Spectacular slam dunks, fancy passes and arching three-point shots are expected to delight fans at this weekend's NBA All-Star game at Staples Center. But the real razzle-dazzle is taking place off the court, before and after the game.
A-listers from the film and music world, including Jamie Foxx, Diddy and Justin Bieber, are preparing to mix with current and former NBA players at an avalanche of celebrity-studded events — concerts, pregame competitions and parties stretching from Hollywood to Venice. The star power that usually attends these galas might relegate the game itself to second billing.
One prime kickoff event is a Thursday night concert at L.A. Live's Club Nokia hosted by singer and Oscar-winning actor Foxx. On Friday, Boston Celtics star — and former Laker — Shaquille O'Neal will also host an all-star comedy jam headlined by Kevin Hart ("Soul Plane") at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
Other notable All-Star events around town include:
• A celebrity basketball game matching players with stars. Personalities expected to suit up include teen sensation Bieber, Joel McHale ("Community"), Common, hall of famer Scottie Pippen and Nick Cannon. Coaching the teams will be Jason Alexander, Jimmy Kimmel and Ty Burrell ("Modern Family"), along with basketball legends Bill Walton and Magic Johnson. Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles; 4 p.m. Friday; $40-$50 (sold out); http://www.nba.com/jamsession.
• A star-studded private party hosted by Sean "Diddy" Combs Friday night at Hollywood's Avalon nightclub. Scheduled attendees include Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino ("Jersey Shore"), rapper T-Pain and "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" stars Camille Grammer and Kyle Richards. Invite only.
• Lil Wayne and Drake will be performing Sunday at NBA All-Star Sunday Grand Finale, Siren Studios, 6063 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; 9 p.m. $200 general admission; http://www.wantickets.com/KeithWaxEnt.