Anthony Davis drove by the church down the street from his old high school Saturday night. That’s where his team sometimes worked out because they didn’t have a gym.
Earlier in the week he’d made a visit to Perspectives Charter School, and participated in several community events around the city, celebrating the All-Star game in his hometown.
“Glad to be back home, spend time with my family, my friends,” the Lakers’ forward said. “It’s going to be a great weekend. Trying to stay warm. But to get back here and play in front of the fans in a place where I grew up, in a place where I had my first like big-time game, the McDonald’s game at UC. So it’s been very exciting to be back and get a chance to relive some of them high school memories that I had here in Chicago.”
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley also got a chance to stop by his old haunts. He said he was excited to see his old friends, his high school (Marshall Metropolitan) and to smell the Chicago air.
“I pinch myself sometimes,” said Beverley, who participated in the skills contest and lost in the first round. “I think the last All-Star game was 32 years ago, I wasn’t even born yet. I represent Chicago, the grit of Chicago.
“I’m just fortunate to represent the city today.”
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield won the three-point contest, narrowly defeating Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in the final round. Booker scored 26 points in the final. Hield caught him by making three of four shots, to reach 25 points, and releasing the final one, a ball worth two points, at the buzzer.
“I was talking to Book, and Book said he’s been in it before, and he was talking about it and said he already got one, and that gave me motivation to get one,” Hield said. “He said coming every time brings more pressure. As a shooter, you want to win one. Every shooter wants to win one, and I feel like that.”
Will Booker be back?
“I’m getting up there,” the 23-year-old Booker said. “I can’t go too many times. I think this is my fourth time doing this. I can’t do too many.”
Two Miami Heat players won the other Saturday night competitions. Derrick Jones Jr. won the dunk contest and Bam Adebayo won the skills competition and planned to give the trophy to his mom.
“I’m supposed to be finding her,” Adebayo said. “She might cry because it’s a big deal. This isn’t something that you just pass along. I know it’s All-Star weekend and we’re all having fun, but it’s competition at the end of the day. I came out and won this one, and it’s just another accolade to me.”
A vet’s advice
LeBron James arrived in Chicago on Saturday just before he took the podium for All-Star media day. In his 18th All-Star game, he has his routine set. Because the break lasts a week, he’ll be able to enjoy a bit of a break starting Monday.
The Lakers forward was asked what advice he would give to first-time All Stars.
“Just embrace it,” James said. “If he has his family with him, let them enjoy it. Let them go around and see pretty much everything. It’s not promised that you’ll be here next year. But the way he’s playing, he’ll probably be here a lot. But embrace it.
“I’m a guy who always lives in the moment. I don’t think about tomorrow because it’s not promised. The only thing I can worry about is today and how much I can make an impact today. So embrace it, have fun. It’s a great weekend. There are a lot of things to do not only for yourself but also for your family. Enjoy it.”