CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on NBA All-Star Weekend (all times local):
LeBron James says he has kept a close eye on what freshman sensation Zion Williamson is doing at Duke and believes “it’s great for the game.”
Williamson, a 6-foot-7, 285-pounder, has become a national sensation with his size and leaping ability.
James said Saturday at practice for the All-Star game that the biggest thing he’s impressed with is Williamson’s athleticism, saying “we all see it,” adding that his ability to jump well behind the 10-foot rim is “beyond incredible.”
But James, who will play in his 15th All-Star game on Sunday, says he also sees what some others don’t: Williamson’s humility and love of the game.
James says Williamson is “humble about the fact that he gets to play the game he loves every single day. I love everything about him from the outside looking in.” James says Williamson will only get better as the season progresses being around Mike Krzyzewski, who he considers to be the “greatest coach of all time.”
The Curry brothers have levied a wager for their head-to-head competition in Saturday night’s NBA 3-point contest: Whoever loses must buy tickets for the entire Curry family anytime they play against each other for the remainder of their NBA careers.
Stephen said Saturday before practice for the All-Star game that “the stakes are pretty high considering how many people show up for our games.”
It’s unclear if the group will include a new sister-in-law. There are reports that Seth has proposed to Callie Rivers, the daughter of NBA coach Doc Rivers. When asked about it Saturday, Seth declined to talk about their relationship.
Stephen, who won the 3-point competition in 2015, says he is motivated to win it again because he’s “knows for a fact” that everybody else in the Curry family —including his parents— are pulling for Seth.
Stephen says with a laugh, “so I hope to pull the upset.”
Both players are hoping to do better than their father Dell Curry, who participated in the 3-point contest twice but never made it out of the first round. Seth, making his first appearance, says Dell advised them to “do a whole lot better than I did.”
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo says he’ll play in the FIBA world championships this summer.
Greece has already qualified for the 32-team tournament, which starts in China on Aug. 31.
Antetokounmpo said Saturday before practice for the All-Star game that the only way he wouldn’t play is if he had any injury concerns.
Many NBA stars are expected to participate, even though the finals in mid-September will be held a week or so before the start of training camps for the 2019-20 season.
John Collins has a favorite dunker. Not surprisingly, it’s his Atlanta teammate Vince Carter.
Collins will represent the Hawks in the dunk contest, one of the events during All-Star Saturday Night. The 3-point contest and skills competition are also on the evening docket.
Collins had perhaps the best dunk of the Rising Stars game Friday night, going with a pass off the backboard to himself for a slam over Dallas’ Luka Doncic. He says he’s got three or four dunks ready to go for Saturday night.
He won’t reveal what to expect: “No hints,” he said Saturday morning.
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