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NBA Jam Session gives fans a chance to be part of All-Star festivities

The event, Friday through Monday at the Los Angeles Convention Center, will feature clinics, autograph signings, competitions and exhibits. All-Star game participants are also expected to attend.

February 16, 2011|By Chris Foster
  • A life-sized Lego figure of Jason Kidd, made from more than 80,000 pieces, is set up by Joe Straughan, left , Reggie Lewis, center, and Brian Bowler at the Los Angeles Convention Center during the 2004 NBA Jam Session.
A life-sized Lego figure of Jason Kidd, made from more than 80,000 pieces,… (Los Angeles Times )

All that is missing for the NBA Jam Session is a catchphrase, such as "Just Do It," except that the event is sponsored by Adidas.

Still, the theme at the Los Angeles Convention Center event Friday through Monday is for fans to experience the NBA.

Tickets for what the NBA calls its "premier fan event" are $12 to $20 Friday and Monday and $20 to $30 Saturday and Sunday.

"What we're doing is giving fans their own unique All-Star experience," said Gail Hunter, senior vice president of events and attractions for the NBA. "The majority of fans can't get tickets to the All-Star game. With 'Jam Session,' they have a chance to see NBA players, NBA legends, play the game like a pro and can be a part of the celebration."

Basketball courts have been installed at the Convention Center to create what NBA officials call a "basketball theme park." Three-on-three tournaments, as well as other competitions and exhibits, are scheduled.

Former NBA players and WNBA players will sign autographs and run basketball clinics throughout the weekend. Magic Johnson, Bill Walton, A.C. Green, Mitch Richmond and Scottie Pippen are among the former NBA players who will be in attendance. Two-time Olympic gold medal winner Katie Smith heads the WNBA players who will participate.

NBA All-Stars will make appearances, as well, with the Clippers' Blake Griffin scheduled for Sunday.

Two of the events scheduled that require special tickets are already sold out — the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday and the East and West team practices on Saturday. Other events are open to the public.

The NBA D-League All-Star Game is Saturday at 2 p.m. The teams features several men who played in the NBA this season — center Chris Johnson (Portland), guard Garrett Temple (Milwaukee), guard Orien Greene (New Jersey), guard Zabian Dowdell (Phoenix), guard Trey Johnson (Toronto), forward Larry Owens (San Antonio) and Mustafa Shakur (Washington). Former Cal State San Bernardino forward Ivan Johnson is also in the game.

The D-League skills competition will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Competitions include a slam dunk contest, three-point shooting contest and shooting stars contest.

The Slam Dunk Showdown, an amateur competition that began last May, will be at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The competition has been whittled down to four finalists, who will compete for $10,000. The winner also will attend the NBA Slam Dunk contest Saturday at Staples Center. Miami's LeBron James and former NBA center Darryl Dawkins will be judges.

The NBA All-Star Jam Session Invitational finals will be Monday, featuring 16 girls' and 16 boys' teams of high-schoolers from the area. Girls will begin play at 11 a.m. and boys at 12:30 p.m.

chris.foster@latimes.com

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