As for the competitive events leading up to the All-Star Game, participants have already been announced, with replacements (for injured/unavailable players) named a couple of weeks after. This means fans have already made their picks for winners (skills, three-point, dunk) and Most Valuable Players (rookie-sophomore, ASG).
FHM, being the basketball-crazy team it is, wasn't going to get left behind, thus, doing our best impersonation of Shaqstradamus with our All-Star Weekend prophecy.
Rising Stars Challenge
FHM's MVP: Nikola Jokic
Jokic of the Denver Nuggets isn't joking around. The Serbian sophomore is expected to flat-out dominate his age bracket—have you seen his All-Star-worthy play since the year started (22 PTS 11.1 REB 5.6 AST)? The first-ever triple-double in Rising Stars Challenge history will be the icing on the cake.
Other contestants: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, John Wall, Devin Booker, Kristaps Porzingis, Nikola Jokic (replacing injured Joel Embiid)
FHM's winner: Isaiah Thomas
Last time around, Mr. Fourth Quarter came up short (pun intended) against Karl Anthony Towns to give the new-age big men victory in their first skills event. The guards are clearly out for revenge, and it would be fitting for the smallest participant to be the David who will slay those skilled giants.
Other contestants: Klay Thompson (reigning champion), Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker, Eric Gordon, Wesley Matthews, C.J. McCollum
FHM's winner: Nick Young
We're placing our bets on the darkhorse contender simply because he has far more swag than any other shooter. But seriously, a three-point trophy will validate the terrific season Young is having under coach Luke Walton (41% from beyond the arc). This time, he will actually have a reason to celebrate.
Other contestants: DeAndre Jordan, Glenn Robinson III, Derrick Jones, Jr.
FHM's winner: Aaron Gordon
This competition is his for the taking, especially with Zach Lavine—out for the season with a torn ACL—unable to defend his crown. Does the Orlando Magic forward have enough from his bag of tricks after last year's dunk spectacle? Gordon will need more than Stuff the Magic Dragon to clear this interesting hurdle.
FHM's MVP: Carmelo Anthony
With everything going on in New York, Kevin Love's (ironic) replacement will have a shot at vindication during the annual exhibition. Apart from the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook dilemma in the West, another intriguing All-Star subplot is the way friends Anthony and LeBron James will conduct themselves amid trade rumors.
It's time to make your taga-North girlfriend proud!
It's about time
The Linkin Park frontman's demise still hasn't sunk in yet