CHICAGO — The 69th annual NBA All-Star Game is Sunday night and all eyes will be on Team LeBron, Team Giannis and how the league pays its respects to Kobe Bryant.
Team captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks drafted their teams from a pool of players voted into the game by fans, media and players or selected as reserves by the NBA's coaches.
There are plenty of marquee names to keep fans glued to the action, but there are some notable absences, including Stephen Curry (broken hand), Kyrie Irving (knee) and Kevin Durant (Achilles). Damian Lillard was voted onto the team, but pulled out because of a strained groin. Devin Booker will take his spot.
Tickets are in high demand and are the priciest in a decade.
Here's what you need to know:
How to watch
Sunday: 8 p.m. ET (TNT)
Where: United Center, Chicago
The NBA announced changes to the format for this year's game. Every quarter will be treated as a mini-game for charity. An untimed fourth quarter, with a final target score, will determine the winner.
Lebron James greets fans during introductions at media day in Chicago's Wintrust Arena. (Photo: Quinn Harris, USA TODAY Sports)
There have been reminders of four-time All-Star Game MVP Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26, everywhere this weekend. Sunday's game will be no different.
Commissioner Adam Silver announced Saturday that the game's MVP award would be renamed the Kobe Bryant MVP Award.
There also are some special touches planned before and during the game to honor Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven friends aboard who also died. The NBA has not announced its entire plan, but here's what we know:
►Team LeBron will wear No. 2 in honor of Gianna and Team Giannis will wear No. 24 in honor of Kobe.
►Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson, a Chicago native, will perform a tribute to the victims of the crash before player introductions. Others slated to appear include Grammy winner Chaka Khan (national anthem), country musician Tenille Arts (Canadian national anthem) and Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled and Quavo (halftime show).
►Expect a tribute video, with highlights from Bryant's 18 All-Star appearances.
►The target score – a new wrinkle in the fourth quarter – will be determined by the total points the team in the lead scored over the first three quarters, plus 24 — the jersey number Bryant wore for the final decade of his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
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SportsPulse: LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo clearly had an agenda when picking their rosters for the 2020 NBA All-Star game.
Starters: LeBron James; Anthony Davis; Kawhi Leonard; Luka Doncic; James Harden
Reserves: Damian Lillard*; Ben Simmons; Nikola Jokic; Jayson Tatum; Chris Paul; Russell Westbrook; Domantas Sabonis
*-Devin Booker will replace Lillard, who is injured
Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo; Joel Embiid; Pascal Siakam; Kemba Walker; Trae Young
Reserves: Khris Middleton; Bam Adebayo; Rudy Gobert; Jimmy Butler; Kyle Lowry; Brandon Ingram; Donovan Mitchell
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