The NBA All-Star game makes its 65th return, on the 21st of February. For Basketball fans, this also means the return of the NBA All-Star Weekend (starting today, the 19th of February, 2017). Three exciting days in which players and fans get to witness the best talent the NBA has to offer, go head to head in a variety of events and competitions, mostly because it’s a whole lot of fun (but also for bragging rights and the chance to call themselves the best of the very best).
Sports do not live in isolation, of course, and with football and basketball being two of the world’s most popular sports, there were bound to be overlapping sections in their audiences (lots of football fans are also basketball fans, and vice versa)… and, for those who’ve never seen a basketball game in their lives and/or have no idea what we’re talking about, don’t worry, keep reading. We’ve got you covered.
Who? What? Where? How?!
Who is an All-Star?
An All-Star is basically someone who stands out from the crowd in their chosen field, based on their abilities. In sports, All-Stars are players who have amassed the best performances and statistical outputs in their respective positions, over the course of the season, heading into the All-Star break.
What is an All-Star team?
Given all of the information above, an All-Star team is easily described as; “a team made up of the League’s best performers, in each position”. It’s pretty simple; you get selected to an All-Star team, you’re an All-Star.
How it works in the NBA:
There are quite a few basketball leagues in the world, but the American National Basketball Association is the most popular and most watched of them all (like the EPL, multiplied by 5) and their League structure (as well as the sport itself) is quite different from what we have in European football. For starters, they have 30 teams, and the league is split into two “conferences”, Eastern and Western (15 teams in each). At the end of the League season, the best teams from both conferences enter into playoff tournaments (one for each conference) and the winners from both sides face off against each other for the NBA Championship. This conference format is also employed during All-Star weekend, as players are selected to represent their respective conferences and compete against each other for supremacy. Simple enough, right?
A variety of events have been included in the lineups of All-Star Weekends, over the years, and some of them have grown to become mainstays and annual attractions. The notable events on this year’s schedule include;
- The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge (Friday),
- Taco Bell Skills Challenge, JBL Three Point Contest, Verizon Slam Dunk Contest (all on Saturday),
- The 66th NBA All-Star Game (Sunday).
All-Star weekend competitions are all about exhibition, entertainment, and fun. They’re also a place for witnessing some popular “fantasy-matchups”, where players get to compete against each other in scenarios where we most likely wouldn’t get to see them, on a normal day… which brings us to why we’re here.
Here at ELVN F.C., we’ve decided to create our own fantasy, football version of the All-Star Weekend, and over the course of the next few days, we’ll be dreaming up football equivalents for all of the major activities of the NBA All-Star Weekend. We obviously cannot employ the NBA Conference format, so we’ll be making our selections from the following two groups of players:
- The English Premier League (the most watched football league in the world), and
- A combination of the other 4 of Europe’s top 5 leagues (Spanish, German, Italian and French).
So, for all the upcoming “competitions”, the format will simply be; “England vs. Europe”. Comprende?
We’ll start our All-Star weekend with our version of Friday night’s marquee event; the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge; The ELVN F.C. Rising Stars Challenge.