The NBA has today announced that the 2020 All-Star Game will be held in Chicago for the first time since 1988. The 69th annual game will take place at the United Center, home of the six-time NBA champion Chicago Bulls, on Sunday, February 16th.
Rumors of the upcoming Chicago All-Star game leaked yesterday afternoon but NBA commissioner Adam Silver made the news official today during a press conference at the United Center, along with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Bulls President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Reinsdorf, Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson, and others.
“Chicago is an iconic city with a storied basketball history. We are thrilled to bring the NBA All-Star Game back,” said Silver. “We thank Mayor Emanuel, Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf and the entire Bulls organization and look forward to an exciting week of activities celebrating the game of basketball.”
Of course, in addition to the All-Star Game, the United Center will be the venue for the Rising Stars Challenge, showcasing the top rookies and second year players, on Friday, February 14, as well as State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which features the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the JBL Three-Point Contest and the Verizon Slam Dunk.
The last time Chicago hosted an All-Star weekend was when Michael Jordan beat Dominique Wilkins in one of the greatest Slam Dunk contests of all-time. The next night, Jordan scored 40 points and earned MVP honors as the East beat the West 138-133. The 2020 All-Star weekend will mark the third time that the city of Chicago has had the honor of hosting the NBA's stars - 1973 and 1988 being the others.
This year's All-Star game will be held in Los Angeles, followed by the 2019 All-Star festivities which will be held in Charlotte. Unlike previous seasons, the upcoming All-Star game will no longer be East vs. West. Instead, two All-Star captains (the leading vote getters from each conference) will be able to choose from the pool of 22 All-Stars to determine the teams.