities are taking place a few weeks later than normal. Also unique to this year is that it will be an all-encompassing one-day experience, with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and MTN DEW 3-Point Contest preceding the All-Star Game, and the AT&T Slam Dunk taking place at halftime of the game.

MORE: NBA All-Star Central

Due to time constraints, the Rising Stars Challenge will not be held this year but rosters were named to honour the league's top first- and second-year players.

As it might be a little difficult to keep up with all of the changes in this year's All-Star format, we've got you covered below with a guide of all you need to know ahead of NBA All-Star 2021.

Click below to jump down for more info on each topic.

2021 NBA All-Star Game

All-Star Events

Rising Stars Rosters

When and where is NBA All-Star 2021?

NBA All-Star 2021 will be on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA, home of the Atlanta Hawks.

With all scheduled events taking place on Sunday, the night begins with the Skills Challenge, which starts at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be immediately followed by the 3-Point Contest. Upon the conclusion of the Skills Challenge and the 3-Point Contest, All-Stars will begin warming up for the 70th NBA All-Star game, scheduled to tip off at 8:00 p.m. ET.

This is the first time that the city of Atlanta has hosted the All-Star Game since 2003, which was Michael Jordan's final All-Star appearance.

While the weekend was originally slated to take place in Indianapolis, IN, the move to Atlanta was prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Indianapolis has been awarded NBA All-Star 2024.

Who is starting in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game?

Just as in years past, fans accounted for 50 percent of All-Star starters voting while the other 50 percent was made up by current players and a media panel, with each side accounting for 25 percent of the vote.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was the leading vote-getter from fans for a fifth-straight year and will serve as a captain alongside Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, who was the East's leading vote-getter.

Although a hamstring injury will hold Durant out of this year's All-Star Game, he will still serve as captain for Team Durant. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum will start in place of Durant.

Here's a look at how the starting lineups were selected in this year's All-Star draft.

NBA All-Star Game 2021 Starters
Team LeBron Team Durant
LeBron James (Captain), Los Angeles Lakers Frontcourt Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics*
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks Frontcourt Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets Frontcourt Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors Guard Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks Guard Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

* Tatum will start in place of the injured Durant

** Williamson will start in place of Joel Embiid, who has been placed in the league's health and safety protocols

Who are the All-Star reserves?

Following the announcement of All-Star starters, the league's 30 head coaches voted to select seven All-Star reserves from their respective conference but could not select players from their own team.

Coaches were to select two guards, three frontcourt players and two other players of either designation, which are also considered to be wild cards. Injury replacements were selected by Commissioner Adam Silver.

Team Durant made the first selection among the pool of reserves. Here's how the rest of the rosters turned out.

NBA All-Star Game 2021 Reserves
Team LeBron Team Durant
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers James Harden, Brooklyn Nets
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers*** Devin Booker*, Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Paul George, LA Clippers Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz**

*Booker was selected as an injury replacement for Lakers forward Anthony Davis

**Conley was selected as an injury replacement for Booker.

***Simmons has been placed in the league's health and safety protocols and will not play

First-time All-Stars

After seeing 10 first-time All-Stars in 2020, there are five first-time All-Stars in this year's game:

  • Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
  • Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
  • Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
  • Julius Randle, New York Knicks
  • Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

It is worth noting that Williamson (20 years, 244 days) will be the fourth-youngest player in NBA history to take part in an All-Star Game.

Read more on first-time All-Stars here .

All-Star coaches

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder will be the lead man for Team LeBron while 76ers head coach Doc Rivers will be at the helm for Team Durant.

Both Snyder and Rivers were named All-Star coaches on Feb. 19 as each of their respective teams clinched the top record in their respective conferences through games played on Feb. 21. While it is the third time Rivers will coach an All-Star Game (2008, 2011), this is the first time Snyder will coach in an All-Star Game.

Format

After last year's success, the 2021 NBA All-Star Game will have the same competitive format as the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, a dynamic that makes every quarter count.

  • The two All-Star teams will compete to win each quarter for their respective beneficiaries.
  • Each of the first three quarters will begin with a score of 0-0 and will last 12 minutes. The winner of each 12-minute quarter (first, second and third) will be the team that scores the most points within the quarter.
  • The fourth quarter will be untimed and the teams will play to a Final Target Score, meaning that the game will end with a made basket or a made free throw instead of with the clock running out.
  • The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team's total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points - the 24 representing Kobe Bryant's jersey number.
  • The first team to reach (or surpass) the Final Target Score will win the NBA All-Star Game.

HBCU Support and COVID-19 Relief

As part of NBA All-Star 2021, the NBA announced additional details regarding the NBA family's collective support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and communities of colour disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As previously announced, the NBA family, including partners AT&T, MTN DEW®, State Farm® and Taco Bell®, will collectively provide more than $3 million in initial support to the HBCU community through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), UNCF (United Negro College Fund), National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO) and Direct Relief's Fund for Health Equity.

Through contributions and awareness, the NBA family will further the urgent and longstanding work and traditions of these organizations and institutions to create greater educational, financial and health equity. During the past year, public health data has made clear that the cumulative effect of historic racial and economic inequities in our country have worsened the impact of the pandemic on communities of colour and predominately Black institutions. HBCUs - which produce 20 percent of the country's Black college graduates but only account for three percent of all colleges in the United States - were particularly impacted by COVID-19, experiencing drastic declines in funding and enrollment.

All-Star Events

  • Date: Sunday, March 7
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV (Canada): SNE / SNO / SNP / TSN

What is normally known as All-Star Saturday night will take place on Sunday, serving as a precursor to this year's All-Star Game.

The night begins with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, a field highlighted by five All-Stars.

Taco Bell Skills Challenge

2021 Skills Challenge Participants
Player Team Position
Robert Covington Portland Trail Blazers Frontcourt
Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks Guard
Chris Paul Phoenix Suns Guard
Julius Randle New York Knicks Frontcourt
Domantas Sabonis Indiana Pacers Frontcourt
Nikola Vucevic Orlando Magic Frontcourt

MTN DEW 3-Point Contest

This year's 3-point contest field is comprised entirely of All-Stars and features two former 3-Point Contest champions.

MORE: History of 3-Point Contest winners

2021 3-Point Contest Participants
Player Team 3PM/G 3P%
Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics 2.3 .389
Mike Conley Utah Jazz 2.8 .422
Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors 4.8 .413
Zach LaVine Chicago Bulls 3.5 .433
Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz 3.3 .380
Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics 2.6 .364

AT&T Slam Dunk

While the above two events will take place before the game, this year's Slam Dunk Contest will double as halftime entertainment for the All-Star Game.

In years past, the Dunk Contest field has consisted of four players but this year, three of the league's up-and-coming high flyers will take part. It will be the first Dunk Contest appearance for each of the three players, two of whom are rookies.

2021 Dunk Contest Participants
Player Team Height Age
Anfernee Simons Portland Trail Blazers 6-3 21
Cassius Stanley Indiana Pacers 6-5 21
Obi Toppin New York Knicks 6-9 23

Rising Stars Rosters

Missing from this year's All-Star festivities is the Rising Stars Challenge, the league's annual showcase of first- and second-year players, which will not be played due to the limitation of having All-Star events all on one night. Although there won't be a game played this year, the NBA recognized its Rising Stars by announcing rosters on Wednesday, March 3.

Below, find the rosters for the U.S. Team and World Team.

U.S. Team Roster
Player Team Pos. Birthdate Prior to NBA Exp.
LaMelo Ball Charlotte Hornets G 08/22/01 Illawarra R
Anthony Edwards Minnesota Timberwolves G 08/05/01 Georgia R
Tyrese Haliburton Sacramento Kings G 02/29/00 Iowa State R
Tyler Herro Miami Heat G 01/20/00 Kentucky 1
De'Andre Hunter Atlanta Hawks F 12/02/97 Virginia R
Keldon Johnson San Antonio Spurs G/F 10/11/99 Kentucky 1
Ja Morant Memphis Grizzlies G 08/10/99 Murray State 1
Michael Porter Jr. Denver Nuggets F 06/29/98 Missouri 1
Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans F 07/06/00 Duke 1
James Wiseman Golden State Warriors C 03/31/01 Memphis R
World Team Roster
Player Team Pos. Birthdate Prior to NBA/Home Country Exp.
Precious Achiuwa Miami Heat F 09/19/99 Memphis/Nigeria R
Nickeil Alexander-Walker New Orleans Pelicans G 09/02/98 Virginia Tech/Canada 1
Deni Avdija Washington Wizards F 01/03/01 Maccabi Tel Aviv/Israel R
RJ Barrett New York Knicks G/F 06/14/00 Duke/Canada 1
Facundo Campazzo Denver Nuggets G 03/23/91 Real Madrid/Argentina R
Brandon Clarke Memphis Grizzlies F 09/19/96 Gonzaga/Canada 1
Luguentz Dort Oklahoma City Thunder G 04/19/99 Arizona State/Canada 1
Rui Hachimura Washington Wizards F 02/08/98 Gonzaga/Japan 1
Théo Maledon Oklahoma City Thunder G 06/12/01 ASVEL/France R
Mychal Mulder Golden State Warriors G 06/12/94 Kentucky/Canada 1

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