2023 NBA All-Star Weekend By the Numbers
In yesterday’s SportsGrid Daily, we broke down the bettable events at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game Weekend. Today, we take a closer look at the captains, the rosters, the 1993 All-Star Game in Utah, and the Slam Dunk Contest by the numbers.Aye, Aye, Captain!
One of the two team captains, LeBron James, has been selected to the All-Star Game for the 19th time, which ties Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record. When LBJ takes the court for his 19th appearance, he will pass Kareem for the most-ever All-Star Games played.
The King won’t give Cap a break.
James will have the most appearances, but the other team captain, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has the highest scoring average in All-Star Game history at 29.0 points per game.The International House of Basketball
Joining the Greek Freak will be an All-Star Game record-tying nine international players, including a record-setting six international starters.
The starters are Slovenia’s Luka Doncic, Cameroon’s Joel Embiid, Australia’s Kyrie Irving (hey, it’s the NBA’s list, not mine), Finland’s Lauri Markkanen, and Serbia’s Nikola Jokic.
Jokic, the two-time defending MVP, will turn 28 on Sunday to become the first player to start an NBA All-Star Game on his birthday.
Coming off the bench are Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lithuania’s Domantas Sabonis, and Cameroon’s Pascal Siakam, making Cameroon the only country outside of the US with multiple All-Stars.
The diversity extends beyond nationality, as 22 teams have at least one All-Star selection, a single-season record.A Throwback to 1993
Salt Lake City last hosted the NBA All-Star Game 30 years ago, when Utah Jazz stars Karl Malone, and John Stockton became the first teammates to share the All-Star Game MVP Award.
The 1993 All-Star Game featured nine members of the famed 1992 Dream Team: Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton.
That was also the year that the league’s fan fest, NBA Jam Session, debuted, with over 40,000 fans attending.AT&T Slam Dunk Contest
Saturday night will make the 40th Slam Dunk Contest dating back to 1984, won by Larry Nance of the Phoenix Suns.
The 2023 edition will produce a new winner, as participants KJ Martin (Houston Rockets), Mac McClung (Philadelphia 76ers), Trey Murphy III (New Orleans Pelicans), and Jericho Sims (New York Knicks) are all making their debuts in the event.
If you’re looking for an angle, Sims posted a 44.5-inch vertical at the 2021 NBA Draft Combine, tied for the third-highest mark in the event’s history.
There will be more judges, five, than participants, as three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford, eight-time WNBA All-Star Lisa Leslie, a pair of two-time Slam Dunk Champions in Dominique Wilkins and Harold Miner join Utah Jazz Hall of Famer and 14-time All-Star Karl Malone.
Each judge will give out scores between 40 and 50 per dunk, with two rounds to decide a winner.