Kemba Walker charlotte hornets

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker will be playing in his third All-Star Game Sunday, and ranks with Stephen Curry and LeBron James among favorite NBA players in the survey. 

The NBA All-Star game is finally back in Charlotte, and some of the world’s most popular athletes – and other celebrities – will be in the city this weekend.

We asked area high school basketball players – guys and the ladies – their thoughts on the different aspects of the All-Star Game, as well as the league in general. Here are some of the findings:

All-Star event

The Slam Dunk Contest out-shines the game in the players' eyes, and the Rising Stars game on Friday night was deemed least noteworthy.

• Though both the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker and Davidson College grad Stephen Curry are on Team Giannis (Antetokounmpo), most players thought Team LeBron (James) has the better roster. James’ team includes Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and reigning MVP James Harden.

All Star Roster.jpg

Though Stephen Curry and Kemba Walker are on Team Giannis, local players think the combination of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, et al, is better.

• It was no surprise Curry, owner of most 3-point shooting records, was the pick to win that contest, but Dirk Nowitzki and Devin Booker each got 5.5 percent of the vote via write-ins.

All Star 3-point

Stephen Curry is expected to win the 3-Point Contest, but there is support for the Suns' Devin Booker and 40-year-old Dirk Nowitzki.

• One of the NBA’s most versatile scorers for more than a decade, Durant was chosen as the player most wanted to have the ball in his hands down 1 point with 10 seconds left. And likely joking, JaVale McGee – whose career average is 7.8 points per game – was chosen by one person to have the ball in this situation.

All Star favorite player

Multi-time NBA champions LeBron James and Stephen Curry finished just behind the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo.

• One of the respondents said they were for sure attending one of the events – tickets to Saturday and Sunday events cost in the thousands online – and 20 percent were still holding out hope on landing a seat.

All Star slam dunk

There are plenty of North Carolina ties in the dunk contest. John Collins and recently traded Dennis Smith Jr. both played their college ball here, while the Hornets are represented by Miles Bridges.

• Just because you play a sport, doesn’t mean you love watching it, but basketball was overwhelmingly the favorite, with football getting 13.9 percent of the vote.

All Star rules

Either calling more traveling or adjusting the rules to it was a common aspect of the game that needs changed, the players said.

Methodology: The link to the survey was sent Feb. 8 to 19 boys and girls basketball coaches in the Lake Norman Publications coverage area via SurveyMonkey. Thirty-six anonymous responses were submitted between Feb 8-12. Some of the responses in the rules question had multiple items, and each of those were counted separately, which created a variance in the graph's proportions from the rest of the data.

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