The 2011 NBA All-Star game is in Los Angeles this year, and the entire weekend kicks off earlier than you might think. Here is a full list of events, when you can catch them, and what you should know about them.
- BBVA Celebrity Game, 4, ESPN: Because watching an entire 3d film dedicated to the life of Justin Beiber isn't enough for some of you people. You have to watch him play basketball too.
- T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, 6, TNT: The Rookies beat the Sophomores last year for the first time in recent memory. That winning team returns to face a new Rookie squad featuring Blake Griffin and others who intend to make life difficult for them. Eric Bledsoe of the Clippers is also on the rookie squad.
D-League All-Star Game, 2, NBA TV: Check this game out if you want a preview of what NBA basketball is going to look like if the big boys go on strike next year. Not pretty.
- Haier Shooting Stars, 5, TNT: This is the most hodge-podge event the All-Star game puts together every year, including the Celebrity game. For some reason, they put a current player together with a WNBA player from the same city, and a legend of the franchise together to shoot from some spots on the floor. You can probably skip this one.
- Taco Bell Skills Challenge, 5:30, TNT: This is when it starts to get good. The best point guards in the game try to weave their way around a basketball-centric obstacle course in the shortest amount of time. It sounds complex, but you kind of have to see it. Lots of good young talent on display in this one.
- Foot Locker 3-Pt Contest, Whenever the Skills Challenge is over, TNT: The best shooters in the game, or at least the best shooters willing to compete, try to earn bragging rights for the next calendar year. Ask Paul Pierce, he hasn't stopped talking about it since he won last year.
- Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, Whenever the 3-pt contest is over, TNT: This is the big show, or so we hope. It hasn't been good in a while, no matter what the hype says, but this year it should be good. Please save this event, Blake Griffin. No pressure though.
- 60th Annual All-Star Game, 4, TNT: This is what you've all been waiting for. All offense, no defense, and lots of dunks. Should be a good one this year, and the conclusion of an awfully busy weekend for Blake Griffin.