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All-Stars NBA; 72 years of shining on the court

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All-star NBA
LeBron James during All-Star game in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo/NBA
  • Nigerian artists Rema, Tems and Burna Boy performed at All-Stars NBA Game 2023
  • Salt Lake City in Utah hosted the event
  • It took 30 years for the weekend game to return

All-stars NBA on February 19, in Salt Lake City was a fun-packed wonder game, thanks to many artists worldwide.

Nigerian artists Rema, Tems and Burna Boy gave the event an African touch during the halftime show. Each of these African superstars delivered a classic performance of their best records. Eventually, Team Giannis defeated Team LeBron 184-175 thanks to Jayson Tatum’s All-Star Game-high 55 points.

Tatum, a forward for the Boston Celtics, was awarded MVP after surpassing Anthony Davis’s previous mark of 52 points from 2017. LeBron James, the opposing team’s captain, sat out the last half of the game after injuring his little finger on the right hand.


Every February, All-Star NBA Game comes to life courtesy of the National Basketball Association. It is an exhibition game featuring 24 of the top players in the league and goes for three days running from Friday to Sunday. That’s why many people popularly know it as the NBA All-Star Weekend.

All-Stars Weekend

NBA game. Photo/Forbes

March 2, 1951 was the NBA All-Star’s first event, and the Boston Garden hosted the game for the first time. As a rule, each team has a 12-man roster. The media, fans and players alike vote on the starting lineup. Head coaches pick the reserves from the eastern and western conferences that make up the NBA.

Then, the NBA commissioner – currently Adam Silver – picks a stand-in player in case a chosen suffers an injury or is incapacitated to play. Team captains for each conference are ideally those who get the most votes; it’s the case since 2017. Further, you can choose captains from the available All-Star reserves to assemble their teams regardless of conference.

As for teams, LeBron James and Stephen Curry chose their teams for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, making them the first players to use the new system. The 2019 All-Star Game captains, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James, selected their teams live on TNT. It was in response to viewer excitement in the draughting process. Lastly, the teams also participate in charity matches to maintain the games’ competitiveness.


Los Angeles Lakers all-time scorer LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have 19 appearances each at the All-Stars NBA game. So far, the NBA weekend game has at least 443 basketball players selected once to the mega game roster. Of these 443, 302 have the honour of making it to the roster at least once.

Three frontcourt players and two guards make up the starting five from each conference. Remember, the media, players and fans vote for them. In 2017, the NBA switched from an entirely fan-backed system to an inclusive system in which player and media votes each contribute for 25% of the total vote, with 50% of the vote coming from fans.

Before 2013, supporters opted for two forwards and one centre over generic frontcourt players. The NBA started giving All-Star ballots for fan voting on the starters in English, Spanish, and Chinese in 2003.


There are 27 All-Stars in 2023, 24 of whom come from voting by the fans, players and the media. In addition, there are three other stand-by players picked by the NBA commissioner to step in should a player get injured.


Rema tems Burna boy

Nigerian arists Rema, Tems and Burna Boy. Photo/Rolling Stone

A host of artists entertained fans in Salt Lake City. Among them are Grammy award-winning artists from Nigeria, Burna Boy and Tems. Afrorave star, Rema famous for his ‘Calm Down’ hit song also entertained fans at the halftime show.

Born in Utah, American artist Jewel, Jully Black, and Post Malone also performed at the show.  The last time the NBA All-Star game was staged in Salt Lake City was 30 years ago. Since 1993, a lot has changed, including the location of th3 2023 celebrations, the game itself, and the players in the spotlight.


All-Star NBA Game in Salt Lake City brought NBA’s dedication to bringing communities together through service, and philanthropy using basketball. Although the weekend game was all about showing impressive plays and different competitions, it rekindled an old flame in Utah after 30 years. Now, it’s hard to forget how the 72nd edition of the All-Star Weekend went down.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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