Photo courtesy of @NBAAllStar / Twitter

The 2017 NBA All-Star festivities are finally here! Shifting from the shadows of Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star appearance the year before, 2017’s edition not only will feature all the big-names like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but will feature the next generation of young stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kemba Walker, and Gordon Hayward.

Originally, the big event was supposed to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, but following the controversy of the state’s “bathroom bill” better known as HB2, the NBA announced the relocation of the annual event from Charlotte to New Orleans in August 2016.

This year’s NBA All-Star Weekend has many huge storylines going into it: Russell Westbrook’s triple-double barrage (not to forget his relationship with Kevin Durant), trade talks involving the biggest stars (Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony), and the rise of the next generation of stars among few.

Source: NBA.com

Basketball’s biggest midseason classic has continued to get younger, featuring some of the brightest stars in the league. With the retirements of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, it has allowed the shift away from “legacy picks” and the rise of deserving picks for players like Gordon Hayward and DeAndre Jordan. While there are still other over-30 players who are former All-Stars in the league (Rajon Rondo, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade), many are past their former glory, forcing the rosters with youth that will allow for a a much closer competition.

For the All-Star Game on Sunday night, many records will look to have new names up top. Last year’s edition featured the record for most combined points (369), most combined three-point field goals (51) and most points by one team (196). The game has seen less and less defense played over the past few contests, leading to more open dunks and shots, but there’s a high chance that we will see the first All-Star team to put up 200 points.

With all eyes on the city of New Orleans, a few of our writers gave our predictions for All-Star Saturday night and the main event on Sunday:

Below is a full schedule for events on Saturday and Sunday:

(ALL TIMES ARE IN EST)

Saturday, February 18th

11 a.m. – Naismith Hall of Fame Announcement

12 a.m. – NBA All-Star Practice (NBA TV)

2:30 p.m. – NBA D-League All-Star Game (NBA TV)

8 p.m. – State Farm All-Star Saturday Night (TNT)

  • Taco Bell Skills Challenge
    • Devin Booker, Suns
    • DeMarcus Cousins, Kings
    • Anthony Davis, Pelicans
    • Gordon Hayward, Jazz
    • Nikola Jokic*, Nuggets (INJURY REPLACEMENT FOR EMBIID)
    • Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks
    • Isaiah Thomas, Celtics
    • John Wall, Wizards
    • *Joel Embiid, 76ers (INJURED, WILL NOT PARTICIPATE)
  • JBL Three-Point Contest
    • Eric Gordon, Rockets
    • Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers
    • Kyle Lowry, Raptors
    • Wes Matthews, Mavericks
    • CJ McCollum, Blazers
    • Klay Thompson, Warriors
    • Kemba Walker, Hornets
    • Nick Young, Lakers
  • Verizon Slam Dunk Contest
    • Aaron Gordon, Magic
    • DeAndre Jordan, Clippers
    • Glenn Robinson III, Pacers
    • Derrick Jones Jr., Suns

Sunday, February 19

11 a.m. – NBA Legends Brunch (NBA TV)

8 p.m. – 66th NBA All-Star Game (TNT)

  • Western Conference:
    • Stephen Curry, Warriors
    • Anthony Davis, Pelicans
    • Kevin Durant, Warriors
    • James Harden, Rockets
    • Kawhi Leonard, Spurs
    • DeMarcus Cousins, Kings
    • Marc Gasol, Grizzlies
    • Draymond Green, Warriors
    • Gordon Hayward, Jazz
    • DeAndre Jordan, Clippers
    • Klay Thompson, Warriors
    • Russell Westbrook, Thunder
  • Eastern Conference:
    • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
    • Jimmy Butler, Bulls
    • DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
    • Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers
    • LeBron James, Cavaliers
    • Paul George, Pacers
    • Kevin Love*, Cavaliers (INJURED, WILL NOT PLAY)
    • Kyle Lowry, Raptors
    • Paul Millsap, Hawks
    • Isaiah Thomas, Celtics
    • Kemba Walker, Hornets
    • John Wall, Wizards
    • Carmelo Anthony*, Knicks (INJURY REPLACEMENT FOR LOVE)

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Follow Arthur Puu on Twitter: @arthurpuu