Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) goes to the basket as Orlando Magic center Wendell Carter Jr., right, looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is teaming up with his brothers once again on All-Star Saturday. Portland’s Damian Lillard is taking a third shot at the 3-point title, Indiana’s Buddy Hield will aim to win that one again and Philadelphia’s Mac McClung now can be a slam-dunk champion at the NBA and high school levels.
The NBA released the full list of participants for All-Star Saturday’s events in Salt Lake City — the Skills Competition, the 3-point contest and the dunk contest. It’ll be a particularly busy weekend for 11 players who are now slotted to be in multiple events during the three days of action in Utah.
Hield, the 2020 winner, is back to try to become the eighth player with multiple 3-point crowns. He’ll face his Indiana teammate Tyrese Haliburton, the Portland duo of Lillard and Anfernee Simons, Miami’s Tyler Herro, Sacramento’s Kevin Huerter, Utah’s Lauri Markkanen and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.
Huerter is one of four Kings picked to be part of the weekend.
“It’s exciting to be part of it and to help represent the Kings at All-Star weekend,” Huerter said. “We’re off to a great start, we can’t wait to see what this weekend is about and then we can’t wait to get back to work.”
Herro said he’s eager to get to Salt Lake City.
“I’m excited. I’m going to try to win it,” the Heat guard said. “I’m just going to be me and I’ll be good. Shooters shoot.”
Antetokounmpo is an All-Star captain, and will choose a team to oppose the squad that will be picked Sunday night by fellow captain LeBron James.
But first, he’ll be teaming up with his brothers — Thanasis and Alex — in the Skills Challenge, just as he did in last year’s event at Cleveland. They’ll face two other teams, one from the host Utah Jazz and the other composed of three top picks in last year’s draft.
The Jazz will be represented by Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler and Collin Sexton. And Team Rooks is composed of No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero of Orlando, No. 3 pick Jabari Smith Jr. of Houston and No. 5 pick Jaden Ivey of Detroit.
It’s a four-round competition, the first three involve shooting, passing and a relay. The top two teams after those events will then shoot half-court shots to decide a winner.
McClung won an All-American high school dunk contest in 2018, and will be joined in the NBA dunk field by Houston’s Kenyon Martin Jr., New Orleans’ Trey Murphy III and New York’s Jericho Sims.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will be in two events at the All-Star weekend, with the skills event followed by the All-Star Game itself the next night.
Also in both All-Star Saturday and the All-Star Game: Tatum, Haliburton, Lillard and Markkanen.
It’ll be a doubleheader weekend for six other players scheduled to take part in both Friday’s Rising Stars games and the All-Star Saturday events: Ivey, Smith, Murphy, McClung, Banchero and Kessler.
John Goble, Mark Lindsay and Michael Smith were announced Tuesday as referees for Sunday’s All-Star Game.
The tasks of officiating the Rising Stars games and the All-Star Saturday events will be handled by Brandon Adair, Ashley Moyer-Gleich and CJ Washington.
Brooklyn, Charlotte and Washington have no representatives heading to All-Star weekend. For the Nets, it’s a technicality — Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were both selected as All-Stars this year while they played for the Nets, and both have subsequently been traded.