Eric Woodyard: Bucks' Pat Connaughton tells ESPN he's looking to win the dunk contest and has a "few" surprises. "It's not the first underdog story I've had to write," he said. "I'll go into it, I'll have fun with it, but I'll still take it pretty seriously and see what I can do."
Shams Charania: NBA Rising Stars roster update: Cleveland’s Collin Sexton is replacing Miami’s Tyler Herro on the U.S. team.
Alex Kennedy: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will replace Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose in the 2020 Skills Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the United Center in Chicago.
Shams Charania: Pistons guard Derrick Rose plans to drop out of the Skills Challenge at NBA All-Star weekend in hometown of Chicago, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
The NBA announced the official roster for the All-Star Celebrity Game on Wednesday, with a group that includes Chicago celebrities, basketball stars and recording artists. At the top of the list are Chicago rappers Chance the Rapper and Common, who will serve as captains in the Feb. 14 game at Wintrust Arena and as ambassadors for All-Star Weekend in Chicago. The pair also will perform at halftime of the 69th All-Star Game at the United Center.
The NBA and WNBA will be represented in the game as well as former DePaul and Young star Quentin Richardson and WNBA star Chelsea Gray are set to play on Wilbon’s team. On the other side, former NBA forward Darius Miles, WNBA star A’ja Wilson and former Bears defensive tackle Anthony “Spice” Adams will lace up for Smith’s team.
Joe Cowley: Zach LaVine practicing his deep game for the added wrinkle in Three-Point Contest. He’s confident he’s got that club in the bag.
Sarah K. Spencer: Trae Young said participating in all 3 days of All-Star weekend is very special + personal to him. And ever since winning the McDonald's All-American 3-point contest, Young has wanted to win the NBA 3-point contest: "It's been a dream of mine to win that, and be a part of it."
Mark Medina: Dwight Howard said he got word Kobe Bryant agreed to help him out at the dunk contest. Dwight says it’s “heartbreaking” that couldn’t happen.
Fred Katz: Statement from Bertans: "My experience w the Wizards has been great since I arrived this summer, from my teammates, the coaching staff, the fans & the entire organization. It will be an honor to compete in the 3pt contest on behalf of all of them & to represent Latvia during ASW"
David Morrow: 3-point shootout field set: Davis Bertans Devonte' Graham Joe Harris Buddy Hield Zach LaVine Damian Lillard Duncan Robinson Trae Young
Ben Rohrbach: There's a new wrinkle to the 3-point contest. Participants get two more shots from 29 feet, 9 inches in what will be known as the “Dew Zones” (using green balls sponsored by Mountain Dew). Shots are worth 3 points, raising max from 36 to 42. Time is increased from 1:00 to 1:10.
JD Shaw: Here are the 2020 All-Star Skills Challenge Participants: Bam Adebayo, Patrick Beverley, Spencer Dinwiddie, Khris Middleton, Derrick Rose, Domantas Sabonis, Pascal Siakam, Jayson Tatum.
Tim Reynolds: The NBA is changing the format of the 3-point contest at All-Star weekend, AP is told. The new twist: two new shots from 6 feet behind the 3-point line and they'll be worth three points each. Rounds will now be 27 shots instead of 25, taking 70 seconds instead of 60.
Tim Reynolds: The list of 3-point shooters for the contest (I believe all these have been announced along the way): -- Defending champion Joe Harris -- Damian Lillard -- Duncan Robinson -- Trae Young -- Davis Bertans -- Zach LaVine -- Devonte' Graham -- Buddy Hield The new max score is 40.
Chris Haynes: Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam has accepted an invitation to compete in the Skills Challenge during All-Star Weekend, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
Shams Charania: Hornets guard Devonte' Graham will participate in the NBA three-point shootout at All-Star weekend in Chicago, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Clippers guard Patrick Beverley will participate in the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend in Chicago, league sources tell ESPN.
Shams Charania: Bulls guard Zach LaVine will participate in the NBA three-point contest at All-Star Weekend in Chicago, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Shams Charania: Milwaukee’s Pat Connaughton has committed to invite to the NBA Slam Dunk contest at All-Star weekend in Chicago, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Aaron Gordon, Dwight Howard, Derrick Jones Jr., Connaughton so far set.
Blake Murphy: VanVleet on Davis not being in Rising Stars: “None of us have ever played in it, so what difference does it make? Welcome to the party.”
Spencer Dinwiddie: The other night I was asked about participating in the Skills Challenge and I want to apologize for my comments. If I am given the opportunity again I am confident I could win it again and continue to represent the league and the Nets in positive way.
Joe Harris has been invited back to NBA All-Star weekend later this month to defend his 3-point crown, according to a league source. But the sweet-shooting Nets forward still hasn’t decided whether he’ll go, or use the time to rest and recharge. Harris led the league in 3-point shooting last season at a career-best 47.4 percent, and last Feb. 16 in Charlotte, he won the 3-Point Contest with 26 points to beat Steph Curry.
Oliver Maroney: Unless something drastic changes, Zach LaVine does not plan on competing in the dunk contest, per sources.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone sent Porter a long text Friday telling him how proud he was of the season he’s put together and underscoring how valuable he’s been to their operation. “He knows I deserve to be a Rising Star, be in that game, but I’m gonna be playing in the playoffs, and that’s worth a lot more to me than playing in that game,” Porter said. “So I’m just gonna keep working, get my rest during that All-Star break and be ready for that second half of the season.”
Of the 10 players named to the U.S. roster, six of them are on teams currently out of the playoffs, including three Charlotte Hornets. Porter can live with being overlooked for the annual showcase if it means playing in games that matter. “I’m really not worried about it,” Porter said. “I’m just gonna keep working. I’m more worried about the team and our team success.”
Serena Winters: Al Horford said he was disappointed & surprised Matisse Thybulle didn't make Rising Stars team. Said Matisse is ‘part of a winning team & having a real impact.’ And ‘what are we rewarding’ if we’re not recognizing defense? 'He deserves to be there.'
KC Johnson: LaVine on what will drive his ASG events decision: "Obviously, my fatigue level and what events it would be, how much I have to put into it. For the dunk contest, I haven’t practiced at all. I’m not just going to walk into something and throw up a L. I gotta see if I can win."
On Friday, Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. ET, the league’s best rookies and sophomores will take the court during NBA Rising Stars, all wearing jersey patches featuring the Nos. 2 and 24 in the center surrounded by nine stars. The same patch will be worn by the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night participants competing in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, MTN DEW 3-Point Contest and AT&T Slam Dunk on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. ET.
Stefan Bondy: Mike Miller said that RJ Barrett, who is sidelined with a sprained ankle, is on track to play in the Rising Stars Challenge. Said “it looks promising.”
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield has accepted an invitation to compete in the 3-Point Contest during All-Star Weekend on Feb. 15 in Chicago, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Brooklyn Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris is the defending champ, but he’s still mulling whether to accept his invitation, sources said.
Chase Hughes: Rui Hachimura said NBA All-Star weekend events were aired in the morning in Japan when he was growing up, so he would skip school to watch them. Said that was "bad," but that's how much it meant to him. He's very excited to be part of AS weekend by way of the Rising Stars game.
Fred Katz: Moe Wagner on making Rising Stars: “I didn’t even have it really on my radar at all. So, obviously it’s rewarding. It’s cool. But for me, necessarily it’s not something i wanted to accomplish in my life.”
Sarah K. Spencer: Trae Young said he's excited for Rising Stars, but has mixed emotions. He thought more Hawks should have gotten an invite. "I think what Kev’s been doing all year, what (De’Andre Hunter’s) been doing, what Cam’s been doing as of late, our team is full of rising stars."
PJ Washington: Rising ⭐️! Can’t wait to represent Charlotte in Chicago with my guys @Devonte Graham and @Miles Bridges. This one goes out to our whole team. Thank you all for the support. 🙏🏽🉑
Tim Reynolds: Bam Adebayo is on the NBA's list for the skills competition at All-Star Saturday, league source says.
Chris Haynes: Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will compete in the 3-Point Contest next month in Chicago, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
Chase Hughes: Scott Brooks says Rui Hachimura’s health won’t hold him back from playing in the Rising Stars game next month, barring something unforeseen. Rui has a really good chance to make it and, if he returns Sat. as planned, will have some games under his belt.
Ira Winderman: The NBA had been scheduled to announce tonight the participants in the Rising Stars game, but has informed teams that has been postponed. Kendrick Nunn, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are Heat candidates for the Feb. 14 game in Chicago during All-Star Weekend.
One of the most surprising comeback stories of the season will be a part of All-Star weekend next month after Howard finally acknowledged after two weeks of speculation that he not only will be in the dunk contest, he asked the league to be in it for the first time since 2009. And that’s not the only thing the 34-year-old is willing to ask for. “I’m trying to get Kobe,” he said. “So if I can get all the Laker fans to lobby to get Kobe to help me in the dunk contest, that’d be really good. That’d be awesome.”
Barry Jackson: While Derrick Jones Jr. has been invited to Slam Dunk contest All Star weekend, Duncan Robinson hasn't received word on if he will be invited to 3-point contest, per league-employed source. Butler expected to play in the game, and so will Bam if Barkley gets his way (&Bam should)
Shams Charania: Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. has accepted an invitation to the NBA Slam Dunk contest at All-Star weekend in Chicago, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Jones — a key rotation player for Miami — joins Lakers' Dwight Howard as dunk contest commitments.
Dwight Howard will be part of the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Weekend. The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed Howard's participation in a tweet Tuesday.
NBA: Don’t miss Dwight Howard’s return to the #ATTSlamDunk Contest at NBA All-Star 2020 in Chicago on February 15th on TNT!
Lonzo Ball: Yeah it’s right after the game and I know I never do this but BRANDON INGRAM is an All Star???????? @B_Ingram13 #B4L
Hamidou Diallo soared over Shaquille O'Neal in the defining moment of the 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Diallo was crowned the champion, and it's a title he's willing to defend in February if healthy. "Of course," Diallo told The Oklahoman on Thursday. "If I'm healthy, 100 percent. I'm a competitor."
If healthy, Diallo said he doesn't need an invitation to participate. "I won the dunk contest," Diallo said. "I'm pretty much invited as long as everything goes smooth." As for his biggest competition? "I'm the competition," Diallo said. "I'm the winner. I'm the competition for them. I'm going in with the crown."
Ira Winderman: With the Yahoo report of Ja Morant bypassing the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend, the expectation now, according to a source close to the situation, is a formal invitation to Derrick Jones Jr. will be extended shortly. He had not been informed before Morant's decision.
Memphis Grizzlies standout rookie Ja Morant has decided not to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in Chicago next month, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Maintaining good health for the duration of the season is his main priority, sources said.
Tim Reynolds: Derrick Jones Jr. says he still has not been invited to the dunk contest, and Kendrick Nunn says he's still not gotten any word about the Rising Stars game. No need to panic. Yet.
Rose wouldn’t confirm that he’ll participate in the Skills Competition at All-Star weekend in Chicago, which multiple outlets, including NBC Sports Chicago, has reported. There’s a month of basketball to play before then. Rose spoke about his season, where he’s at mentally and physically, and more in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.
Spencer Dinwiddie: The Spencer Dinwiddie bond launches January 13th. I’ll also be taking 8 fans to ASW with me. #NBAVote
Regardless of what Morant decides to do, this year’s All-Star Weekend is shaping up to be a historic one for the Grizzlies. Memphis has never had more than four participants between the Dunk Contest, 3-Point Contest, Skills Challenge, Rising Stars Challenge and All-Star Game. There’s a great chance the Grizzlies will have at least four this year. If Morant agrees to do the Dunk Contest — and make no mistake, it’s something many of his teammates would like to see — it would almost guarantee the Grizzlies matching their franchise-high for All-Star Weekend participants, barring anything unexpected.
Shams Charania: Pistons guard Derrick Rose plans to return to Chicago for NBA All-Star Weekend in February, accepting invitation to the Skills Competition Saturday night, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium .
Dave McMenamin: Dwight Howard threw some kryptonite on any ideas he'd be making a Superman return to the dunk contest in Chicago next month: "I don't know where you guys are getting this information from. I never said I was doing the dunk contest."
Frederic Weis: Hey @NBA , why don't you invite Vince Carter and me at the dunk contest for the remake of 2000 olympics !
Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young and Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić have been invited to participate in the NBA Three-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend in Chicago next month, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The two emerging stars will always be linked as their respective teams swapped the pair on draft day in 2018.
Young, who is averaging 28.9 points, 8.4 assists and shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, will accept the invitation, sources said. Dončić is still deliberating, sources said.
Shams Charania: Pistons guard Derrick Rose plans to return to Chicago for NBA All-Star Weekend in February, accepting invitation to the Skills Competition Saturday night, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Rick Bonnell: I asked @Devonte Graham if NBA has reached out about him being in All-Star Saturday (3-point contest?) Says he hasn’t heard anything.
KC Johnson: LaVine: "I don’t think anyone has won a dunk contest and a 3-point contest. So I’ll try that one out. I would love to.”
Fred Katz: Scott Brooks on how he thinks Davis Bertans would do in the 3-point contest: “I think he wins it. … I think he’s as good of a shooter as I’ve ever been around. … And you know what? He’s probably gonna stay in the night before, as well."
Superman is back. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will participate in the Dunk Contest in Chicago at All-Star weekend, league sources told The Athletic. The NBA has received the commitment of the three-time participant (2007-09), one-time Slam Dunk champion and a potential Hall of Famer to revitalize the energy in this year’s competition.
The Lakers plan to take great cautiousness and care of Howard while he participates in the event in Chicago, understanding his critical role on a championship favorite come the postseason, sources said. Howard turned 34 on Dec. 8. He is an eight-time All-Star, three-time Defensive Player of the Year and eight-time All-NBA team member.
Memphis Grizzlies standout rookie Ja Morant has been invited to compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in Chicago next month, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The 6-foot-3 point guard out of Murray State has had some of the most electrifying, jaw-dropping dunks of the season.
But the 20-year-old high-flyer is still mulling over the offer. “It’s something I’m thinking about,” Morant told Yahoo Sports. “I haven’t made a decision yet.”
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine dunk contest update: "Obviously, I feel I’d be more inclined to do it if I’m playing in the game. But I feel like I should do something during All-Star weekend, if it’s the game, 3-point contest, dunk contest, something. I know I still got some dunks left."
Joe Cowley: Zach LaVine Slam Dunk Watch: LaVine admitted to working on a few dunks last month ... and just said his legs feel good.
With the shooting display Robinson has put on this season, a spot in the three-point contest during February’s NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago could be in his future. “Only just because people keep saying stuff to me about it,” Robinson said when asked if he has thought about the possibility of competing in the three-point contest. “It would be an honor, obviously. I’ve had that in my skill set my whole life. It would pretty surreal to be a part of it. But I try not to get too caught up in that and just focus on making shots and winning games.”
It's been 11 years since Dwight Howard won the NBA Dunk Contest with that insane Superman slam ... and now DH says he's given serious thought to doing it AGAIN!!! "I thought about it. I'm getting my legs back. I feel young again," 33-year-old Howard told us outside The Window burger joint in Venice.
When we asked if entering the 2020 contest was a real possibility, Howard wouldn't commit ... instead telling us his main focus this season in winning an NBA title with the Lakers. "I have thought about it, but winning the championship is the most important thing. I have all the individual accolades but I don't have the trophy so hopefully, we can win this title this year, which I believe we can."
With NBA All-Star Weekend set to return to Chicago this February, Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson tells ESPN he's a "game-time" decision on committing to the dunk contest. "I don't know yet, if I'm being honest, depends on where I'm at," he said. He also called it an honor to play at the United Center for the first time tonight because Michael Jordan "won six rings here." More than three decades have passed since MJ glided from the free-throw line in 1988 to win the slam dunk title in Chicago.
Darnell Mayberry: The Bulls have one early verbal commitment to an All-Star Saturday night event: Denzel Valentine is letting it be known he wants to participate in the 3-point contest in February. Valentine shot 39 percent on 3s in 2017-18.
Roy Parry: Magic forward Aaron Gordon on ESPN's "The Jump": "If I'm healthy, I'm going," in regards to the 2020 slam dunk competition during the All-Star Game weekend in Chicago. Gordon also said he hopes he gets the opportunity.
TMZ Sports spoke to Gordon about whether he'd throw his hat back in the ring for next year's contest -- which LaVine's Chicago Bulls just happen to be hosting -- and he says he's DOWN!! "I think so, it's starting to look like that," Gordon says. "It's really up to the NBA, but we're gonna do it."
I have to ask this because I know fans are curious: Will you compete in the dunk contest again? I know you didn’t enter it this year because you didn’t want to be tired for the second half of the season as you fight for playoff positioning. But will we ever see you in the dunk contest again? Donovan Mitchell: Yes. For sure. I don’t know if it’s going to be next year, I don’t know if it’s going to be the year after that, but I am going to do it again.
The presentation that millions saw Saturday night was not all Collins’ idea. He was skeptical at first and thought the entirety of the act was too sophisticated for a dunk contest. He originally had approached NBA officials with a plan to leap over an object that hadn’t been jumped over before in a dunk contest. As the two parties discussed options, a plane was settled on. In theory, it was perfect because of North Carolina’s aviation history. Collins, however, didn’t have control of the size of the plane as the construction of the plane was handled by the league. The first conversation was just the two sides agreeing to a plane being involved in one of Collins’ dunks. As conversations continued, league representatives also suggested he include a nod to the Tuskegee Airmen for Black History Month, and the NBA would create a short intro video for the Wright brothers and provide the aviation headgear. Collins’ mother was a sergeant in the Air Force, and he’s a history buff himself, so he went along with it, thinking the creativity behind it would be appreciated. It fell flat.
Tatum scored 31 points and Boston took its turn pounding Miami early, jumping out to a 26-4 lead and cruising to a 102-82 victory that evened the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece. “Obviously, we knew how important this game was,” Tatum said. “Everybody just had to come up with a different sense of urgency.”
ESPN Stats: Points Scored in Game 4: All Heat starters — 18 Victor Oladipo — 23 This is the very first playoff game that an entire starting lineup was outscored by a player from its bench (since starters were first tracked in 1970-71).
Zach Kram: Re NBA blowouts: 18% of games this postseason have been decided by 25+ points. The record is 23% in 2016. But we remember the 2016 playoffs as amazing because of GSW-OKC and CLE-GSW. A few remarkable moments and series can make up for other blowouts across the board.