To kick off the 2020 NBA All Star Weekend to be held in Chicago in February, Joey Graziano, the associate vice president of business operations and global events for the National Basketball Association, sat down with the Crusader on December 19 to discuss the NBA All Star Weekend and events happening in the city.
According to the NBA office, Graziano is currently responsible for creating new content initiatives and partnerships as well as planning marquee, participatory and fan-driven events across the city.
Graziano said that the NBA Rising Stars game will take place on Friday, February 14, at the United Center and will feature the NBA’s top Rookie and Sophomore teams of the league. Graziano also mentioned during the interview that the two teams will compete under the titles of United States (U.S.) versus the World.
Graziano also gave a list of affordable options for fans across the city who are interested in participating in All-Star festivities over the next few months that includes:
-The NBA Rising Stars game at the United Center. Game time 8:00 p.m. (1901 W. Madison St.) – February 16, 2020. The event will provide fans with an opportunity to watch the league’s top first- and second-year players compete. Tickets start at $30 and will be available on the NBA Events App, downloadable at the Apple App Store and Google Play.
-The NBA Crossover event at Navy Pier from Friday February 14 through Sunday February 16 (600 E. Grand Ave.). The event offers more ways for fans to get into the action, as Navy Pier will be transformed into a fan destination with customized experiences, retail offerings, NBA partner activations, player and talent appearances, memorabilia displays and more. Tickets for the event start at $20 and will be available on the NBA Events App, downloadable at the Apple App Store and Google Play. Fans who purchase on the NBA Events App will get a $5 discount.
-The NBA Restaurant Program & Wonderfest. For those who are interested in getting a jump start on their NBA All-Star experience, the league will have two exciting programs, which began last month in Chicago. Fans can register through the NBA Events app, available for download on Apple App Store and Google Play.
-NBA Eats. The league has partnered with 58 Chicago restaurants across 15 different neighborhoods to bring you a taste of Chicago – NBA style. Download the NBA Events App for a list of participating eateries.
-NBA Augmented Reality Skills Challenge as part of Winter Wonderfest located at Navy Pier and the NBA All-Star Rewards Program.
In addition to the league festivities, both the NBA Eats and Winter Wonderfest will allow fans to earn points in the NBA’s brand new rewards program.
“We are slowly unveiling a city-wide scavenger hunt where you will earn points at each stop between now and All-Star weekend to earn exclusive All-Star prizes including State Farm All-Star Saturday night tickets and NBA All-Star game tickets,” Grazi-
The 69th NBA All-Star game will be played on Sunday February 16, at the United Center. The event marks the first time since 1988 that Chicago has hosted the event. During that time, Michael Jordan won both the slam dunk contest and the All-Star game MVP.
All Star Announcement:
Chicago natives Chance The Rapper, Common and Taylor Bennett will headline performances at NBA All-Star 2020.
According to the NBA League’s office, Common will lead the player introductions and Chance The Rapper will perform during the halftime show. Taylor Bennett will perform at the NBA Rising Stars game. Also, Chance The Rapper and Taylor Bennett will represent Chicago as the official “NBA All-Star Ambassadors.”