Breaking News
More () »

3 things to watch for at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland

The NBA All-Star Game festivities take place in Cleveland from Feb. 18-20.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers are in action on Tuesday before the NBA All-Star break begins. 

While some members of the team will be headed to warmer parts of the globe, rookie big man Evan Mobley, second-year guard Isaac Okoro, point guard Darius Garland and center Jarrett Allen will be sticking around in Cleveland to take part in the All-Star festivities.

RELATED: NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland: Everything you need to know from special guests, moments, events and more

Here are three things to watch for this upcoming weekend as the NBA’s All-Star Game descends upon Cleveland...

Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro in the Rising Stars Game

The weekend will get off to a good start for Cavs fans as both Mobley and Okoro will be on the floor during the Rising Stars Game, which now has a new four-team format that should be interesting at the very least. The two youngsters for the Cavs are on the same team, which will be coached by NBA legend Rick Barry. Team Barry will have Mobley, the leader in the clubhouse for Rookie of the Year honors as of now, paired with top overall pick Cade Cunningham from Detroit. Former Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jae’Sean Tate will also be on the team representing the Houston Rockets. 

The way the Rising Stars Game will work this year is a three-game tournament. Team Barry will be taking on a team coached by NBA legend Gary Payton that features Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball and Toronto’s Scottie Barnes. The winner of that game will then take on the winner of the game between Team Isiah (Thomas) and Team (James) Worthy in the championship.

Betting odds for the game have not yet been released, but Team Isiah should be looked at as the early favorite, featuring six second-year players in addition to Jaen Hardy of the NBA G League Ignite.

RELATED: Move over, Super Bowl: Cleveland ready to step into limelight with NBA All-Star Game

Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and yes, LeBron James teaming up

The main event on Sunday night will feature members of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time since the 2017-18 season back when LeBron James and Kevin Love represented the team. Now, a new era of Cavs basketball has arrived, but it will still feature an old friend in James.

Both Garland and Allen are making their first career All-Star appearance, and they’re going to be teammates while they do it. Garland was one of James’ first selections while he was filling out his bench, and Allen ended up on Team LeBron by default, thanks to Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant refusing to pick former teammate James Harden for his roster. On Monday, the news then broke that Harden would be out with a hamstring issue until after the All-Star Game, opening up the door for Allen to be named to the game as an injury replacement.

The chances of a reunion in Cleveland with James and the Cavaliers seem pretty slim and unnecessary at this point, but just like back when James and then-Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving teamed up at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, it can be fun to see what it would look like, and maybe even dream a little.

The NBA’s Top 75

The last time the NBA came to Cleveland for the All-Star Game was 25 years ago during the league’s 50th anniversary season. Back then, the NBA released its 50 greatest players that encapsulated its first 50 years in existence. Now, the league has already announced its list, but it’s unclear if something is going to be done to honor the group during the festivities on Saturday or Sunday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. If so, Cleveland could have the most talented collection of basketball players ever assembled all in the same building at once.

Before You Leave, Check This Out