Frigid temperatures and inches of snow cannot deter NBA stars, celebrities and WFAA sports reporter Jonah Javad from invading Chicago this weekend.
Sunday: 10:45 p.m.
Team LeBron wins by two, 157-155.
Sunday: 8:57 p.m.
At halftime, it's Team Giannis 92, Team LeBron 83.
Sunday: 8:10 p.m.
One of the biggest moments early in the 2020 NBA All-Star game was watching Luka Docic lob a pass to LeBron James for a dunk:
Sunday: 7:42 p.m.
Sunday night in Chicago, and the stars shining bright for the world to see.
Fans and celebrities from all over the globe packed the United Center.
Many fans clad in jerseys for every player and team you could imagine.
A poster for basketball diversity.
The 2020 NBA All-Star Game was too, featuring the likes of LeBron James, the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo and Slovenian star Luka Doncic.
At 20 years and 353 days old, the Mavericks phenom is the youngest one to start the All-Star game since LeBron in 2005.
The youngest ever to start the All-Star Game was a 19-year-old Kobe Bryant in 1998.
Before tonight's game, Lakers legend Magic Johnson shared some words about Bryant as well as late NBA commissioner David Stern.
Musical artist Jennifer Hudson performed an homage to Bryant while a montage of Bryant and his daughter Gianna played on the big screen.
Walk around the concourse levels at the United Center tonight and you‘d think it was a Lakers game with all the No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys passing each other by.
Sunday night and the stars are shining, including those you can't see, but know are still there.
Sunday: 2:30 p.m.
Tonight's the night.
The 2020 NBA All-Star Game tips off at 7 p.m. at the United Center in Chicago.
"Stargazing" by Travis Scott blasts through my laptop, as the the sun beams between the high rises of this glorious Midwest metropolis. It's the warmest day of the weekend at 38 degrees.
Feels like summer.
Come nightfall, the stars will shine... and they will shoot.
The over/under for total points scored tonight is 306.5.
Each team is comprised of a mix of players from the Eastern and Western Conferences. The teams were drafted by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks star & reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
LeBron and Giannis are the "captains" of each team as well.
Team LeBron is favored by 6.5 points, and for good reason.
The starting lineup for Team LeBron features LeBron (obviously), his Lakers teammate Anthony Davis, NBA leading scorer James Harden, reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard... and Dallas Mavericks phenom Luka Doncic.
You could argue Team LeBron rosters 5 of the top 6 players in the NBA. Giannis being the lone omission.
And if that's the case, who's the "worst" (read: least best) player on Team LeBron? It's a debate worth having, but the conclusion doesn't really matter. (Humans just love to rank and list things.)
Luka Doncic-- at 20 years and 353 days old-- will become the sixth youngest player to start the NBA All-Star Game. He's the youngest one to start in the game since Lebron-- Luka's childhood idol-- in 2005.
The youngest ever to start in an All-Star game was 19-year-old Kobe Bryant in 1998.
Tonight's game will be played exactly three weeks since a helicopter crash took the lives of Kobe, Kobe's daughter Gianna, college baseball coach John Altobelli, John's wife Keri, John's daughter Alyssa, Payton and Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan.
The NBA world continues to pay tribute to Kobe and Gianna.
On Saturday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the All-Star Game MVP Award has been renamed to the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award.
Last night in the Slam Dunk Contest, Kobe's former Laker teammate Dwight Howard wore #24 (Kobe's second jersey number) on his Super-Man outfit.
The format for this year's All-Star Game also pays tribute to Kobe.
After each quarter, the score will reset to 0-0. The winner of each quarter receives $100,000, which will go to a Chicago-based charity of the captain's choosing.
At the end of the third quarter, the scores of the previous three quarters will be added together as normal.
The fourth quarter will be untimed. The team that's leading after three quarters will need to score 24 points to win the game. The team that's trailing will need to score 24 plus whatever the deficit is after three quarters.
The winning team receives $200,000 for a Chicago-based charity.
If the same team wins each quarter, the winning team received $500,000 and the losing team received $100,000.
The new format is thoroughly confusing at first, but it'll make sense when you watch the 2020 NBA All-Star Game tonight at 7 p.m.
Tune in to WFAA at 10 p.m. for my live post-game coverage from Chicago.
Saturday: 4:30 p.m.
It’s NBA All-Star Saturday night – one of the most exciting days of the years for basketball fans.
The skills challenge, 3-pt. contest and the dunk contest will all take place. And Mavs superstar Luka Doncic will have the night off, as he preps from his first All-Star game on Sunday.
Earlier today, was All-Star Media Day. Luka and the other 21 All-Stars were introduced to a packed house at Wintrust Arena in Chicago before practice. It was quite a spectacle. Players were dancing, even Kawhi Leonard. Alas, Luka did not dance.
But Luka did bust a move Friday night in the “Rising Stars Challenge.” He hit a half court shot to beat the first-half buzzer over his buddy Trae Young.
Young told me that he and Luka talked about being All-Stars this year, before the season started. It was their goal. He said, it’s they’re here now.
And perhaps the best anecdote from Luka Saturday – he met with Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand. But Luka said he forgot to ask for a picture. I guess he’s human after all.
Friday: 9:30 p.m.
Luka Doncic is ridiculous.
He hasn't been in the league two full years and I'm running out of adjectives to describe how awe-inspiring he is.
Luka once again represented the World team in the headliner for NBA All-Star Friday Night: the Rising Stars Challenge.
With a couple seconds until halftime, Luka rose up and drilled 46-foot shot.
It was worth three points.
It should've been worth 300.
These are the types of circus shots Luka makes seemingly every night he steps on a basketball court. Mavs fans may be used to it, but never should they take it for granted.
Perhaps the grandest part of the shot -- it was over Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young.
Trae and Luka are pals, but many fans compare them incessantly because the Hawks traded Luka to the Mavs for Trae Young (and a 1st Round Pick) on the night of the 2018 NBA Draft.
As the ball beat the buzzer, Luka and Trae laughed and embraced.
It's those moments where you truly admire a 20-year-old playing a game as if he is still 8 years old.
"Basketball is fun," Luka often tell us.
This weekend will provide plenty of it.
Friday: 2 p.m.
Luka Mania was in full force Friday morning at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
Roughly 40 media members — reporters & photographers from various countries and ethnicities — surrounded Luka Doncic for his first media availability of NBA All-Star Weekend.
One reporter from Europe started asking Luka a question as the Mavs superstar took his first step onto the podium.
Luka kindly replied, “Can I sit down first?”
Savvy veteran move from the 20-year-old.
Luka answered multiple of questions — in multiple languages — about multiple topics including first All-Star game selection, the surge of foreign talent in the NBA and the influence of Kobe Bryant.
“Kobe was for everybody,” Luka said. “An inspiration. His hard work. The way he played the game. Not just in basketball, he inspired a lot of people in the world. We’ll miss him for sure.
Kobe will be omnipresent this weekend as the basketball world continues to pay tribute to the Lakers legend and his daughter Gigi.
Kobe remains the youngest player to start an All-Star Game. He was 19 when he started in 1998.
Luka will become the sixth youngest on Sunday night.
“It’s something special,” Luka admitted. “Always dreamed about it as a kid. And now, here. It feels unreal. Maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will enjoy it.”
But first, the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night at 8 p.m.
Follow along for updates throughout the evening including what Luka had to say about rookie sensation Zion Williamson.
Friday: 12:15 p.m.
Former President Barack Obama — a huge basketball fan, officially the game’s First Fan during his eight years in office — made an unannounced appearance at an NBA Cares event during All-Star weekend in his hometown of Chicago with several of the league’s top rookies, second-year players and coaches.
The first person he greeted when he walked in the door: Luka Doncic.
The event Friday was for volunteers to fill several backpacks with school supplies, and that work predictably stopped when Obama walked into the room.
Thursday: 5:45 p.m.
It's the Super Bowl for basketball. A multi-day, multi-event experience with sports, music and culture icons at every turn.
Among the stars shining this weekend in the Windy City: Dallas Mavericks phenom Luka Doncic.
Doncic made his All-Star Weekend debut last year as a rookie when he competed in the Rising Stars Challenge (reserved for first & second-year players) and the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
A year later, Doncic will once again play in the Rising Stars game on Friday night, which is a bit funny considering how far he’s risen over the last 12 months.
On Sunday night, Doncic will start in the NBA All-Star Game — the youngest player to do so since his childhood idol LeBron James in 2005.
Doncic is 20 years old. He turns 21 on Feb. 28.
Kobe Bryant was the youngest to ever start an All-Star Game (1998) at age 19.
Doncic will join Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd as the only three Mavericks to start the All-Star Game.
Doncic and Kidd (1996) are the only two in franchise history to be “voted in” as starters.
The Mavs wunderkind will start for “Team LeBron,” alongside Houston Rockets guard James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Los Angeles Lakers forwards Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
James, along with Milwaukee Bucks All-Star and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, drafted their lineups last week.
You can watch Luka Doncic play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday at 8 p.m. on TNT and the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday at 7 p.m. on TNT.