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The National Basketball Association (NBA) holds an All-Star Weekend every February, with a variety of basketball-related events, exhibitions, and performances culminating in the NBA All-Star Game held on Sunday night.

The All-Star Game

The All-Star Game, held on Sunday, is the main event of the weekend. The 2008 game and its associated festivities were held in New Orleansmarker at the New Orleans Arenamarker. The 2009 game was held at US Airways Centermarker in Phoenixmarker, Arizonamarker.

Events of All-Star Weekend

Friday

  • NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game: First held in 2004, the game features retired NBA players, WNBA players, actors, musicians, and athletes from sports other than basketball.
  • Rookie Challenge: From 1994 until 1998, the event was called the "Rookie Game," and composed entirely of first-year players. Since the year 2000, the game has featured a team of first-year players ('Rookies') against a team of second-year players ('Sophomores').
  • D-League Dream Factory Friday Night: First held in 2008, the events includes a slam dunk contest, a three-point shootout and a H-O-R-S-E competition. These events were modeled after the NBA All-Star Saturday Night events.


Saturday

  • D-League All-Star Game: First held in 2007, this game features the best players from the NBA's "minor league". The First winner was the East by a score of 114-100. The D-League All-Star game was not held in the same arena as all the other All-Star Saturday activities. Instead, it was held on NBA Jam Session's practice court. Pops Mensah-Bonsu won the MVP award of the game with 30 points and 7 rebounds.
  • Slam Dunk Contest: This competition showcases the creativity and athletic ability of some of the league's best dunkers. The specific rules of the contest are decided each year, but the competition is always judged subjectively. After each dunk, or attempted dunk, competitors are awarded a mark out of 10 from five judges, giving a possible high score of 50. The usual rules of 'traveling' and double dribbling do not apply. The dunk contest is the highlight of the weekend.
  • Three-Point Shootout: The league's best three point shooters shoot five shots from five different spots around the three point line. Each shot is worth one point except the last ball of each rack (informally called 'money balls'), which is worth two points. The highest score available in one round is 30 points.
  • Skills Challenge: A relatively new event that pits selected players in a timed obstacle course of dribbling, shooting and passing. Agility, quickness and accuracy all come into play.
  • Shooting Stars Competition: A retired NBA player, a current NBA player and a WNBA player, representing their teams' cities compete together in a shooting competition.


Former events

  • Legends Classic: Held from 1984 to 1993, the Classic was a game featuring retired NBA players. As in the All-Star Game, the teams were designated East and West. The Legends game opened the Saturday program. The NBA canceled the Legends Classic after 1994 due to the players' frequent injuries from the game, perhaps due to the large range in fitness levels among younger and older alumni. The Shooting Stars competition is largely its replacement.


Additionally, the NBA Jam Session, a "theme park of basketball", has been a part of the All-Star festivities since 1992, with fans able to take part in numerous interactive basketball related activities from Thursday through Monday. The Jam Session is usually targeted to young fans.

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