NBA All-Star Weekend returns to Chicago for the first time since 1988

FILE – In this Feb. 6, 1988, file photo, Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan dunks during the slam-dunk competition of the NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago. Jordan left the old Chicago Stadium that night with the trophy. To this day, many believe Wilkins was the rightful winner. (AP Photo/John Swart)

By Quentin Wilson

DeKALB — For the first time in 32 years, Chicago will host the NBA All-Star weekend.This will be the first time the events have been held in the city since the 1987-88 NBA season.

All-Star weekend will start Friday with a class of 2020 Hall of Fame announcement on NBA TV at 4 p.m., when the NBA will announce all players eligible for the hall of fame this year. 

This will lead into the Celebrity All-Star game at 6 p.m. at the Wintrust Arena. The game will feature some Chicago celebrities such as Common, Chance the Rapper, Taylor Bennet, Lil Rel Howery and Anthony “Spice” Adams A.K.A “Cream E. Biggums.” Other celebrities include Quavo, Hannibal Buress, Famous Los and Bad Bunny. The game traditionally features two NBA “legends.” This year’s “legends” are Chicago native Quentin Richardson and Belleville native Darius Miles. The game will be televised on ESPN. 

Later that night, fans will get a chance to see the NBA’s youngest stars during the Rising Stars challenge at 8 p.m. at the United Center. Chicago Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. was selected as a participant for the event, but will not participate due to injury. Chicago native and Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn will represent his team as a rookie for Team USA.

Saturday night will feature individual events for NBA players to showcase their skills at the United Center. At 7 p.m. the Taco Bell Skills Challenge airs on TNT. Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverly, another Chicago native, will be a participant in this event. Beverly won the skills challenge in 2016. Detroit Pistons guard and Chicago native Derrick Rose was selected to participate, but dropped out due to injury. 

The Mountain Dew 3-point Contest comes after the skills challenge. Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will represent the team in his first appearance in the 3-point contest. LaVine has been a participant during All-Star weekend before, as he is a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion.

The final event of the night is the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest. The last time Chicago hosted the dunk contest former Bull and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan went against fellow hall of famer and former Atlanta Hawk Dominique Wilkins in an iconic contest, where Jordan took home his second consecutive slam dunk trophy.

This year’s dunk contest will feature Orlando Magic forward and 2016 dunk contest runner-up Aaron Gordon, Los Angeles Lakers center, 2009 dunk contest winner Dwight Howard, Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. and Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton.

Sunday will feature the 69th NBA All-Star Game between Team LeBron and Team Giannis. Tipoff is at 7p.m. at the United Center. The game will air on TNT, and feature Chicago native Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis.

The team events will feature jerseys based off the Chicago “L” train system. The Rising Stars Challenge will feature orange and purple jerseys, the Celebrity All-Star game will have green and pink jerseys and the NBA All-Star Game will have red and blue jerseys.

Chicago artist Chance the Rapper will perform during halftime of the NBA All-Star Game, while his brother Taylor Bennet will perform at halftime during the Rising Stars Challenge. 

Many Chicago natives will host events in Chicago in celebration of All-Star weekend. Local artists, including Polo G, Dreezy and G Herbo, have agreed to give a concert for charity during the weekend. Adidas n stores in Chicago will be releasing new colorways for the adiZero Rose.

Fans will have plenty to do in the city of Chicago this weekend with many celebrities, former and current NBA players coming into the city.