All-Star Saturday Gets A Makeover

Portland's Damian Lillard will have a busy weekend in New Orleans. (Cameron Browne/NBAE)

Portland’s Damian Lillard will have a busy weekend in New Orleans. (Cameron Browne/NBAE)

There will still be the rim-rattling, mind-bending slam dunks, the barrage of breathtaking 3-pointers and the dazzling array of skills on display when the greatest talent in basketball gathers.

But State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will undergo an extreme makeover this year in New Orleans with rule changes for all four of the events and an overall team competition between the Eastern and Western conferences — led by captains Paul George and Stephen Curry — with $500,000 in charitable contributions on the line.

Perhaps the most familiar name by the end of the extravaganza will be guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, who will be busier than a trumpet player in a French Quarter brass band. He’s taking part in three of Saturday’s four events — including stints as a dunker, a long-distance shooter and a playmaker in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. The 2013 Rookie of the Year already has a busy dance card; he’s scheduled to play in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night and in the 63rd NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.

The most dramatic change Saturday is coming in the night’s marquee event, the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. The competition will feature six dunkers, three from each conference, in a free-wheeling, two-round showdown to determine the best conference. For the first time in the event’s history, no individual dunker will be crowned. Instead, the title will go to the best conference. Complete rules.

Dunking for the Eastern Conference will be the team captain George of the Pacers, 2013 champion Terrence Ross of the Raptors and John Wall of the Wizards.  The Western Conference dunkers will be Lillard, Harrison Barnes of the Warriors and Ben McLemore of the Sacramento Kings.

The 6-foot-3 Lillard will be battling in the land of the giants as the shortest participant in the slam dunk contest.

Highlights: George | Ross | Wall | Lillard | Barnes | McLemore

Before he puts on his dunking shoes, Lillard will be showing off his marksmanship as part of the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.  The other participants are Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers, Bradley Beal of the Wizards, Joe Johnson of the Nets and Arron Afflalo of the Magic for the East.  Curry of the Warriors, Marco Belinelli of the Spurs and Kevin Love of the Timberwolves will join Lillard shooting for the West.

The major rule change in the contest is that players will have an entire rack of “money balls,” which count double, that can be placed in any of the five shooting positions around the court. Complete rules.

The Taco Bells Skills challenge has been turned into a relay race this year with each conference fielding two teams consisting of two players each.  Each team will run the course, competing in a relay format for a single overall time. Complete rules.

The ubiquitous Lillard will team with Trey Burke of the Jazz and Reggie Jackson of the Thunder will team with Goran Dragic of the Suns to make up the Western Conference lineup.  The East teams will be Michael Carter-Williams of the Sixers with Victor Oladipo of the Magic and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors with rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks.

The Sears Shooting Stars will once again team a current NBA player with a WNBA star and an NBA legend in a time competition that will require four shots made from different spots on the court.

Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Knicks and Chris Bosh of the Heat will head up the East teams, while Kevin Durant of the Thunder and Curry will lead the West. Complete rules.

Each conference will be competing for charity. A total of $500,000 will be donated at the end of the night. For each competition, $100,000 will go to the winning conference’s charities, with $25,000 going to the charities of the runner-up.

State Farm All-Star Saturday night will be televised exclusively on TNT on Feb. 15 (8 p.m. ET).

[UPDATE: TNT will hold a fan vote during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest to determine the Sprite Dunker of the Night. The winner of that vote will be considered the individual champion for the competition.]

Video: 2014 All-Star Saturday Night Participants


  1. NO says:

    I hate the new format. INDIVIDUAL COMPETITIONS.

  2. qqdq says:

    I think its dumb that they take away the slam dunk title, the beauty of allstar weekend, is that roleplayers has a shot at winning something individually, either its skills challenge, 3pt contest or dunk contest, DONT take that away from them.

  3. keek says:

    man I was hoping green and evans would be participating.

  4. nbafan says:

    In my opinion
    1. No Slam Dunk Contest winner is dumb, shouldn’t have changed a thing
    2. One full rack of money balls in the 3PTS contest is dumb, shouldn’t have changed a thing

    as for my predictions:
    1.Sears Shooting Stars: Team 2 West(KDurant/KMalone/SDiggins)
    2.Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Team 1 West(TBurke/DLillard)
    3.Foot Locker 3PC Stephen Curry
    4.Sprite Slam Dunk Contest Eastern Conference
    5.All-Star Game Eastern Conference

  5. chonun says:

    absurd. no slam dunk champ. smh.

  6. Very interesting article. Content has been written in very nice manner. I enjoy reading this kind of stuff. Thanks for sharing good knowledge.

  7. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    ^^ Well Chris you could always go into one of these nba arenas and shoot a few people

  8. chris says:

    Another year of disbelieve! The so called “SUPER STARS” of the NBA, that get paid millions to do what they love will be cheering on the side lines while Americans watch the lower paid “ROLE PLAYERS” compete. The proceeds going to charity is a JOKE! “Reality TV” has shown the world the lavish living of Pro athletes. But what do i know? I only served 10 years in the Army. Im just a average size guy, can’t jump the highest, or shoot a “basketball” with much precision. Just a guy thats willing to sacrifice his life to better his wife and two kids. In addition, the so called “salute to troops” commercials are ridiculous! Would be great to benefit more than just words. Wish I could redeem all the “thank you for your service” with something I can actually use. The 10% discounts of the 1% of participating business is sad. if I saved every penny since my entry in service, it would not compare to Lebron James upcoming new contract. So instead I will do what we all do with are savings. Buy front row tickets, expensive food, and over priced shoes.

  9. kayebop says:


  10. Matt says:

    We need an individual dunk contest for these to be memorable at all. No one will look back in 15 years and say, remember when the east squad won the dunk contest back in ’14? If they want an East vs. West (to mirror the All-Star game itself) then at give an MVP award at the end like the all-star game does. At least that way we will all know who really “won.”

  11. me says:

    shake-up is utter BS but run a vote on the shake-up to squeeze more money out of it, getting good at it….

  12. flip says:

    Did you people not read the article?

  13. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    I don’t mind the other changes, but they shouldn’t have touched the 3 point shooting contest

  14. kellogs says:

    totes love the father-son combinations of hardaway jr and sr and seth and dell curry

  15. Mantas says:

    No slam dunk champ? What the hell?

  16. Brno says:

    Slam Dunk—EAST COAST
    Sears shooting stars—There is no contest here its the Curry family for sure he is a great shooter and so was his dad.
    Taco bell—– Goran Dragic all day no doubt.
    3 Point —— SCURRY (although there are not great shooters there, specially in the east coast-Why there are no white players there).Where are the eastern shooters?

  17. Joe says:


    I don´t understand how an idea thrown on the table as “let´s make conference vs conference for the slam dunk !” gets to the point to be acceped It means people around that table are like “Oh yeah! Great idea! Why didn´t we think about it before! And so we would give the trophy to the conference who make the best dunks? Yes sir! Fabulous! ”

    -Sir, should we make a poll on it? Like on the NBA site just to know what peope think ?
    -Nahhh, it´s such a great idea… You´ll see.

    WHAT THE ..UK!

    And so, it will stay in the books as winner 2014 … (W)EASTERN CONFERENCE.

    30 teams, something like 450 players, and you don´t have… What? Six players who wants that title…
    Seriously, I prefer a slam duk contest with no big creativity than no real slam dunk contest.
    People think that because “everything was done”, it ain´t interesting anymore. Wrong!
    You´ll get slam-dunk contests with great creativity once every three-four years, and that´s ok… It shouldn´t be about WHAT´S NEW. But which dunk that night was better… and shame on the most famous players of this league… Lebron and co… People pay, people watch. Put on some show! I saw Shaq calling guys publicly on the show, and he was right.

    Oh, and whoever chose the shirt design for the all-star game… Come on… Look at the starters pictures. They look like they have big bellys. In less than a minute, I can draw you a better design!.

  18. Dave says:

    Elena and the Hardaway’s? If you can’t tell who is who, Elena is the tall one 🙂

  19. Alex says:

    Way to kill the Slam Dunk contest ! This is a dumber idea than the sleeved jerseys. Year after year the Dunk Contest gets worse and worse. WHY??? Remember the Michael and Dominique rivalry? The Dunk Contest is – and always should be – an individual event.

    Such a BIG disappointment, yet again…

  20. Eerrr says:

    If I were Terry Stotts i wouldnt allow Damian to take part of all these events. The Blazers are expected to have a long playoffs run and this busy weekend could seriously hurt his body. No matter how young or athletic he is, I think he’s being too selfish and seems to have forgotten the high expectations of his team. Even guys like Lebron didn’t want to take AS weekends like that for his team’s sake!

  21. Messed up says:

    This is dumb….
    3-point and dunkcontest should have been left as it was.
    What they could have done was, first decide which conference dunks/shoots best, and then let them sort it out between the remaining players of the winning conference.
    There always have to be an individual winner.
    Nice change, Adam Silver., …NOT!

    • artifex says:

      Agree, …partly.

      Generally, I like the idea of including the East-West competition to the Saturday events. BUT:
      Totally agree, there need to be a single person as SDC and TPS winners.
      For the shootout there will be – the winner of the champions round, that’s OK for me.
      For the SDC I like that they reduced the the number of tries to 3. OK if you miss once and get 2nd try but in recent years players tried as difficult things they needed 4,5,6 times and I got lost after the 2nd.
      But good idea to crown the one with the best record in the winning conference.

      For the shootout I also preferred the city/region teams, like Atlanta, NY, or Texas, with WNBA and also the legend connected to that team/region. Now its all mixed up.

      But not sure whether it’s really Mr Silvers fault. he just started, and does the commish put up the rules for ASW?

  22. cPLSDJK says:

    WTF! no slam dunk champ, man they really try to destroy the slam dunk competition

  23. Sorin says:

    Man, the west is gonna get owned!

  24. DC says:

    did you not read the article, there is no slam dunk champion, only a winning conference.

  25. Not sure about Damian, looks like doing little too much than having fun! Hope he comes out good for the rest of the season both mentally and physically!

  26. agentvine says:

    the beasts are in the east!!

  27. G-Money123 says:

    Skills Challenge : Demar Derozan
    Three-point Contest : Stephen Curry
    Slam Dunk : Terrence Ross
    Rising Star: Team Webber ( A.Davis MVP ! )

  28. gamezone101 says:

    sears shooting star: Team 2: Chris Bosh (MIA); Dominique Wilkins (Legend); Swin Cash (Chicago Sky)
    taco bell skills challenge: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
    foot locker three point: Stephen Curry, Golden State
    slam dunk: either of the three
    > Paul George, Indiana Pacers
    > Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors
    > John Wall, Washington Wizards
    rising star: team webber will win…