CHICAGO (CBS) — The NBA All-Star Game was under way at the United Center Sunday night.
Team LeBron, with Captain LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, was be up against Team Giannis, with Captain Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported, the 2020 All-Star Game was the first to be played in Chicago in 32 years, and it had people excited.
No Bulls were on the court for the 69th All-Star Game, but there was no shortage of huge stars. Among them is former Bull Jimmy Butler, now of the Miami Heat.
“I’m just competitive, and you know, I’m just going to try to go out there and get a win; get my first All-Star Game win. We’ve got to put on a show for the people,” Antetokounmpo said.
“For me to be a part of All-Star Weekend, you know, here with all the fans all around the world that we have that support our beautiful game, I never take this moment for granted,” James said.
“It is supposed to be fun, though. Obviously, nobody wants to get injured, so whenever it does pick up, you’ve got guys out there that compete,” Butler said. “I’ve been to an All-Star Game before, but I think it’s always a little bit special where my whole NBA career started here in Chicago. A lot of love for this city.”
“All-Star is a unique event, and for me to be here and play in front of my friends and family this weekend and share this weekend with them, it’s been amazing,” said Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis, a Chicago native.
Ticket prices among the most expensive ever. At last check, you could get in way up in the rafters for about $650.
Part of the buzz around this All-Star Game is that it is the first since the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash, making this game extra special for a lot of these players who idolized the 18-time All-Star.
“It’s going to be a great weekend, and for us to be able to honor Kobe Bryant and his legacy, and we know that he’s watching over us, and it’s our responsibility to just represent the purple and gold,” James said.
“My idol – not just my idol, probably the whole generation around who are my age – idol, and you know, for us, he was the Michael Jordan of our generation,” Antetokounmpo said of Bryant.
“We’re going to have Kobe jerseys and his daughter Gigi jerseys, so we’re trying to do as much as we can to honor his legacy and to represent his legacy on and off the floor,” added Davis.
All players on Team LeBron will wear Gianna Bryant’s No. 2 and Team Giannis will wear Kobe Bryant’s own No. 24.
The scoring format is a little different this year, with the teams competing reach a point total in the fourth quarter. The goal is to get 24 more points than the winning team has through three quarters, in another a tribute to Bryant.
The winning team gets $200,000 for its chosen charity.