This Feb 18th – 20th is the NBA All-Star Weekend culminating in the All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb 20th. Another highlight of the weekend is the Slam Dunk Contest. And you can watch it all without cable.
In a hurry? These events will be featured on TNT, which you can stream with these services:
- DIRECTV STREAM: Get a great channel lineup with the best selection of RSNs in the industry. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
- Sling TV: This low-cost service allows you to select just the channel lineup you want. Save 50% on your first month of Sling TV.
- Hulu + Live TV: A great overall streaming service offering 85+ live channels along with ESPN+ and Disney+. Try one month for $69.99.
Table Of Contents
Each year since 1951, the NBA has paused in the middle of the season to play an exhibition game featuring the best players in the league. Although the NBA All-Star game doesn’t count in the standings, it is eagerly anticipated by fans and players alike.
In 2022, the game is scheduled to be played on Feb 20 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the game, how players are selected, and the other significant events that will take place prior to the showcase of the league’s best players.
The History of the All-Star Game
In 1951 and 1952, the game was held at Boston Garden, which is considered to be one of the most historic arenas ever built. In 1952, the East squad defeated the West squad 108-91 thanks to shooting almost 50% from the field. The MVP of that game was Paul Azirin, and it included memorable performances from the likes of Bob Cousy and Red Rocha.
In 2018, the game would abandon the conference versus conference format in favor of allowing captains to choose teams. The captains were the players from each conference who received the most votes. In 2021, LeBron James and Kevin Durant were the ones choosing how each team would be structured. Team LeBron defeated Team Durant 170-150 in the 2021 game.
All-Star Game Participants Selection
The NBA uses a mixture of fan voting, media voting, and coaches selections to determine the two guards and three frontcourt players who are classified as starters from their conferences. Each player is given a weighted score based on how many votes they receive from each of these three groups. The players who have the highest scores are then placed into the starter pool.
Each team’s captain will first select four of the eight remaining players in this pool when structuring their teams. An additional 14 players are selected as reserves, and these players are then allocated to their teams in the same manner as the starters.
If necessary, participants can be added by Commissioner Adam Silver, and this is typically done to honor individuals for outstanding achievement on the court throughout the course of their careers.
Other Events That Take Place Prior to the Game
In most years, the NBA All-Star game is simply the main event of an entire weekend of festivities. There is also a Rising Stars game, which features players in their first or second year who were not selected for the traditional midseason showcase. This game typically pits younger players from the United States against those who represent other nations such as Canada, Spain, or Argentina.
There is also a series of skill challenges such as a 3-point contest, slam dunk contest, and other competitions. Players can be recognized in a single event or participate in every event in an effort to be crowned the skills challenge winner. In 2021, Damontas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers won this event.
If you are a fan of the game of basketball, the NBA All-Star game is an event that you won’t want to miss. In addition to watching the greatest current players in the league competing for bragging rights, you’ll have a chance to watch the next generation of stars before they become famous. Finally, the 2022 Hall of Fame induction class will be announced the day before the main event takes place.
Slam Dunk Contest
The AT&T NBA Slam Dunk Competition is one of the most eagerly anticipated events during NBA All-Star weekend. This event usually takes place the night before the big game itself.
Each year, participants get more creative as they try to both impress the judges and set themselves apart from those who took part in the event in previous years.
History of the Slam Dunk Contest
In 1984, the NBA decided to add the slam dunk contest in an effort to garner more attention for its marquee midseason event. That year, Larry Nance of the Phoenix Suns defeated Julius Erving in the final.
Michael Jordan won the event in 1987 and 1988, and his dunk from the free throw line in 1988 is thought to be the most iconic moment in the slam dunk competition’s history.
In 2021, Anfrenee Simons won the event after besting Obi Toppin in the final round. The 2021 competition was the first to feature fewer than four people. This was partially because of the COVID-19 pandemic and partially because of a lack of interest among potential participants.
Since 2007, the event has traditionally featured four participants who are given two opportunities to showcase their dunking talent. A panel of five judges score each dunk based on their perception of the participant’s technical and artistic skill. In other words, the cooler a dunk looks, the higher a participant’s score will be.
Of course, players typically lose points for failing to actually put the ball in the basket. After two rounds, the two people with the highest combined scores advance to the final. In 2021, the final round was also scored by a panel of judges. However, in recent years, fan voting via text message has helped to determine the overall winner.
The NBA slam dunk contest has helped to launch the careers of many great players throughout the last several decades. For many, winning the competition has allowed them to create a legacy as exciting players.
Although slam dunk contest participants may not be selected to the NBA All-Star game itself, taking part in this competition allows them to be recognized for their contributions on the court.
2022 NBA All-Star Game
The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will take plan on Sunday, February 20th, 2022. The game will air on TNT.
The roster will be announced on January 27th. We will update this page when the information is available.
Do You Need a VPN?
If you find you can’t watch particular events because of your location, a VPN should allow you to get the access you are entitled to. It also provides extra security and unequalled privacy. See our complete VPN Guide for all you need to know.
Stream NBA All-Star Game
Any streaming service that offers TNT will allow you to watch the All-Star Game and also (likely) the Slam Dunk contest.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV provides 85+ live TV channels (including TNT), an excellent on-demand library, in addition to Disney+ and ESPN+. It’s probably the best overall entertainment service around. You get all that plus a DVR and simultaneous streaming for $69.99/mo.
For more information, see our Hulu + Live TV review.
Get TNT with either Sling Blue or Sling Orange for just $35/mo. The Blue plan is more varied but the Orange plan includes ESPN. You can get them both with 50+ channels for $50/mo.
Sling TV offers a lot of options. See our Sling TV review for details.
DIRECTV STREAM has four plans that start at $69.99/mo. The lowest level plan features roughly 80 live TV channels but there are good reasons to go to a higher-level plan. For example, the Choice plan ($89.99/mo) offers its exceptional selection of RSNs for MLB, NBA, and NHL fans.
Our DIRECTV STREAM review has more information.
Devices to Live Stream the NBA All-Star Game
All of the streaming services we listed above allow you to watch on the major devices currently in use:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android Mobile
- Apple TV
- iOS (iPhone, iPad)
- Samsung smart TVs.
DIRECTV STREAM also offers its own device.
Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV also support Android TV devices, LG Smart TVs, and Xbox gaming systems. There are other devices supported. See our individual streaming reviews for the details.
Some of the biggest streaming services available offer TNT without cable. This is good for you because it means more ways to watch the NBA All-Star Game online. DIRECTV STREAM and YouTube TV offer a free trial, and all the streaming services are contract-free services.