3 Hornets who could still make it to NBA All-Star weekend

2024 NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana
2024 NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
1 of 3

The starters for the NBA’s 73rd annual All-Star Game have already been announced, and the reserves will follow on Thursday night. While it’s a foregone conclusion that the Hornets won’t be represented in the game itself, there are several other competitions throughout All-Star Weekend.

We know that at least one Hornet will be in Indianapolis, as on Tuesday afternoon, rookie Brandon Miller was named to the 2024 Rising Stars showcase, which will take place on Friday, February 16th at 9 PM EST. 

Miller is more than worthy of this recognition, and will undoubtedly represent the city of Charlotte quite well, but the real marquee begins with All-Star Saturday Night, starting at 8 PM EST, live in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts.

The Saturday night schedule features the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest, and of course the Slam Dunk Contest. Very few participants have actually been confirmed for these events, and the structure and format of the Skills Challenge are still a mystery.

The current Hornets team has very little firsthand experience with All-Star weekend, and most of it comes from Kyle Lowry, who is hardly a part of the team at all. Still, several players on the roster could make a compelling case for one of the NBA’s Saturday night events. Let’s take a look at three Hornets players who could factor into the equation.

Skills Challenge: LaMelo Ball

Again, the format of this competition hasn’t even been announced as of this writing, so this is a fair bit of speculation. But historically, the general idea of this event has been to highlight a combination of ball handling, passing, layups, and shooting. 

Ball can do all of those things at a high level, plus he can add plenty of his flair and pizazz, something that should be attractive to the league. Ball also has the proper amount of star power, as he made the All-Star Game in 2022, and his jersey is currently the 13th highest-selling out of any NBA player.

 LaMelo checks all the boxes for this event in theory, and his inclusion would be a good way for the NBA to get one of their brightest young stars into the limelight on a major national stage. At this point, it’s likely the only way he’ll be in the national spotlight at all this season. 

Working against him could be the fact that the past couple of years they’ve gone with a team format for this one. Three teams of three competed in a skills relay race. The teams have been made up of teammates, brothers (the Antetokounmpo’s), and all rookies. If Lonzo was healthy, they could make an interesting team of Ball brothers (LiAngelo is just as good as Thanasis or Kostas, give me a break).

Since that’s not going to happen, the best chance is likely for a trio of Hornets. Miller will already be in Indianapolis for Rising Stars, so he’d make a natural teammate, but figuring out a third could be tricky. Unless one of these next two players is invited for a different event.