For the first time ever, the NBA packed events that typically take place over two nights of All-Star Weekend into one night of action in Atlanta. Our analyst Kevin Pelton graded all the competitors in the skills challenge, 3-point and slam dunk contests as well as the main event, the 70th All-Star Game.
As a concession to the difficulty of maintaining a bubble to protect players amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the events typically held on Saturday night were held before Sunday's game and scaled back slightly with six participants each instead of the usual eight in the skills challenge and 3-point contest. The dunk contest was held during halftime with three competitors instead of the usual four.
The All-Star Game itself was played with the new "target score" format introduced in 2020 that injected more intensity for a thrilling conclusion.
In conjunction with the All-Star Game, the NBA will provide more than $3 million in support to fund scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Direct Relief's Fund for Health Equity.
As always, competitors were graded on their performance, their effort level and their ability to bring creative flair to a night designed for fans watching at home.