CLEVELAND — The NBA All-Star Game is coming to Cleveland this weekend and with it comes the 24 best basketball players in the world who will take the floor of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. 

While tickets for the All-Star Game itself are hard to come by, a number of events around the city will be held in conjunction with the event, some of which are free for fans. 

Skills challenge

The host Cleveland Cavaliers were the first winners of the revamped Skills Challenge.

Rookie Evan Mobley gave his team a victory by nailing a half-court shot on his first attempt, allowing the Cavs to close out the final portion of the contest in 5.5 seconds.

All-Stars Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland were the other members of the winning team to kick off All-Star Saturday.

Slam dunk challenge

Obi Toppin, who played two years with the University of Dayton, won the slam dunk contest, earning a 47 on his final dunk when he needed to do little more than put the ball in the basket after Juan Toscano-Anderson couldn't on his previous try.

Toppin, the New York Knicks forward, beat Golden State's Toscano-Anderson in the final round to win the event after finishing second as a rookie.

The big game

The NBA All-Star Game Weekend culminates with Sunday’s All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Cavs guard Darius Garland was selected for the team. On Monday, Cavs forward Jarrett Allen was picked as a replacement for the injured James Harden. 

Allen and Garland will join a squad led by former Cavs star LeBron James. 

Sunday’s game starts at 8 p.m.

The MVP of the game will receive a trophy that honors the late Laker great Kobe Bryant.

The All-Star Game MVP will earn a trophy inspired by Kobe Bryant. (NBA Photo)

The NBA said Cleveland native Machine Gun Kelly and DJ D-Nice will introduce the 2022 NBA All-Stars. Canton native Macy Gray will perform the American national anthem and Ryland James will perform the Canadian national anthem. 

Ohio native inspires All-Star Game rules

An Ohio man created an alternative ending for basketball games to eliminate late-game intentional fouling and improve flow. Rather than finishing the game with a buzzer, games using the Elam Ending ends with a made basket.

When the clock reaches a certain point late in the game, the clock shuts off at the first dead ball. The end of the game is determined by a target score.

HBCU Classic

A battle between two HBCU schools got the NBA All-Star Game spotlight Saturday afternoon, and the contest did not disappoint. Howard rallied from a two-point deficit in the final minute to defeat Morgan State 68-66 at the Wolstein Center. 

The contest between the HBCU schools followed the NBA All-Star Game practice at the Wolstein Center earlier on Saturday.

All-Star Saturday Night

For many, All-Star Saturday Night is the highlight of All-Star Weekend. Saturday night’s festivities include the traditional slam-dunk and 3-point contests.There will also be a three-team skills competition. Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland and Evan Mobley from the Cavs will represent Cleveland in the skills competition. 

Cavs stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen will participate in NBA All-Star Game Weekend. (AP Photo)

Participating in the 3-point contest will be Desmond Bane (Memphis Grizzlies), Luke Kennard (Los Angeles Clippers), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers), Patty Mills (Brooklyn Nets), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves), Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors), and Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks).

Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony, Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green, New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin and Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson to participate in the slam-dunk contest.

DJ Khaled, Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Gunna, Migos and Lil Baby are slated to perform Saturday night. 

Friday night festivities

Friday’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Wolstein Center helped kickoff NBA All-Star Game Weekend. 

The roster included Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, former Cavs stars Daniel “Booby” Gibson and Anderson Varajao and recording artist Machine Gun Kelly. The game begins at 7 p.m. 

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb (AP Photo)

Action shifted to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the NBA All-Star Rising Stars Game. The game was held in a four-team tournament format between the league’s top rookies, sophomores and members of the G League Ignite squad. 

Mobley, a rookie, and second-year guard Isaac Okoro, joined a squad that won the four-team tournament.

HBCUs, G-League to bask in All-Star Game limelight

NBA stars won’t be the only ones to get the All-Star treatment. On Saturday at 2 p.m., Morgan State will take on Howard in the inaugural NBA HBCU Classic at the Wolstein Center. Tickets for the nationally televised contest are $10. 

On Sunday, the Cleveland Charge will host the G League Ignite at the Wolstein Center. Tickets for the G League Next Gem Game start at $17.The Charge is the G League affiliate for the Cavaliers. 

Tower City opens NBA 'Ice Buckets'

Tower City is hosting the Ice Bucket popup court, where fans can try to see what it’s like to hit a buzzer-beating bucket. 

The Land X Complex Shop featuring streetwear will also be open at Tower City. Tower City will host a number of local shops and restaurants for the weekend’s festivities, including the Real Black Friday, a shopping experience for local Black-owned businesses. 


The Land X Complex Shop featuring streetwear will also be open at Tower City. (Spectrum News Photo)

The court and shop are open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. Fans can register to receive free tickets to play on the Ice Buckets court via the NBA Events App

Basketball-inspired exhibit at the Rock Hall

In time for the NBA All-Star Game, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the addition of a temporary basketball-inspired exhibit slated to open Feb. 17. 

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will host a basketball-inspired exhibit. (AP Photo)

The exhibit, Baseline to Bassline: 75 Years of Music and the NBA, will feature artifacts worn or used by players and artists at NBA events and promos are on display, such as’s outfit from the Black Eyed Peas’ 2004 NBA All-Star Game “Let’s Get It Started” promo, the Rock Hall said. 

NBA Crossover

Cleveland Public Auditorium will host the NBA Crossover event. Organizers say the event will “showcase the intersection of basketball and culture through the art, fashion, music, technology and entertainment that surround today’s game.”

The event runs Friday-Sunday and tickets cost $30 per person. 

$100 million economic impact

City and county officials said they expect the All-Star Game will generate $100 million in economic activity. 

While bars and restaurants in the Cleveland area are hoping to be busy, many were hoping for more. Only seven spots out of 87 will be permitted to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. City officials said the number of permits were limited due to health and safety concerns.