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Hoops hoopla, star power converging in 'The 6' for NBA All-Star events

Last Updated Feb 11, 2016 at 2:32 pm EST

For the first time in NBA history, the All-Star Game is being held outside the United States and stops right here in ‘The 6.’

Expect the celebrity-spotting to be on the same level as the Toronto International Film Festival during the NBA All-Star weekend. There are over 200 NBA stars and legends, Hollywood celebrities and music superstars in Toronto to experience the ‘We The North‘ movement up close and personal.

There will plenty of hoops hoopla at True North, an entertainment hub at Roundhouse Park. The venue will host music events and private parties during the NBA All-Star weekend, which Toronto hosts from Friday to Sunday.

Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, and Usher are all slated to perform this weekend. There has been speculation that Drake will perform, but that has not been confirmed. The Raptors ambassador will also be a coach for the All-Star Celebrity Game.

Drake, left, celebrates next to Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey during Drake night at the NBA basketball game between the Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers in Toronto on Nov. 25, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese.
Drake, left, celebrates next to Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey during Drake night at the NBA basketball game between the Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers in Toronto on Nov. 25, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese.

 

The Raptors have bragging rights with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan giving the host city two guards in All-Star Game for the first time in 44 years.

Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry celebrates during the Raptors win over the Brooklyn Nets in NBA action in Toronto on Dec. 17, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn.
Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry celebrates during the Raptors win over the Brooklyn Nets in NBA action in Toronto on Dec. 17, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn.

 

As expected, tickets are extremely limited and buyer beware if you snag them from an outside seller.

The TTC will have ambassadors at several subway stations to help people get to their destinations. Expect downtown to be much busier than usual, so listen to 680 NEWS for traffic every 10 minutes on the ones.

Although the All-Star weekend officially starts on Friday, some of the broadcasting action gets underway on Thursday. Below are some events taking place Friday to Sunday. Click here for the full schedule.

Friday

NBA Celebrity All-Star Game
Huge stars are part of this “just for fun” game at Ricoh Coliseum at 7 p.m. The coaches are Toronto’s own Drake taking on comedian Kevin Hart.

Among the celebrities either helping to coach or play: Blue Jays superstar Jose Bautista, former Laker-turned TV analyst Rick Fox, host of America’s Got Talent Nick Cannon, and two-time NBA MVP, Canadian Steve Nash.

Ticketmaster says some tickets may be released closer to the event.

NBA Centre Court at the Enercare Centre
This event will allow fans to get a true NBA experience. There will be over 40 courts and baskets set up, where fans can compete in skills challenges, buy merchandise, and get autographs from NBA stars.

Click here for tickets.

BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
All-stars in the making will hoop it up at the Air Canada Centre (ACC). Among those taking part is Vaughan’s own Andrew Wiggins, last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year.

It starts at 9 p.m. Click here for tickets.

Saturday

NBA All-Star practice
This year’s all-stars will prepare for Sunday’s game with a morning practice at 11 a.m. at Ricoh Coliseum.

Ticket information can be found here.

State Farm All-Star Saturday Night
A fan-favourite as NBA stars show off their skills, including the three-point contest and superhuman and gasp-inducing slam dunks. Zach LeVine of the Timberwolves is competing to defend his dunking title.

It takes place Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the ACC.

Sunday

65th Annual NBA All-Star Game
Raptors’ guard Kyle Lowry is a starter, while DeMar DeRozan is a reserve for this year’s game. It’s also Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star Game before he retires at the end of the season.

Click here to watch the video on mobile.

 

East and West tip off at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. The broadcast starts at 8 p.m. on Sportsnet One and TSN.

Click here to watch the video on mobile.

 

With files from Jaime Pulfer