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All-Star Friday: Festivities kick off with Celebrity Game, Rising Stars Challenge

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It’s Friday night and All-Star Weekend is here! Here’s what’s on tap.

Celebrities Attend The 66th NBA All-Star Game
Celebs in da house!
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The most celebrated stars of the basketball world have descended upon Los Angeles for the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend! Being in Tinsel Town, the celebs will be out in en force and TMZ will be reaaaaaal busy.

On Saturday, Klay Thompson will try to reclaim his crown as Three-Point King while, on Sunday, fellow Splash Bro. Stephen Curry will lead the Western Conference All-Stars to a victory so dominant it will leave Eastern Conference stars with visions of demon-faced basketballs dancing in their heads.

Oh, we know, we know — the All-Star contests don’t really matter, save for a year-long right to brag and taunt opponents on the court during games that count.

But the All-Star contests are fun! For players, it gives them the chance to cut loose — to socialize with guys they don’t see every day ... probably get their drink on ... and decompress from the first half of a long, injury-laden season. Fans, meanwhile, get to drink it all in: the acrobatic slam-dunks, three-point bonanza, and guys out there solely to entertain and have fun.

This, of course, means nary a shred of defense will be played. But that means you can now play drinking/gambling games with your friends about the number of three-pointers Klay will drop in, or the final West vs. East score.

Until then, crack open your favorite beverage and settle in for the following All-Star Friday events:

All-Star Celebrity Game

When: Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 — 4:00 PM PST

Where: Verizon Up Arena at Los Angeles Convention Center

National TV: ESPN

Local TV: ESPN App

Granted, with Sterling Brim and Nick Cannon on Team Lakers, the word “celebrity” is being used loosely for these Tinsel Town-based All-Star festivities.

Rising Stars Challenge: USA vs. the World

When: Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 — 6:00 PM PST

Where: Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles

National TV: TNT

Local TV: TNT-SAP

Team USA will be without the services of an injured Lonzo Ball (and, hopefully, his big-mouthed father). But the USA squad will still be represented by two Lakers: Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram.

The World roster is deep with Philadelphia 76ers players: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric.

Let’s just hope Embiid doesn’t spot Rihanna in the crowd.