LeBron and Kobe battle in Houston

The brightest stars in American professional basketball are taking centre stage.

The NBA’s All-Star Weekend will feature LeBron James of the Miami Heat squaring off against Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers as the Eastern and Western Conferences battle for bragging rights on Sunday, 17 February, in Houston, Texas.

Sunday’s 62nd All-Star Game, which will be broadcast at 8pm on TNT, figures to centre on the sport’s two biggest names, who had the most fan votes for their teams with over 1.5 million votes each.

Beyond LeBron and Kobe, there will be plenty of talent on the court with Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics among the East starters. LeBron’s team-mate Dwyane Wade is another starter and the team captain.

Kobe might arguably have the better supporting cast with team-mate Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Clippers Chris Paul (the team captain) and Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder rounding out the starting five.

Outside of Sunday’s showcase, a number of notable events will be going on. Most will be taking place on Saturday, 16 February, from 8.30pm on TNT. All-Star Saturday Night features the Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk competitions.

Look for Chris Bosh to star in the Shooting Stars event, Jeremy Lin and Tony Parker to square off in the Skills Challenge and Kyrie Irving to dazzle in the Three-Point Contest.

The weekend’s festivities actually launch on Friday, 15 February, with the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at 7pm on ESPN and the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at 9pm on TNT. Track and field hero Usain Bolt and actor Nick Cannon are among the major celebs hitting the court with Chandler Parsons taking the spotlight in the Rising Stars Challenge.

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