SHOWS: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 15, 2020)(REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
INTERIOR UNITED CENTER - SITE OF 2020 NBA ALL-STAR GAME - TEAM CAPTAIN LEBRON JAMES TAKING SHOT 2.
TEAM LEBRON PLAYER LUKA DONCIC TAKING SHOT 3.
LEBRON SPEAKING TO REPORTERS 4.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) TEAM CAPTAIN LEBRON JAMES SAYING: "It's always an honor to be here.
You know, to be here, voted by the fans once again to be part of All-Star weekend.
It's gonna be a great weekend and for us to be able to honor Kobe Bryant and his legacy and just, it's a beautiful time, you know it's a beautiful time, even in loss it's a beautiful time so just happy to be part of this weekend." 5.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) TEAM CAPTAIN LEBRON JAMES ON KOBE BRYANT, SAYING: "I mean, we know that he's watching over us and it's our responsibility to just represent the purple and gold (Lakers team colors), not only for him but for all the greats, everybody who's ever come through the Lake Show so…I don't want to, I really don't want to sit up here and talk about it too much, you know, it's very sensitive subject, but he's with us every day." 6.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) TEAM CAPTAIN GIANNIS ANTETOKUONMPO SAYING: "Yeah I know it's gonna be a long season obviously, it's the All-Star game, you wanna have fun but at the end of the day you play against guys you might meet in the playoffs, so you're gonna try to have fun but, I'm just competitive you know and I'm just gonna try to go out there and get a win, get my first All-Star, All-Star Game win, I'm 0-3 so far but at the end of the day I gotta just keep a smile on my face because we gotta put on a show for the people." 7.
GIANNIS ON COURT 8.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) TEAM CAPTAIN GIANNIS ANTETOKUONMPO ON KOBE BRYANT, SAYING: "You know growing up he (Bryant) was my idol, not just my idol, probably the whole generation, lotta people my age idol and, you know, for us he was the Michael Jordan of our generation.
He was one of those guys that, you know, gave back to the game so much, gave back to the players, lotta people when they're so great they don't do that and, you know, there was a quote that said, talent is worthless if you're not willing to share it, right, and he was one of those guys that was sharing his talent with us and he's going to be definitely missed." STORY: NBA All-Star game captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokuonmpo took to the court with their teammates and fans Saturday (February 15) afternoon at United Center for a practice session and media day.
Kobe Bryant's sudden, shocking death was never far from the conversation and both James and Antetokuonmpo were asked about it with James clearly still struggling with the loss.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, speaking at a separate news conference, announced that the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award would be renamed the Kobe Bryant MVP Award.
For Sunday's (February 16) game, James drafted a team that includes Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook and Lakers teammate Anthony Davis.
Antetokounmpo will start alongside Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young.
The game itself will feature a new format and a tribute to Bryant with the winner decided by whichever team makes it to the final total -- computed by adding 24 points, Bryant's uniform number, to the leading score after three quarters.
(Production: David Grip)