The best basketball players on the planet are heading to Salt Lake City this weekend to participate in the NBA All-Star Weekend. The events will be hosted at the Vivint Arena, which is home to the NBA’s Utah Jazz, and the Huntsman Center, which hosts the University of Utah’s basketball and gymnastics teams.
For skiers, the best news of the week is this: UTA is having a fare-free week to allow more people to use public transit. The bad news? An increased amount of tourists, along with the fact that it’s President’s Day weekend, will likely lead to big crowds at the ski resorts closest to Salt Lake City.
For those looking for some affordable events and places to check out over the weekend, Salt Lake Tribune columnist Andy Larsen compiled an extensive list of places to check out if you’re on a budget.
For skiers and riders, the most notable activity is a snowboard rail jam over in the Olympic Legacy Plaza at The Gateway. Amateurs will compete from 2-5 p.m. today, with the professional snowboarders going at it on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. The event, which was organized by Jeremy Jones and rapper Travis Scott, is free to attend. Shaun White is expected to make an appearance, and Travis Scott will be there on Saturday.
Friday night will feature the Celebrity All-Star Game and Rising Stars Event. The celebrity All-Star Game will feature 21 Savage, Janelle Monáe, DK Metcalf, Albert Pujols, Calvin Johnson, and many more. The two teams will be coached by Ryan Smith and Dwayne Wade, who are the owners of the Utah Jazz. Lindsey Vonn will be one of the assistant coaches for Dwayne Wade’s side.
The Rising Stars Event will feature the best young players in the NBA and the G-League, with some of the most notable participants being Paolo Banchero, Evan Mobley, Jose Alvarado, and Keegan Murray. The Utah Jazz will be represented by Walker Kessler, who has become known for his shot-blocking prowess.
A variety of events are happening on Saturday, including the Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Contest, and Skills Challenge. The three-point contest will feature sharpshooters like Jayson Tatum, Damian Lillard, and Tyrese Haliburton.
The Skills Challenge will have three separate teams: the Antetokounmpo brothers, the Utah Jazz (represented by Walker Kessler, Jordan Clarkson, and Collin Sexton), and the Rookies (who will have Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, and Jabari Smith, Jr.).
The participants in the NBA’s dunk contest will include Kenyon Martin Jr.
Mac McClung, Trey Murphy III, and Jericho Sims. The dunk contest has seen better years, but it’ll still be a fun event.
On Sunday, the All-Star Game will take place at the Vivint Arena. Before the game starts, Post Malone, who lives in Utah, will perform a melody of his biggest hits.
After that, Vin Diesel will introduce all the All-Stars, and then probably talk about how he doesn’t have friends, he has family. The two captains, Lebron James, and Giannis Antetokounmpo will draft the players who were selected for the All-Star Game. One of these All-Stars is the Utah Jazz’s own Lauri Markkanen, who is in contention for the league’s Most Improved Player award.