SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz’s All-Star break has officially begun after their 115-108 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.
Although Rudy Gobert was left off the Western Conference All-Star team and Donovan Mitchell won’t defend his slam dunk title, there will still be a number of Jazz and other local connections in the events of All-Star Weekend, which will begin with Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge and conclude with the All-Star Game on Sunday evening.
Here’s a breakdown of how to watch each event, as well as the Beehive State connections in them.
Rising Stars Challenge
When: Friday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m. MT, TNT
What to watch for locally: This game will feature rookies and second-year players (and third-year player Ben Simmons) divided into Team U.S. and Team World. While Mitchell won’t be in the dunk contest, he will play in this game, where he’ll be a teammate of former University of Utah standout Kyle Kuzma, who is now in his second year with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Atlanta Hawks second-year big man John Collins, who was born at Hill Air Force Base, will also be on Team U.S.
When: Saturday, Feb. 16, 6 p.m. MT, TNT
What to watch for locally: Kuzma will also be in this event as one of eight players who comprise the field. Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, whom Utah reportedly tried to acquire before last week’s trade deadline, will be another.
Now in its 17th year, the Skills Challenge has been good to locals, as former Jazzman Deron Williams won it in 2008 and former Weber State standout Damian Lillard did in 2013. In 2014, Lillard and former Jazzman Trey Burke tied for the title.
When: Saturday, Feb. 16 following Skills Challenge, TNT
What to watch for locally: Lillard will be making his second appearance in the competition as one of the 10 players in the field. Former Jazzman Jeff Hornacek is a two-time winner of the event, having taken home the crown in 1998 and 2000 (he actually won two in a row, as there were no All-Star festivities in 1999 because of a lockout).
Slam Dunk Contest
When: Saturday, Feb. 16 following the 3-point contest, TNT
What to watch for locally: While Mitchell won’t be defending his title, he will be a significant contributor, as he’ll be part of the broadcast team for the event, along with the TNT crew of Kevin Harlan, Kenny Smith and others. Collins will be one of the four players in the contest.
In 2018, Mitchell became the second Jazzman in history to win the contest after Jeremy Evans did so in 2014.
When: Sunday, Feb. 17, 6 p.m., TNT and TBS2 comments on this story
What to watch for locally: Infamously, there won’t be any Jazz players in the main event after Gobert got snubbed. As such, Lillard will be the only player with local ties in the game, capping off what will be a busy weekend for him.
Making his second straight All-Star Game appearance and fourth overall in his career, Lillard will be on Team LeBron after getting picked 14th in the All-Star draft on Feb. 7. The full player pool LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo had to choose from was announced on Jan. 31.