Charity and Chilly Air: Recapping Early NBA All-Star Week Events

Charity and Chilly Air: Recapping Early NBA All-Star Week Events

NBA All-Star Weekend encompasses a whole lot: the game itself, which showcases the best of the best in the NBA daily lineups, the Saturday night skills competition, the Friday night exhibition games and that’s just the core events. You also have the parties, panel sessions, fundraisers and other periphery events.

There were two widespread prevailing themes from the early NBA All-Star Weekend events- philanthropy and the weather. Chicago suffered through the two coldest days of this on Thursday and Friday, with yesterday seeing the coldest Valentine’s Day since 1943. People braved the snow, ice and subzero wind chills to come out and attend NBA All-Star events staged for a good cause. 


It comes with the territory in the Midwest- you must dress in layers for the winters. Although basketball is an indoor game, we brave the elements to go see it. Much like you need to prepare for the heat in Texas, or get wind insurance in Florida, or be wary of the smog and earthquakes in California. No matter where the league stages the game, there is a weather hazard to worry about, and every where you went, the frigid temps was a hot topic.

But the best take on it, from anyone, probably came from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star JB Smoove, before he accompanied his nephew down the runway at the Rookie USA Fashion Show at Morgan Manufacturing in the west loop.

“I came to the airport, and you know what I said? ‘This all you got Chicago? This all you got? I heard about your reputation for freezing people, freezing eyelids, freezing eyes wide open, and you can’t blink no more,” he said, adding that he does not fear the cold because his wife, Shahidah Omar, is from the South Side.

Meanwhile Isiah Thomas hosted a Celebrity Charity Bowling event at KINGS Dining & Entertainment that same night. It benefited the LadyLike Foundation is a faith based non-profit organization whose purpose is to educate, empower and inspire young women living in underprivileged communities. Yes, “empower” is the new charity buzzword, much like “transformative” is to business or the catch phrase “speaks truth to power” is to politics. 

Finally, Miami Heat star and Chicago native Kendrick Nunn, a Simeon graduate who was kicked out of the University of Illinois in 2016 due to a domestic violence incident, was joined by Actor/Musician Jacob Latimore and the Founder and CEO of Urban Prep Academies Tim King were to celebrate the partnership between grooming brand Bevel and Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies.


The donation from Bevel will cover the costs of college tours, college application fees, and college test prep fees for the classes of 2020 and 2021.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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