Fan's guide to All-Star Weekend 2015

Want to go dancing spinning with the stars this weekend? There will be plenty of opportunities. Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- New York City is the center of the NBA universe as All-Star Weekend takes over Manhattan and Brooklyn for the next three days.

The NBA's towering stars, plus celebrities and musicians (Drake was already spotted at a Kanye outdoor concert Thursday night in the Flatiron District -- gasp!) will mingle among the skyscrapers and call NYC their home this weekend -- culminating with the league's showcase All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Even if you don't have tickets to the big game or All-Star Saturday's 3-point Shootout and Slam Dunk Contest at Barclays Center, or have a VIP pass into one of the several swanky All-Star celebrity parties scattered throughout the city, there are still plenty of ways to satisfy your basketball fix.

Here's your fan's guide to NBA All-Star Weekend.


NBA House: Looking to meet some current players or former NBA legends, test your skills on a court, get some coaching on how to improve your handles in a clinic or buy the latest All-Star swag? Then NBA House is your spot.

Think of it as an NBA house party. NBA players and legends will make special appearances, and local performers will entertain throughout the weekend. The two locations -- in Brooklyn (LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre) and Manhattan (Skylight at Moynihan Station) -- feature a full-size court that will hold clinics and competitions.

The Brooklyn NBA House has sessions that begin at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and is open through Sunday. The Manhattan NBA House location is open through Monday.

For Brooklyn, tickets can be purchased here. For Manhattan, tickets can be purchased here.

Just Do It: There's also plenty to do this weekend for Air Jordan fans and sneakerheads.

Want to put yourself in Michael Jordan's shoes and experience some of his greatest moments? From Friday to Sunday in Manhattan, there's the Jordan All-Star Consumer Brand Space (401 Seventh Ave.) featuring a video motion capture wall where fans can jump into some of MJ's most memorable plays. This is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In Brooklyn, there's the Jordan Brand Brooklyn pop-up shop (166 Flatbush Ave.) with exclusive All-Star Week releases and special appearances. It's open through Monday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Nike also offers fans access to athletes and trainers and to top competition at two locations: Zoom City Arena on Canal Street and Varick Street, and at Zoom City Town Square at Niketown New York on 57th Street. The events run from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more info, click here.

Plus, there's the 5,100-square-foot House of Hoops by Foot Locker in front of Madison Square Garden, which features basically a shoe museum exhibit and offers a unique in-store customization center.

NBA celebrity game: On Friday night, see Carmelo Anthony slide into Derek Fisher's expensive designer shoes when he takes the sidelines at the Garden to coach in the celebrity game.

Melo, New York's unofficial ambassador of All-Star Weekend, and ESPN Radio's Mike Greenberg will coach the East squad featuring former celebrity game MVP comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Common. Former Knick Allan Houston also will play for the East.

Drawing up plays on the West sideline will be diehard Knicks fan and director Spike Lee, plus ESPN Radio's Mike Golic. The West squad features actors Nick Cannon and Anthony Anderson, NBA legend Chris Mullin and WNBA star Skylar Diggins.

The celebrity game is at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge: This year's Rising Stars event is being touted as "U.S. against the world." It will feature first- and second-year NBA players from the U.S., including Philadelphia's Nerlens Noel, against first- and second-year international NBA players like Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins.

Perhaps Brooklyn's own Mason Plumlee (U.S. team) and Milwaukee's "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo (international) will dunk early and often and provide an preview of what could come Saturday night when they participate in the dunk contest.

The Rising Stars Challenge starts at 9 p.m. at Barclays Center and will be televised on TNT.

Friday All-Star fun fact: The NBA and its partners will cover the city with more than 11,100 prominent billboards, building wraps, wrapped subway cars and dynamic signage.


NBA All-Star practice: Practice? Practice! Watch the East and West All-Stars channel their inner Allen Iverson and practice in front of everyone at the Garden. The practice will be televised by NBA TV starting at 10:30 a.m.

NBA House: NBA House continues in Brooklyn and Manhattan (see above).

For the lover in you: Did you procrastinate and need a last-minute Valentine's Day plan?

For the basketball-loving couple, perhaps nothing says romance better than spending Valentine's Day at "Midnight Madness" at the Manhattan NBA House from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets range from $10 to $20.

And for old-school R&B music lovers, you can surprise your loved one with an intimate concert with Babyface and special guests 112 at the MSG Theater. As someone who saw Babyface last year at MSG, I can tell you the guy can still sing, and he puts on a show featuring not only his former top hits but all the number ones he wrote for artists like Boyz II Men, Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. (You can thank me later.)

All-Star Saturday night: Time for some of the NBA's best to show off their skills. Barclays will be home to this year's Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the Degree Shooting Stars competition.

Brooklyn's Plumlee, Milwaukee's Antetokounmpo, Orlando's Victor Oladipo and Minnesota's Zach LaVine square off in the dunk contest.

The 3-point shootout features a fierce field that includes Golden State's Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the Clippers J.J. Redick and Atlanta's Kyle Korver.

Coverage begins at 8 p.m. on TNT.

Saturday All-Star fun fact: Can you guess who has dunked the most this season out of the four dunk contest participants? If you guessed Plumlee, you win. Plumlee's 87 dunks leads the field with Antetokounmpo's 66 in second. Oladipo was injured at the start of the season and LaVine has played sparingly in his rookie season.


NBA House: See above.

D-League All-Star Sunday: Want to see the next diamond in the rough who could make it big one day? Head to Barclays Center for the NBA D-League All-Star Game, starting at 2 p.m. There will be a D-League 3-point contest before the game and a dunk contest at halftime.

Before all that, there's a game between New York's heroes -- the FDNY and the NYPD. It's Bravest vs. Finest at 12:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $10 to $35 and can be purchased at either barclayscenter.com, ticketmaster.com or at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.

Foodie All-Star: Foodies can even put their All-Star palates to the test. Barclays Center is featuring an All-Star Taste Food Program all weekend long, inspired by NBA cities and served at arenas throughout the league.

You can try everything from the Golden State-inspired BBQ Pork Banh Mi (smoked pork with crispy Asian slaw, glazed with Sriracha aioli and cilantro) to the Brooklyn creation known as the Butcher Burger (signature short rib, brisket and ground beef blend burger from Brooklyn's Paisano's).

The All-Star Game: And finally, the showcase game at the mecca, which tips off at 8:30 p.m. See LeBron and KD go at it in the 64th All-Star Game televised on TNT, with coverage starting at 7 p.m.

Sunday All-Star fun fact: Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol are the first set of brothers to start in an All-Star Game in NBA history. They are the first siblings to play in the same game since Tom and Dick Van Arsdale in 1970 and 1971.