NBA All-Star game 2021: What you need to know

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Lakers forward Anthony Davis trap 76ers center Joel Embiid.
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, and Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, trap 76ers center Joel Embiid during the NBA All-Star game last year in Chicago. All three are expected to be at the 2021 game on March 7 in Atlanta.
(Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

Here is what you need to know about the 2021 NBA All-Star game:

Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta

When: Sunday

Tipoff: Shortly after 5 p.m. PST

Team format: Lakers forward LeBron James, the leading vote-getter in the Western Conference, will captain one team while Brooklyn forward Kevin Durant, leading vote-getter in the East, will captain the other and select their teams in a draft. Starters were chosen by using a combination of voting from fans (50%), players (25%) and media (25%). Reserves were selected by coaches.

Player draft: 5 p.m. PST March 4

Draft format: James’ and Durant’s first four picks will come from among the West’s elected starters (Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, Golden State guard Stephen Curry, Dallas guard Luka Doncic and Denver center Nikola Jokic) and the East’s elected starters (Washington guard Bradley Beal, Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia center Joel Embiid). Reserves from each conference will be chosen by coaches and announced Tuesday. They will be selected in the seven ensuing rounds of the draft.

Game format: The first three quarters will be timed (with the score resetting after each), with each winner’s charitable beneficiaries receiving to-be-determined contributions. In the final quarter, the teams will play to a target score of 24 more than the cumulative score of the leading team in an ongoing tribute to Kobe Bryant.


Individual competitions: The slam dunk contest, with a two-round format, will be at halftime of the All-Star game, while the skills competition and three-point shooting contest will take place before the game. TNT’s broadcast begins at 2 p.m. PST, with the skills and three-point competitions starting at 3:30 p.m. PST.

Dunk contest: Portland’s Anfernee Simons, Indiana’s Cassius Stanley and New York’s Obi Toppin will compete in the dunk contest. Judging them will be five former dunk-contest champions: Dominique Wilkins, Jason Richardson, Josh Smith, Spud Webb and Dee Brown.

Three-point contest: Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Chicago’s Zach LaVine will compete.

Skills competition: The field includes Dallas’ Luka Doncic, Phoenix’s Chris Paul, New York’s Julius Randle, Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis and Orlando’s Nikola Vučević and Portland’s Robert Covington.

Beneficiaries: The NBA along with the NBPA, the union that represents its players, will commit more than $25 million to historically Black colleges and universities and to causes advancing equity for and access to the COVID-19 vaccine.