The NBA All-Star weekend is almost never entertaining. Seriously, when was the last time we got even a half competitive All-Star game or an entertaining dunk contest or even a mildly interesting three-point contest?
Over the years, NBA stars have shown they care for an All-Star berth, but only so that it raises their profile and brings in bigger offers when they'll sign new contracts. Once they make the cut, all the enthusiasm is drained, and they basically play a low-tempo game to avoid injuries.
The dunk and 3P contests also are in a similar rut. The game's best dunkers and shooters don't take part, and the second stringers don't have the creativity or accuracy to get the crowd going.
However, there is reason to believe that the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend will be different. This is why:
1. New Blood Means Newfound Energy
This year's All-Star game features five first-time selections. The likes of Jeff Teague, Kyle Lowry, DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler don't get selected very often. A combination of injuries and loss of form to perennial All-Stars have got them here. Chances are they will play harder to make this chance count.
2. Mouthwatering Three-Point Contest
In the three-point contest, everyone's eyes will be on the deadeye trio of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Kyle Korver – all three of who are having an outstanding season. While their duel is mouthwatering, the other five are no slouches either, and that makes the three-point contest so, so exciting.
3. The Gasol Bros.
When Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol square off for the tip-off on Sunday, it will be the first time ever that two siblings have started at the same All-Star game.
4. The Greek Freak
The Slam Dunk Contest is still missing the names fans wanted to see, but it is returning to the classic format, and will feature Milwaukee Bucks' 6'11 guard Giannis Antetokounmpo. The dunk contest has never seen a near seven-footer like him, and that gives the fans a reason to watch it.
5. New Rising Stars' Challenge Format
The NBA has experimented a lot with the Rising Stars' Challenge these past few years. Nothing has worked, but this newer one might just. This year, the NBA is trying out the USA v. Rest of the World format, and a lot of people are already approving the idea.