Shining Stars In Salt Lake

February 17, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Happy Friday 

It’s another massive sports weekend coming in fast. As you may know, our Friday editions have always included the ever-popular “Must-Watch List,” but we’re taking it up a notch. With the NBA All-Star Break, Daytona 500, Tiger Woods’ Return, and Spring Training open, it’s time to launch The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar. You’ll get access to our annual sports calendar, and you can follow along as events get added, changed, or moved throughout the year. 

Tracking sports just got easier.

Letter Rip!


The NBA Heads to Salt Lake for All-Star Weekend

Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

The 72nd NBA All-Star Game: Player Draft, Saturday Events & Everything Else You Need to Know for All-Star Weekend

The NBA has become much more experimental when it comes to its All-Star Game in recent years. Back in 2018, the league got rid of the traditional format of the Eastern Conference playing against the Western Conference. Instead, the two leading vote-getters draft their own teams from a pool of the rest of the All-Star selections. This year, there is another twist – we won’t know what the teams are until game time. Captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be drafting their teams live during the pregame show on Sunday night. There never was much coaching or play calls anyways, but the new schoolyard style of picking teams right before tipoff means that this year’s All-Star game eliminates any chance for preparation and will feature pure pickup basketball vibes similar to your local rec center.

Keep Your Eye Eye on Mac McClung

In an effort to give the dunk contest a much-needed boost, the NBA selected Mac McClung as a participant in the event. Despite spending all of this season in the G-League, McClung is a respected high-flyer who was a viral sensation in high school for his incredible dunking ability. In a contest that has seemingly seen every dunk under the sun, Mac recently said that he has ‘at least’ two new dunks that nobody has ever done up his sleeve. He’s talked a big game up until this point. We’ll see if he can back it up on Saturday night. 

NBA All-Star Weekend Schedule of Events

Friday Night

All-Star Celebrity Game (7:00 pm ET)

Rising Stars Game (9:00 pm ET)

Saturday Night

Skills Challenge (8:00 pm ET)

Team Antetokounmpo: Giannis, Thanasis & Alex Antetokounmpo

Team Jazz: Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler & Collin Sexton

Team Rookies: Paolo Banchero (ORL), Jaden Ivey (DET) & Jabari Smith Jr. (HOU)

3-Point Contest (8:00 pm ET)

Participants: Tyrese Haliburton (IND), Tyler Herro (MIA), Buddy Hield (IND), Kevin Huerter (SAC), Damian Lillard (POR), Lauri Markkanen (UTA), Julius Randle (NYK), Jayson Tatum (BOS)

Slam Dunk Contest (8:00 pm ET)

Participants: Kenyon Martin Jr. (HOU), Mac McClung (PHI), Trey Murphy III (NOP), Jericho Sims (NYK)

Sunday Night

72nd NBA All-Star Game (7:30 pm ET)

Additional Storylines

NBA: NBA All-Star 2023: By the Numbers

ESPN: Giannis Antetokounmpo Sprains Right Wrist, All-Star Game Status Unknown

CBS: Julius Randle to Replace Injured Anfernee Simons in 3-Point Contest



The Daytona Primer

Photo: Tom Pennington / Getty Images

The 65th Edition of The Great American Race Starts the Engine of NASCAR’s 2023 Season

The spring racing slate began in early February, but this Sunday’s Daytona 500 will officially welcome NASCAR back to the spotlight. The 65th edition of The Great American race hits the asphalt at Daytona International Speedway Sunday afternoon (2:30 pm ET), and racing fans can finally rejoice after a long winter. The qualifying laps are in the books, and we’re ready for the drivers to start their engines. Here’s a look at the starting grid and the drivers with the best odds.

2023 Daytona 500 Qualifying Results

1. Alex Bowman (181.686 mph)

2. Kyle Larson (181.057 mph)

3. William Byron (180.727 mph)

4. Aric Almirola (180.723 mph)

5. Joey Logano (180.712 mph)

Full Qualifying Results

Driver Odds

Denny Hamlin (+1200), Chase Elliot (+1200), Ryan Blaney (+1200), Joey Logano (+1400), Kyle Larson (+1400), Kyle Busch (+1400)

Race: Sunday (2:30 pm ET, FOX)

Additional Storylines

NASCAR: 101 for Daytona 500: NASCAR’s Grandest Stage

CBS Sports: Alex Bowman Wins Pole in Great American Race for 3rd Time

FOX Sports: Jimmie Johnson & Travis Pastrana Qualify for Daytona 500



Tiger Tracker: Woods Impresses In First Round Back

Photo: Ben Jared / Getty Images

Tiger Woods Finishes Strong, Cards a 2-Under After First Round at Genesis Invitational

Max Homa and Keith Mitchell are tied for the lead after both shooting a stellar 64 (-7) through the first round at Riviera. But all the talk after the first day of the tournament was about Tiger Woods. After a rough stretch through holes 10-12 that saw two bogeys, Tiger turned back the clock with three straight impressive birdies to close out his first round at a respectable 69. This was about as good as anyone could have possibly expected from Woods as it was his first taste of professional golf in over seven months. The question heading into today is whether or not he can do it again. At 47 years old and a lengthy injury history, maintaining this level of play honestly seems unlikely for Tiger, but we sure hope we’re wrong.

Leaderboard (Round 1)

M. Homa (-7)
K. Mitchell (-7)
J. Rahm (-6)
M. Kuchar (-5)
C. Morikawa (-5)
H. English (-5)
T. Hoge (-4)
A. Svensson (-4)

Other Notable Scorecards: R. McIlroy (-4), J Thomas (-3), W. Zalatoris (-2), T. Woods (-2), T. Finau (+1), J. Speith (+3)

Watch: Tiger Woods Round 1 Highlights 

Round 2 Tee Times (Featured Groups)

10:13 AM: S. Kim, M. Fitzpatrick, N. Taylor

10:24 AM: R. McIlroy, J. Thomas, T. Woods

10:35 AM: S. Scheffler, J. Spieth, C. Morikawa

10:46 AM: J. Rose, H. Matsuyama, S. Lowry

3:04 PM: J. Rahm, P. Cantlay, V. Hovland

3:15 PM: T. Finau, B. Horschel, A. Scott

3:26 PM: M. Homa, T. Kim, X. Schauffele

3:37 PM: J. Poston, R. Fowler, M. Kuchar

All Round 2 Tee Times (Eastern)

Additional Storylines

ESPN: Tiger Woods Shoots 69 at Genesis Invitational, Trails by 5 shots

Golf Digest: Max Homa Delivered Yet Another Unlikely Moment at Riviera\’s Iconic 10th Hole

Poll Results: In yesterday’s edition, we asked if you thought Tiger Woods would make the cut this weekend. It was close, but 56% of readers said no — Tiger will miss the cut. However, he\’s currently on pace to do so as he is sitting in 27th place after the first round.



 NCAA: Terps Upset #3 Purdue

Just one day after #1 Alabama lost, yet another top-5 team went down on Thursday night. Maryland caught fire and took down the Boilermakers thanks to a massive 19-1 run in the second half. 



The Must-Watch Calendar 

Sports are constantly moving, and knowing when the biggest events are happening shouldn’t be a chore. The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar delivers a one-stop destination for users to see how each sport’s biggest events fit into their day simply by adding it to the place they check the most — their personal calendar. With the events added to your own Google calendar, you will be able to easily see when certain events occur, and it will be even easier to fit them into your busy schedule. If you read The Sportsletter each week, you’re familiar with our “Must-Watch List” on Fridays. It just got bigger and better.

If you have any feedback on the calendar, please email us ( with any questions or concerns.



The Must-Watch List

NBA All-Star Weekend

Friday: All-Star Celebrity Game (7:00 pm)

Friday: Rising Stars Game (9:00 pm)

Saturday: Skills Challenge (8:00 pm)

Saturday: 3-Point Contest (8:00 pm)

Saturday: Slam Dunk Contest (8:00 pm)

Sunday: 72nd NBA All-Star Game (7:30 pm)


Dayton 500 (Sun. 2:30 pm)

PGA Tour

Genesis Invitational (All Weekend)

SheBelieves Cup

USWNT vs. Japan (Sun. 3:30 pm)

Brazil vs. Canada (Sun. 6:30 pm)

NHL Regular Season

Avalanche at Blues (Sat. 2:00 pm)

*Capitals at Hurricanes (Sat. 8:00 pm)

Lightning at Golden Knights (Sat. 10:30 pm)

*NHL Stadium Series

Full NHL Schedule

NCAA Basketball

M: Illinois at #14 Indiana (Sat. Noon)

M: #10 Tennessee at Kentucky (Sat. 1:00 pm)

M: #19 Iowa State at #12 Kansas State (Sat. 2:00 pm)

M: #9 Baylor at #5 Kansas (Sat. 4:00 pm)

M: Memphis at #2 Houston (Sun. 3:00 pm)

W: #4 Utah at #18 Arizona (Fri. 9:00 pm)

W: #25 USC at #3 Stanford (Fri. 11:00 pm)

W: #6 UConn at #14 Villanova (Sat. 2:30 pm)

W: Purdue at #2 Indiana (Sun. Noon)

W: #1 South Carolina at Ole Miss (Sun. 4:00 pm)

*All Times ET