NBA All-Star Weekend features a slew of activities, from basketball legend Clyde Drexler cooking up cuisine to hordes of hip-hop shows. Go to the Up on the Sun blog for the lowdown on the shows.
Our cover story this week explores the tattoos of Phoenix Suns players, but if you want to take a closer look at hoops stars from across the league, check out at these events:
NBA All-Star Jam Session at Phoenix Convention Center and NBA All-Star Block Party at US Airways Center, both starting at 4 p.m. each night and featuring a variety of interactive activities, including skills challenges, shooting, dribbling, and free autograph sessions with NBA players. Tickets $12-$20. Visit NBA.com for more information.
Thursday, February 12
• 944 All-Star Weekend's Amar'e Stoudemire party featuring DJs Reach, Ross One, OB One, and Vice at the W in Scottsdale (tickets $50 to $100, visit www.944.com/944allstar for more information).
• Earvin "Magic" Johnson signs his book, 32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business at Borders (2402 East Camelback Road in Phoenix), 7 p.m.
Friday, February 13
• McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at Phoenix Convention Center, 4:30 p.m. Participants to be announced. Tickets $25.
• Amar'e Stoudemire's All-Star Brunch at Stoudemire's Downtown, 9-11 a.m. Raises money for Stoudemire's Each 1, Teach 1 Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix. Costs $125.
• VitaminWater Nash Bash at the Mondrian in Scottsdale. Steve Nash hosts this benefit for the Steve Nash Foundation. Tickets are $1,300 per person; tickets for an exclusive pre-party dinner with Nash are available for an additional $13,000 donation. Visit www.stevenash.org for more information.
• Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam at US Airways Center, 7 p.m. Nine NBA rookies and nine NBA sophomores play each other. Participants include Albuquerque Thunder guard/forward Kevin Durant, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley, Clippers guard Eric Gordon, L.A. Clippers forward Al Thornton, and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose. Tickets $10-$40.
• NBA D-League Dream Factory Friday Night at Phoenix Convention Center, 7:15 p.m. The evening features a dunk contest with participants including Idaho forward Brent Petway (last year's champion), and Reno Bighorns forward Patrick Ewing, Jr.; a three-point shootout with participants including Bakersfield Jam and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Trey Johnson and Dakota Wizards guard Blake Ahearn; and a game of H.O.R.S.E. with participants including Idaho Stampede center Lance Allred (last year's champion) and L.A. Clippers and Lakers guard Joe Crawford. Tickets $7-$20.
Saturday, February 14
• 944 All Star Weekend's Dwyane Wade party, featuring Common, at the W in Scottsdale (tickets cost $50- $100, visit www.944.com/944allstar for more information).
• Shaq & Cedric the Entertainer's All-Star Comedy Jam at Celebrity Theatre, 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $60-$150.
• NBA D-League All-Star Game at Phoenix Convention Center, 2 p.m. Participants include Anaheim's James White, Colorado's Josh Davis, Utah's Ronald Dupree, Iowa's Courtney Sims, Idaho's Luke Jackson, and Dakota's Maurice Baker. Tickets $7-$20.
• NBA Cares & Cooks at Phoenix Convention Center, 9 p.m. Local chefs like Eddie Matney and Vincent Guerithault make food with celebrity sous chefs and Basketball Hall of Famers Bob Lanier, Rick Barry, George Gervin, Dominique Wilkins, and Clyde Drexler. Also includes a jazz performance by bassist and former Suns player Wayman Tisdale. To purchase tickets, visit www.nba-caresandcooks.com.
• NBA All-Star practice at Phoenix Convention Center, 10:30 a.m. Tickets $35.
• NBA All-Star Saturday Night at US Airways Center, starting at 1 p.m. Includes the PlayStation Skills Challenge, in which players complete an obstacle course that features dribbling, passing, and shooting stations, while observing basic NBA ball-handling rules. Scheduled participants include San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson, and New Jersey Nets guard Devin Harris. There's also a three-point shootout, with participants including Atlanta Hawks guard Mike Bibby, Toronto Raptors guard/forward (and defending champ) Jason Kapono, and Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger. The night also features the Sprite Slam Dunk, with participants including defending champion Orlando center Dwight Howard, Portland Trail Blazers guard/forward Rudy Fernandez, Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, and New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson. Tickets are sold out.
• Love & Basketball Block Party at Axis/Radius in Scottsdale, 7 p.m. With Busta Rhymes, Chris Bosh, Vaughn Anthony, and John Legend's Band. Tickets $40-$100.
Sunday, February 15
• All-Star Sunday Grand Finale at Myst in Scottsdale, 9 p.m. With LeBron James, Ludacris, Keri Hilson, DJ LS One, and DJ Mark Da Spot. Tickets $100.
• NBA All-Star Game at US Airways Center, 6 p.m. Tickets are sold out.
Eastern Conference starters: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic, center; LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, small forward; Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics, power forward; Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, shooting guard, and Allen Iverson, Detroit Pistons, point guard. Reserves: Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Boston Celtics; Rashard Lewis Orlando Magic; Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers; Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks; Devin Harris, New Jersey Nets, and Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors.
Western Conference starters: Yao Ming, Houston Rockets, center; Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, power forward; Amar'e Stoudemire, Suns, small forward; Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers, shooting guard, and Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets, point guard. Reserves: Shaquille O'Neal, Suns; Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks; Chauncey Billups, Denver Nuggets; Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers; Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs; Brandon Roy, Portland Trail Blazers, and David West, New Orleans Hornets.
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