Music fills the streets. There are open air cafés around every corner. From the beautiful gardens, parks, world class zoo and rich culture, New Orleans has loads for families to do on any given Saturday or Sunday. But if you love basketball and are heading there this President’s Day Weekend, then NOLA, which is hosting the 66th NBA All-Star Game, is going to make it tougher than ever to make your weekend picks.
To make it easy on you, here’s a quick rundown of family friendly NBA All Star Weekend options. Plus if you want to take in a few of N’Awlins’ other sites, we’ve got a host of other ways to enjoy Mardi Gras—yes, that’s happening this weekend, too!—and everything else the Big Easy has to offer.
The action kicked off Thursday, when the NBA on TNT Road Show and Inside the NBA hosts Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal set up shop in Champions Square. For fans who want to get in on the action, two "NBA on TNT Road Show" basketball courts being installed will offer kids games, fan dunk contests and visits by various NBA stars throughout the weekend, in addition to Inside the NBA telecasts, a basketball trivia contest kiosk, pop-up stores and more.
The All Star main events happening at the Smoothie King Center begin with Friday night’s BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. For just $10 per seat, the family can get a look at the NBA’s rising stars as the league’s top rookies and 2nd years go head-to-head with other top players from around the world.
On Saturday, showtime begins at 11 a.m. as current NBA stars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kawhi Leonard take the court for the East and West All-Star team practice to get ready for Sunday’s big game. You won’t want to miss the other big faves of the All-Star weekend franchise. If the evening’s slam dunk and 3-Point competitions don't inspire the kids to practice their jumpers nothing will!
Sunday’s ultimate East-West showdown, begins at 7 p.m. And in true New Orleans fashion, music will be front and center. Beginning at 6, the Roots, the Grammy winning house band of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will take center court. John Legend will also be in the house as star of the half-time show.
Whether you watch the game at the Smoothie King Center or one of the many other venues televising the action, you can bank on seeing some amazing basketball—even though UNICEF Kid Power Champion Tyson Chandler won't be playing. But with other giants from the East and West going head-to-head, it's bound to be a really big show!