The NBA announced today that Eric Bledsoe would be competing in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night in Houston. It’s a bit of a unexpected but welcome announcement after word came out yesterday that DeAndre Jordan had declined an invitation to join in the dunk festivities.
This is in addition to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin starting for the West All-Star team on Sunday and Chris Paul captaining the Saturday night festivities for the Western Conference.
For the first time, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature a format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in an exciting night of competition that will also raise money for charity. Wade, making his ninth All-Star appearance, and Paul, a six time All-Star, will lead the teammates from their respective conference that will be competing in the four All-Star skills competitions.
In addition, NBA Cares and State Farm will make a joint donation of $500,000 as part of the event, with $350,000 going to the winning conference’s charities and $150,000 to the runner-up conference’s charities. The Eastern Conference will be playing for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Make-A-Wish America, while the Western Conference will compete for Boys & Girls Club of America and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The charities were selected by Wade and Paul, the NBA, and State Farm.
“State Farm All-Star Saturday Night is a night for the fans and the events provide some of the most memorable moments in NBA history,” said Paul. “Not only are we playing for bragging rights, but we are also raising money for charity, so it is definitely going to be a great night.”
As it stand, the Clippers will be well represented not only at the All-Star game, but for much of the weekend.