The NBA All-Star game is headed back to Chicago…in 2020.
ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell brought word on Thursday that the league and the Bulls will be announcing plans to put 2020’s superstar meetup in The Windy City. Shams Charania of The Vertical relayed more details:
The NBA All-Star Game is returning to Chicago in 2020. (AP)
The NBA will announce on Friday that the 2020 All-Star Weekend will be held in Chicago, league sources told The Vertical.
The NBA and Chicago Bulls announced on Thursday that it has a “major announcement” with commissioner Adam Silver, mayor Rahm Emanuel and team officials coming on Friday. The Bulls’ bid for the 2020 All-Star event gained significant momentum last month, league sources said.
Chicago last hosted the All-Star Game in 1988, at which time, as Charania notes, Michael Jordan won the Slam Dunk Contest and the All-Star MVP award. Now the Bulls will have to wonder whether they’ll even get an All-Star on the roster by that point. Will Lauri Markkanen be that guy in 2020? Will Zach LaVine? Will he at least be healthy enough to partake in another dunk contest? Will they secure Michael Porter Jr. or Luka Doncic in this June’s draft and develop them into star powers in two years’ time?
Also of note: Back in 2012, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf said he didn’t want another All-Star Game under his watch. Here are his exact words (via ESPN.com):
“They’d have to force me to take the All-Star Game,” Jerry Reinsdorf said. “They take over the building, your season-ticket holders have to be in a lottery to see if they get tickets and then they don’t get a good ticket. Really, no good can come out of it and all it can do is upset your fans.”
So, um, I guess the NBA did indeed force him? Or maybe he warmed up to the idea, realizing it will have been more than three decades since his arena played host to the festivities? Heck, perhaps he and the Bulls even begged for this chance, suspecting they might need to generate the fan interest should their rebuild not be on or ahead of schedule by that time.
At any rate, LeBron James can start planning his wardrobe for the next three All-Star tilts.