Young Stars come out for All-Star Weekend 2014
The big headline for the All-Star weekend, starting at the end of this week, is young star Damian Lillard. The reigning rookie of the year will be competing in five All-Star weekend activities, making history by becoming the first person to do so.
The weekend will be kicked off on Friday, February 14, with the BBVA Compass Rising Stars game which will feature rookies and sophomores drafted teams coached by Grant Hill and Chris Webber. Team Hill, which features names like Lillard from the Trailblazers, Bradley Beal and Andre Drummond, will go up against Team Webber, headlined by names such as the Pelicans' Anthony Davis, Tim Hardaway Jr of the Kicks, the Sixers' Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke of the Jazz and Vic Oladipo of the Magic. One notable absentee, however, is the so far impressive Miles Plumlee of the Phoenix Suns, who wasn't drafted to the pool.
Saturday will then see the Sears Shooting Star Challenge, which will feature names such as Kevin Durant, Chris Bosh as well as Steph Curry and both Tim Hardaways, the legend and his son.
Following that is the Taco Bell Skills Challenge which tests ball-handling skills. Lillard will be defending his title from fierce competitors such as Demar DeRozan and Goran Dragic. Two teams from each conference will compete through various timed dribbling-oriented courses with the eventual fastest team being crowned champions.
Damian Lillard will then move on to the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, which is star-studded this year with: Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as Joe Johnson from the Brooklyn Nets.
He'll then face staunch competition in the Sprite Slam-Dunk Challenge, competing against the likes of Indiana's Paul George, the Wizards' John Wall and the ever-impressive dunker and rookie Ben McLemore from the Kings.
Finally, he'll complete his weekend as a guard behind starting West point-guard and fellow first-time All-Star Steph Curry as the Western Conference tries to make it four wins in a row against an underperforming East this season. Those teams, for the 63rd NBA All-Star Game are:
Western Conference Starters
Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers
Stephen Curry, Golden State
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
Blake Griffin, LAClippers
Kevin Love, Minnesota
Eastern Conference Starters
Carmelo Anthony, New York
Paul George, Indiana
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
LeBron James, Miami
Dwyane Wade, Miami