400 W. Church St.
Chances are, most of us won’t be watching the NBA All-Star Game courtside – or even in nosebleed-style, for that matter (the very limited amount of remaining tickets cost upwards of $500). But what the City Beautiful will soon learn is that while, yes, the All-Star game packs a powerhouse roster of players – Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, our own Dwight Howard, to name a few – the real action takes place off the court this weekend, as an influx of superstars land in Orlando, hosting club parties, roundtable discussions and comedy shows. Locals also give a collective nod to the game with basketball-related art shows, happy hour and game-viewing events, All-Star block parties and, wait for it, even a few free events (see right for listings). If Orlando can avoid the violent mayhem often coupled with NBA All-Star Weekend, it’ll be an impressive slam-dunk for our city.
Thursday, Feb. 23
Fifth Annual Dwyane Wade All-Star Carpet Soiree 9 p.m. Thursday; Vain, 22 S. Magnolia Ave.; $75-$125; 407-835-3590.
Welcome to Orlando Hosted by Dwight Howard & WorldStar 9:30 p.m. Thursday; Roxy Nightclub, 740 Bennett Road; $50-$75; 407-898-4004.
Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 23-26
NBA All-Star Jam Session Various times Thursday-Sunday; Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; free-$20; 407-685-9800; nba.com/allstar2012.
Friday, Feb. 24
All Sports. All Art. Sports Fans Happy Hour Sports-related artworks; exhibit through March 9. 6-9 p.m. Friday; CityArts Factory, 29 S. Orange Ave.; free; 407-648-7060; orlandoslice.com.
Dwight Howard and Floyd Mayweather’s “Best of the Best” 10 p.m. Friday; Vain, 22 S. Magnolia Ave.; $120-$170; 407-835-3590.
Grand Opening of All-Star Weekend 2012: Meek Mill, Red Café, French Montana, DJ Sean Magnificent 10 p.m. Friday; The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave.; $75-$200; 407-648-8363.
Harwood Pioneers Reflect Roundtable Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Sharon Robinson and others. 5:15 p.m. Friday; Walt Disney World Swan, Lake Buena Vista; $50; 321-913-9400; legendsofbasketball.com.
BBVA Rising Stars Challenge 9 p.m. Friday; Amway Center, 400 W. Church St.; $35-50; 800-745-3000; nba.com/allstar2012.
Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game 7 p.m. Friday; Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; $50-$75; 407-685-9800; nba.com/allstar2012.
The Ciroc Museum Presents: Kevin Hart and Eva Marcille 9 p.m. Friday; Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton St.; $125-$5,000; 407-514-2000; orlandoallstarweekend.com.
Xpensive Habits hosted by Kevin Durant 10 p.m. Friday; Sheltair Executive Airport Hangar, 321 N. Crystal Lake Drive; $75-$200; 321-276-5606.
Friday-Saturday, Feb. 24-25
Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Weekend 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; Hard Rock Live, CityWalk at Universal Orlando; $75-$125; 407-351-5483; hardrock.com.
Saturday, Feb. 25
All Star: Illustration by Tim Eggert Series of illustrations. 8 p.m. Saturday; The Falcon, 819 E. Washington St.; free; 407-423-2788; thefalconbar.com.
Diddy NBA All-Star Party 9 p.m. Saturday; Cheyenne Saloon, 128 W. Church St.; $100-$150; 407-839-3000.
NBA All-Star Fit Run, Walk & Dribble Various times Saturday; Lake Eola Park, North Rosalind and East Washington Street; visit website for details; 407-246-2827; nba.com/allstar2012.
NBA All-Star Practice 10:45 a.m. Saturday; Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; $50-$75; 407-685-9800; nba.com/allstar2012.
NBA All-Star Saturday Night With the Slam Dunk Contest. 8 p.m. Saturday; Amway Center, 400 W. Church St.; visit website for details; 800-745-3000; nba.com/allstar2012.
Sipping on the Sidelines The Art of Basketball art exhibit. 4-7 p.m. Saturday; Church Street Station Exchange; free.
Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 25-26
Wall Street All-Star Party Weekend Noon Saturday-Sunday; Wall Street Plaza, Wall and Court streets; call for price; 407-849-0471; wallstplaza.net.
Sunday, Feb. 26
All-Star Closeout Party Mary J. Blige and R. Kelly 9:30 p.m. Sunday; Majestic Event Center, 801 N. John Young Parkway; $125; 407-300-9124.
Grand Closing Party of All-Star Weekend 2012 With Rick Ross. 10 p.m. Sunday; The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave.; $100-$200; 407-648-8363. n