HANG TIME, Texas — If all goes according to plan, this might just be an advance preview for June when Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul could captain lineups with another championship on the line.
If they meet in four months in the NBA Finals, they’ll have the Larry O’Brien Trophy up for grabs. For now, it will be strictly for bragging rights as the All-Star guards for the Heat and Clippers square off in leading a first-ever overall team format on All-Star Saturday Night.
Miami’s Wade will lead the Eastern Conference and L.A.’s Paul the Western Conference in a night of competition that will raise money for charity. The selections were made by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. The captains were chosen, in part, for the leadership they have shown in supporting charitable causes.
As part of the new format, points earned by each conference throughout the four All-Star Skills Competitions will determine the conference that earns the title of 2013 State Farm All-Star Saturday Night Champion.
In addition, NBA Cares and State Farm will make a joint donation of $500,000 as part of the event, with $350,000 going to the winning conference’s charities and $150,000 to the runner-up conference’s charities. All of the charities will be selected by the conference captains, the NBA, and State Farm.
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, an all-inclusive skills showcase, will take place on Feb. 16 at the Toyota Center in Houston and will be televised live by TNT at 8 p.m. ET. The event consists of the Shooting Stars, a competition featuring NBA players, WNBA players, and NBA legends; the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, a contest of top guards working against the clock to complete a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills; the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest; and the Sprite Slam Dunk contest.
The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played on Feb. 17, at the Toyota Center, which will also host the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. NBA All-Star Jam Session, the hugely successful interactive basketball celebration, will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center and will host the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and the Sprint Pregame Concert.