The NBA’s All-Star festivities will all take place on one day this year, as the league condensed the Saturday night events and Sunday’s game into a one-day affair. The Skills Competition and Three-Point Shootout will be before the game, with the Dunk Contest taking place at halftime, in lieu of the typical musical performance.
Some of the participants will be All-Stars, but the league will also bring in players specifically for the events. Among those is Knicks rookie Obi Toppin, who was the first player to be reported as confirmed for the Dunk Contest, and a pair of other youngsters will be joining him in Atlanta as well, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports Anfernee Simons and Cassius Stanley will fill out two of the three remaining spots.
Two young players expected to join New York’s Obi Toppin in the All-Star Slam Dunk competition on March 7: Portland’s Anfernee Simons and Indiana’s Cassius Stanley, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 28, 2021
Stanley, a rookie for the Pacers, has tons of bounce and while NBA fans might not be familiar with him, college hoops fans will be and know he’ll be stiff competition.
Simons put his hat in the ring for the Dunk Contest last year and will get his chance to show what he can do this year, while the NBA and everyone else wait hopefully for word that Zion Williamson will round out the participants list. Zion was coy when asked about the Dunk Contest last week, but he would add the star value the NBA would be looking for to give the halftime contest some extra juice.