nbaallstarlogo-300The NBA’s midseason break is here and for the first time ever it will be hosted outside of the United States. Toronto, Canada, home of the Raptors, Drake, outstanding and varied cuisine, an incredible nightlife and the Tim Horton’s headquarters (if we’re counting the suburb of Oakville) is the center of the NBA’s universe this weekend. Aside from being played in a foreign country for the first time, it’s also the 65th birthday of the NBA’s ASG and we’ve compiled 65 fun facts for you to impress your friends with this weekend while you’re watching the Three-Point Shootout.

 

  1. This is Kobe Bryant’s 18th (and final) All-Star appearance.
  2. Kobe’s 18 appearances are one short of the record for most All-Star appearances.
  3. Kareem Abdul-Jabar holds the record with 19.
  4. Kobe has won the All-Star MVP a record-tying four times (Bob Pettit of the St Louis Hawks is the other player.)
  5. In lieu of an MVP ceremony at the game’s conclusion, Kobe Bryant will receive an AARP card from Adam Silver.
  6. Damian Lillard, arguably the largest ASG snub this season, is averaging 24.4 points per game to Kobe’s 16.9 ppg.
  7. Steph Curry is averaging an absolutely bonkers 45% on three pointers this season. Kobe is averaging 40% on two-point field goals for the year
  8. Steph Curry is not actually a human, but a sophisticated and sentient robot sent here from the future to find John Connor and teach him how to nail threes. Seriously, these are Curry’s numbers this season.
  9. Oddly enough, with the All-Star Weekend being hosted in Canada, there were zero foreign-born players on either roster until Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls was added this week as an injury replacement for Jimmy Butler.
  10. With Gasol’s inclusion, there’s been at least one international player on an ASG roster since 1982!
  11. Kawhi Leonard, who is making his first All-Star appearance, has actual oven mitts for hands. This malformation has afforded him the nickname “Vin The Baker.”
  12. In addition to Leonard, both Draymond Green from Golden State and Detroit’s Andre Drummond are making their first ASG appearances.
  13. Steve Nash, Canada’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, is coaching alongside Drake (also from Canada) and Jose Bautista (plays baseball) in the Celebrity All-Star Game.
  14. The Three-Point Contest has legitimately replaced the Slam Dunk Contest as the “must-watch” event on Saturday night.
  15. Vince Carter killed the slam dunk (and 30 innocent bystanders) during the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest.
  16. This year’s Three-Point Shootout is highlighted by returning champ, Steph Curry, his teammate Klay Thompson and JJ Redick of the LA Clippers.
  17. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge is getting bigs involved in the contest which has typically been dominated by guards. Anthony Davis of the Pelicans, Karl-Anthony Towns from the T-wolves, Draymond Green of Golden State and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins highlight the bigs that are invited.
  18. If Cousins makes it to the final or a tie-breaker scenario, game over. The final and tie-breakers are how many tacos one can wolf down in a minute. DO NOT BET AGAINST DEMARCUS IN THIS SCENARIO.
  19. The NBA’s very first regular season game was played at the old Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on November 1, 1946. It was contested between the New York Knicks and the Toronto Huskies.
  20. Kobe Bryant is the record-holder for most ASG points(280) in a career.
  21. LeBron James is only two points(278) behind Kobe.
  22. LeBron James has famously never participated in the Dunk Contest.
  23. Zach LaVine, who was seemingly only born to dunk, will be defending his 2015 Dunk Contest title this year.
  24. Andre Drummond will also be competing in the competition.
  25. Kevin Hart will be coaching in the Celebrity game against Drake and Co. Hart, who is basically young Kobe in Celeb games, won the Celeb game MVP a record four times. The guy can seriously ball.
  26. Isaiah Thomas is making his All-Star debut this year and was the 60th (and last) player drafted back in 2011.
  27. Golden State has the most players represented on the ASG rosters this season with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
  28. The record for most players from one team on an All-Star roster is four (held by Atlanta, Detroit, LA Lakers, Philladelphia and the Boston Celtics).
  29. Draymond Green is leading the league in triple-doubles this season. He has 10 so far.
  30. Green’s All-Star teammates, Russell Westbrook, is second in the league with 8 trip-dubs and Russ also has 35(!!) double-doubles.
  31. Russell Westbrook won the All-Star MVP last season and was awarded, among other things, a free Kia and gave it to a single mom. True story.

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  32. Kevin Durant and Paul George are both back in the All-Star game after comebacks from fairly gruesome injuries.
  33. It’s George’s third All-Star nod.
  34. Paul George is a huge fisherman in his downtime and actually wona bass tournament last spring.
  35. Ice fishing will probably be the only viable option in Toronto this weekend (the forecast high for Saturday is 2° Fahrenheit! Brrrr!)
  36. We used “Fahrenheit” in the above fact. Canada, like much of the world, uses the Celsius scale, unlike us weirdos in the USA.
  37. Here’s a handy equation to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit: T(°F) = T(°C) × 9/5 + 32
  38. Former all-star and current host on TNT, Shaquille O’Neal, wore the number 34 while he was on the LA Lakers due to his preferred number (32) being retired in honor of Magic Johnson.
  39. Shaq rocked 32, 34, 33 and 36 during his NBA career.
  40. Steve Kerr, the head coach for Golden State, won’t be on the sidelines in Sunday’s game. The NBA prohibits coaches from being ASG coach two years in a row.
  41. Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will be taking over for Kerr on the Western bench.
  42. Tyronn Lue, who replaced the fired David Blatt in Cleveland, will be coaching the Eastern Conference.
  43. Popovich is an admitted oenophile and worked with the CIA in Eastern Europe before becoming a hoops coach.
  44. Tyronn Lue won two championships while on the early 2000s LA Lakers. He was teammates with both Kobe Bryant and Shaq.
  45. Lue was immortalized in the 2001 NBA Finals when Allen Iverson stepped over him after nailing a dagger to clinch the first game of the series (Lue and LA would go on to win the title).
  46. Iverson, who made the ASG 11 times, scored 48 points in that game. He also won MVP that season.
  47. Michael Jordan only made three three-point shots in his entire All-Star Game career.
  48. He only attempted 11 total from beyond the arc in his 13 ASG appearances.
  49. James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, LeBron James and Kyle Korver all made more than three 3’s in last year’s ASG.
  50. His Airness and Kobe Bryant are tied for the most-steals in All-Star Games with 37 throughout their respective careers. PorzingisCN
  51. Toronto’s CN Tower was the tallest structure in the world until Kristaps Porzingis was completed in 2015.
  52. Dirk Nowitzki leads all international players with 13 All-Star appearances.
  53. NBA on TNT staple/wearer of ostentatious suits, Craig Sager, will be roaming the All-Star sidelines for a record 27th time.
  54. Sager hopefully will get some chat time with Gregg Popovich. The duo has a famously funny (and stilted) rapport.
  55. The always high-scoring affair has seen the winning team score less than 100 points only twice (1953 and 1954)
  56. Last season’s final (a 163-158 win for the West) was the highest-scoring All-Star Game ever.
  57. It’s hard to believe, but LeBron James was not an all-star in his first season.
  58. LeBron has been an all-star every year since his rookie season.
  59. LeBron, Michael Jordan and Dwyane Wade are the only three players to have ever recorded a triple-double in an ASG.
  60. In 2014, Carmelo Anthony set a new record for threes in an ASG with 8.
  61. In the same game, Kevin Durant attempted 17 three-pointers.
  62. The record for most points in a game is held by Wilt Chamberlain (42).
  63. Russell Westbrook owns the record for most points in a half (27).
  64. 108,713 is the highest attendance at an All-Star Game. The record was set at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in 2010.
  65. The Air Canada Centre has a capacity of about 20,000.

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