Preparing for the NBA All-Star weekend festivities

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The NBA season is more than half way over and, in just a few months, the NBA and its teams have made their fair share of headlines (mostly from the Los Angeles Lakers). This weekend however, the league moves away from all those headlines, and showcases its best players during the 2013 All-Star Game weekend in Houston, TX from February 15-17.

There are plenty of great events taking place for fans heading to the festivities in Houston, including NBA Jam Session, where fans can participate in a slew of basketball activities, and the BBVA Rising Stars Game, which features the leagues best first- and second-year players. For me though, there are four events during the ASG weekend that I look forward to the most: the All-Star Celebrity Game, the Slam Dunk Contest, the 3-point Shootout, and the All-Star Game. Here is a look at each of these events:

All-Star Celebrity Game

The All-Star Celebrity game combines celebs from the world of music, movies, and television, with some legends from both men's and women's basketball. The game usually does not display the highest quality basketball, but it is definitely entertaining. I mean, where else are you going to see Justin Beiber crossover Common?

2013 Participants: Nick Cannon, Ne-Yo, Josh Hutcherson, Usain Bolt, etc.

Slam Dunk Contest

In the past few years, the Slam Dunk Contest has lost some of its luster. The competition used to feature the NBA's most elite players including Michael Jordan and Vince Carter, but now, the players don't quite have the same draw. For me, that does not mean the contest won't still be a must-watch. Case in point, Knicks forward Jame White. He is averaging 1.8 points per game and you may not have heard of him, but he might be the best dunker in the league (video proof to the left).

2013 Participants: White, Jeremy Evans, Gerald Green, Kenneth Faried, Eric Bledsoe, and Terrence Ross

3-point Shootout

This may be my favorite event, and I don't know if I have a great reason. Growing up, my favorite player was Larry Bird and when I think of the 3-point contest, I think of Bird's performance in the 1988 contest. Knocking down the last ball with his finger raised to the sky — classic.

2013 Participants: Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Matt Bonner, Ryan Anderson, Steve Novak, and Paul George

2013 NBA All-Star Game

The conclusion of the weekend is marked with the All-Star Game. This year's game features some of the best players in the history of the game all on one court. Oh yeah, and none of those players will be playing any defense, so there will definitely be a lot offense. Should be a good game and I can't wait.

2013 Participants: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, etc.