Didier Drogba makes his predictions for All-Star Saturday and Sunday

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All-Star weekend kicked off in style on Friday night as the best first and second years in the NBA put on a show at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine was named the BBVA Rising Stars MVP after his 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists led team US to a 157-154 win.

The game, full of excitement and energy, came on the back of the annual celebrity game where Kevin Hart, once again, stole the show.

His United States team fell 74-64 to Drake's Canadian celebrities at the Ricoh Coliseum, but Hart's arrival to the Rocky Balboa theme tune in the third quarter was the shining light.

Ahead of Saturday night's events at the Air Canada Center, former Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba gave his predictions for the remaining contests at All-Star weekend.

The State Farm All-Star Saturday night will see Stephen Curry and Zach LaVine try to retain their three-point and dunk titles, respectively. Drogba, a self-professed 'huge NBA fan' has backed both champions to defend their honours.

The Ivorian forward said: "He [Curry] is the reigning champion of the Three-Point Contest having won last year so everyone will want to beat him, including his teammate Klay Thompson. I’m also looking forward to seeing James Harden and I’m sure the crowd will be cheering for hometown hero Kyle Lowry. My prediction: Steph Curry to defeat Klay Thompson in the final.

"There is so much history in the Dunk Contest. Zach LaVine will again be the one to beat. He is so creative and of course, has an amazing vertical jump. Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic is also a talented dunker and I saw him up close and personal in January but my prediction isLaVine to reclaim the title."

The 65th All-Star game will bring an end to the weekend of basketball celebration as the best from each conference face off in the biggest exhibition game of the year.

The Western Conference have a roster stacked full of top-level talent, but Didier believes they will come up short on Sunday night.

"I think the West will take a big lead," he said. "Only for the East to pull back and win the game in overtime."

Of course, Drogba could not resist a special mention for the man the 2016 All-Star game has been highly focused around; Kobe Bryant.

"I am a huge Kobe fan. He’s one of the greatest to have ever played the game and his talent and determination are almost unmatched. He is so competitive you can understand why people say he is the closest thing to Michael Jordan.

"It will be emotional and he’ll receive a great reception from the fans and in true Kobe fashion, you can expect he’ll make a big impact."

Eastern Conference
Western Conference

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