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MLB and Make-A-Wish Foundation team up for events during All-Star Week

MLB and Make-A-Wish Foundation team up for events during All-Star Week
MLB and Make-A-Wish Foundation team up for events during All-Star Week – CBS Los Angeles

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Kandiss Crone reports from Elysian Park on a series of fun events put together during All-Star Week by MLB and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to help grant the wishes of some kids battling very serious illnesses.

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WNBA commissioner blames gun violence for lack of outdoor fan events during All-Star weekend

WNBA commissioner blames gun violence for lack of outdoor fan events during All-Star weekend

All weekend, the WNBA’s All-Stars talked about how the 18th annual game felt different. They described a higher level of attention surrounding the event, better player-thrown parties and an overall feeling of being treated like All-Stars.

Severely lacking, though, were planned fan activities and even the ability to purchase tickets to events such as the skills competition and three-point contest, which were held at McCormick Place, not Wintrust Arena. One event specifically, a concert thrown by Chance the Rapper, seemed like a great opportunity to engage Chicago fans.

But WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert didn’t see it that way.

“We would have loved to have opened that up to the public,” she said Sunday. “Because of security concerns dating way back to Mandalay Bay, dating back to other things that have happened here in Chicago, Uvalde and Buffalo, there’s a lot of concern about outdoor events right now unfortunately in our country. So we were just trying to do the best we could.”

Meanwhile, the Taste of Chicago was taking place less than two miles from McCormick Place, where the WNBA’s limited outdoor events were being held.

The general public was unable to attend most major All-Star events outside of the game Sunday. Nike Nationals participants, their families, All-Star players’ families and friends and select Sky season-ticket holders were able to secure tickets to the skills and three-point competitions Saturday. Youth players, corporate partners and players were admitted into the Chance the Rapper concert.

Despite Engelbert expressing concerns about outdoor events, the league’s lone event open to the public, WNBA Live, was held outdoors. The league had been planning the All-Star Game in Chicago since last fall. Engelbert said consultations with security experts, including the Chicago Police Department, led to the league’s decision to limit fan attendance.

Wintrust Arena wasn’t available to the WNBA on Saturday because of a Pampered Chef event, which is a better explanation as to why there were so few fan activities.

“Cobbling together everything that’s going on, coming off two tough COVID years and not having Wintrust available yesterday, it just wasn’t possible to have a fan event,” Engelbert said. “We didn’t have an arena to have it in here in the city of Chicago.”

Championship feelings

The All-Star Game at Wintrust Arena was played in front of a near sold-out crowd of 9,572. Last year during the WNBA Finals, the arena was at maximum capacity with 10,897.

Sky players weren’t on the same team in the game. Kahleah Copper and Emma Meesseman played for Team Stewart, coached by the Sky’s, James Wade, and Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot played for the victorious Team Wilson, coached by the Aces’ Becky Hammon.

“Just had Finals feels all over again,” Copper said. “I think the atmosphere was incredible. Especially when Chicago Sky players were being announced. It just felt so amazing to be a part of something so special.”

Copper added that the only thing that will help ease the pain of losing to her teammates is winning another championship.

Changes coming

Engelbert opened her news conference announcing changes on the horizon for the WNBA, beginning with chartered flights for both teams in the WNBA Finals this year and a 50% increase to the postseason bonus pool.

Also, the regular-season schedule will expand from 36 games to 40 next year, and two teams will be added by 2025.

“I’d say probably 10 or 15 cities are very interested in hosting a WNBA team,” Engelbert said. “We’re meeting here and there, I’ll call it with interested ownership groups. We’re looking for the right ownership groups with the right commitment, the right arena situation, the right city to support a WNBA franchise.”

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MLB Live bringing All-Star Week fun to DTLA

MLB Live bringing All-Star Week fun to DTLA

What is your favorite part of MLB All-Star Week? The T-Mobile Home Run Derby and the MLB All-Star Game are the obvious crown jewels, but this year, Major League Baseball is getting ready to take over Downtown Los Angeles with a string of fan events from July 16-19. Here is what you need to know about all the activities that are scheduled to be a part of MLB Live in DTLA.

Capital One PLAY BALL PARK: July 16-19 at Los Angeles Convention Center
PLAY BALL PARK — the world’s biggest baseball and softball festival — will offer something for everyone. This fan-focused event blends sports, music, technology, food and fashion, and will feature some of the greatest MLB players and broadcasters. Tickets are now available to experience everything inside the Convention Center, including games, clinics, exhibits and autograph sessions. Activities outside the convention center are free. Fans can also earn special prizes by utilizing the All-Star Experience Pass throughout PLAY BALL PARK.

MLB All-Star Block Party: July 16-19 on Gilbert Lindsay Plaza
Just outside the Convention Center, the MLB All-Star Block Party will last throughout All-Star Week. This free event will host additional interactive games, free giveaways, music, a beer garden and more.

2022 MLB Draft: July 17 at 4 p.m. PT on Xbox Plaza
All fans are welcome to grab a front-row seat to the future of baseball on Sunday by watching the first two rounds of the 2022 MLB Draft from the heart of L.A. Live. The Draft will be nationally televised on MLB Network and ESPN.

All-Star Creator’s Cup: July 18 at 1 p.m. PT on Xbox Plaza
A first for MLB All-Star Week, the All-Star Creator’s Cup is a fast-paced video game tournament that will feature 16 competitors playing MLB The Show 22 in front of a live audience. The field will be split evenly between top MLB The Show players and popular influencers in online baseball culture. The tournament will also stream live on a number of digital platforms, including MLB’s YouTube page.

All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Mastercard: July 19 at 11 a.m. PT on Xbox Plaza
No city pulls off a red carpet event like Los Angeles, so come see the 2022 MLB All-Stars and their families showcase their style on a classic, 600-foot red carpet which will lead players through a crowd of fans. Make sure you arrive early to get the best sights of this year’s All-Stars and have a chance to take home free giveaways from MLB mascots.

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Tyrese Maxey represents Sixers in Friday events at All-Star weekend

Tyrese Maxey represents Sixers in Friday events at All-Star weekend

Fresh off a 19-point effort in a Philadelphia 76ers win over the Milwaukee Bucks on the road on Thursday, Tyrese Maxey was back in action on Friday. This time, however, he was in Cleveland as one of Philadelphia’s representatives at All-Star weekend. While Joel Embiid will be a participant in the actual All-Star game on Sunday night, Maxey participated in the Clorox Rising Stars game and Clutch Challenge on Friday night. The second-year guard out of Kentucky was selected by Team Worthy, which was led by Los Angeles Lakers legend James Worthy. They faced off with Team Isiah in the first Rising Stars game.

After the second Rising Stars game, Maxey and Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes partnered in the Clorox Clutch Challenge. A better name for that pairing may have been the Clorox Choke Challenge, though.

Team Worthy loses to Team Isiah, 50-49

In his only game action of the night, Maxey, like 5 of his 7 teammates, was a bystander to the 36 points between Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs. The young Sixer attempted a trio of jumpers — a triple from the top of the key, a James Harden-esque step-back from the corner, and a 15-footer fading to the side. Maxey missed all three shots, and didn’t really command touches beyond that.

He was content with some light jogging up and down the floor, and mostly looked to dish off to his teammates when he had the ball. 

Maxey did make what would’ve been the game-winning play, delivering a hit-ahead pass to Jalen Suggs in transition. Tyrese Haliburton fouled Suggs as he coasted in for a layup, sending him to the line for a pair of free throws. Maxey’s hit-ahead was ultimately in vain, as Suggs missed the second free throw to keep the door open for Team Isiah, who eventually eliminated Team Worthy on a pair of free throws from promising second-year guard Desmond Bane.

Clorox Clutch Challenge or Clorox Choke Challenge?

In the Clorox Clutch Challenge, 4 duos re-imagined 5 iconic shots in NBA playoff history — Magic Johnson’s baby hook (right above restricted area), Charles Barkley’s jumper from the top of the key (right below three-point break and above the free throw circle), Reggie Miller’s three-pointer from the right wing (after pushing off of Michael Jordan), Ray Allen’s corner three-pointer from the right corner (against the Spurs in Game 6 of the Finals), and Damian Lillard’s triple from near the logo (to eliminate the Thunder from the 2019 playoffs).

Maxey and Barnes had no problem hitting on the Allen corner triple and Barkley top-of-the-key jumper, respectively. But, he and Barnes could never quite advance because the Raptors’ rookie succumbed to the pressure of what should’ve been an easy shot in the baby hook. Maxey tried to relieve the pressure by stepping in to make the short hook, but he also missed the shot. So, both went down in infamy. 

Maxey is not scheduled to participate in any more of the events in Cleveland this weekend. So, he’ll have some time to rest up before preparing for the stretch run as Philadelphia looks to make its push for home-court advantage in the playoffs.

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2022 NBA All-Star Weekend event schedule: Live stream, start times, participants, picks, format, watch online

2022 NBA All-Star Weekend event schedule: Live stream, start times, participants, picks, format, watch online

NBA All-Star Weekend is almost here, and it promises to provide ample entertainment, as it does every year. This year the weekend will take place in Cleveland and will feature all of the events that fans have come to enjoy. However, several of the main events have been tweaked by the league, which could confuse those unaware of the changes. Fear not, we’re here to help. Below you’ll find the dates, list of participants and a brief explanation for the weekend’s five biggest events. 

NBA All-Star Celebrity Game 

Date: Friday, Feb. 18 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Wolstein Center — Cleveland, Ohio
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)  

Team Nique: Anuel AA (rapper), Mayor Justin Bibb (Mayor of Cleveland), Kane Brown (singer, songwriter), Myles Garrett (Cleveland Browns defensive end), Booby Gibson (Cleveland Cavaliers legend), Tiffany Haddish (comedian, actress and author), Jack Harlow (rapper, recording artist), Crissa Jackson (Harlem Globetrotters player), Anjali Ranadivé (singer, songwriter), Gianmarco Tamberi (Olympic high jump champion).

Team Walton: Jimmie Allen (singer, songwriter), Brittney Elena (host, actress, athlete and model), Machine Gun Kelly (singer, songwriter), Dearica Hamby (Las Vegas Aces forward), Noah Carlock (Fanatics All-In Challenge Winner), Nyjah Huston (Olympian, professional skateboarder), Matt James (“The Bachelor”), Quavo (rapper, recording artist), Ranveer Singh (actor), Alex Toussaint (Peloton instructor).

Rising Stars

Date: Friday, Feb. 18 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — Cleveland, Ohio
TV and live stream: TNT   

Team Barry: Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons (rookie), Dyson Daniels, G League Ignite, Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers (rookie), Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers (sophomore), Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets (rookie), Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets (sophomore), Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic (rookie)

Team Isiah: Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors (sophomore), Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies (sophomore), Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons (sophomore), Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves (sophomore), Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings (sophomore), Jaden Hardy, G League Ignite, Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons (sophomore)

Team Payton: LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets (sophomore), Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors (rookie), Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls (rookie), Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite, Jaden McDaniels, Minnesota Timberwolves (sophomore), Davion Mitchell, Sacramento Kings (rookie), Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors (rookie)

Team Worthy: Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic (sophomore), MarJon Beauchamp, G League Ignite, Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder (rookie), Jalen Green, Houston Rockets (rookie), Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (rookie), Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers (sophomore), Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic (rookie)

How it works: In a new format, 28 players – comprising 12 rookies, 12 sophomores and four members of the NBA G League Ignite developmental squad; see roster above – were drafted onto four teams to compete in three games. Per the NBA, each game will be played to a Final Target Score, ending with a made basket or free throw instead of with the clock running out. It will be a “Race to 75” to celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary season — Games 1 and 2 will be played until a team reaches 50 points; Game 3 will be played until a team reaches 25 points.

Skills Challenge 

Date: Saturday, Feb. 19 | Time: 8 p.m. ET (first event)
Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — Cleveland, Ohio
TV and live stream: TNT
Odds: Team Rooks -125 | Team Cavs +220 | Team Antetokounmpo +350 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

Team Rooks: Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors, Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons, Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder

Team Cavs: Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers, Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

Team Antetokounmpo: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, Alex Antetokounmpo, Raptors 905, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

How it works: Three teams — the Antetokounmpo brothers, the Cavaliers and rookies — will compete in a new format that features a four-round competition that tests shooting, passing and dribbling ability. Per the NBA, each of the three teams will compete in the first three rounds of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. The two teams with the most “Challenge Points” after the first three rounds will advance to the Final Round.  Challenge Points are earned by winning each of the first three rounds. 

Round one is team shooting, round two is team passing, round three is team relay and the final round is half-court shots. 

3-Point Contest

Date: Saturday, Feb. 19 | Time: Second event after 8 p.m. ET start
Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — Cleveland, Ohio
TV and live stream: TNT

Participants and odds (via Caesars Sportsbook): 

How it works: The 3-point contest will feature the same format as it has in the past. Per the NBA, each competitor will have 70 seconds (1:10) to shoot as many of the 27 balls as he can, with a maximum possible score of 40 points in a single round.  The three competitors with the highest scores in the first round will advance to the championship round.  The player with the highest score in the championship round will win the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest.

Slam Dunk Contest

Date: Saturday, Feb. 19 | Time: Third event after 8 p.m. ET start
Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — Cleveland, Ohio
TV and live stream: TNT      


How it works: The dunk contest will follow the same format as it has in the past. Per the NBA, all four competitors will get two dunks in the first round. The two players with the highest combined score for their two dunks will advance to the final round. The two finalists will then get two dunks in the final round. The dunker with the highest combined score for his two dunks in the final round will win. 

71st NBA All-Star Game 

Date: Sunday, Feb. 20 | Time: 8 p.m. ET 
Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — Cleveland, Ohio
TV and live stream: TNT
Odds: Team Durant +180 | Team LeBron -220 | O/U 321.5 | Spread: LeBron -5.5/Durant +5.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

Team LeBron: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen CurryDeMar DeRozanNikola JokicLuka Doncic, Darius Garland, Chris PaulJimmy ButlerDonovan Mitchell, Fred VanVleet, James Harden

Team Durant: Joel EmbiidJa MorantJayson Tatum, Trae Young, Andrew WigginsDevin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, DeJounte MurrayKhris Middleton, LaMelo Ball, Rudy Gobert   

How it works: Team LeBron and Team Durant will go head-to-head to determine the winner of the 2022 NBA All-Star game. For the third straight season, the NBA will utilize the ‘Elam Ending’ for the annual exhibition, which means that the game will end when a team hits a target score, as opposed to when the clock ticks down to zero. The target score is typically determined by adding a fixed number to the leading team’s total after three quarters of action. Whichever team hits that score first wins the game, regardless of how long it takes. 

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75th anniversary, innovation highlight NBA All-Star events

75th anniversary, innovation highlight NBA All-Star events

Just as the NBA’s 75th anniversary has driven league marketing this season, the celebration also will play a key role at this year’s All-Star weekend in Cleveland this week.

“We built a custom event for Cleveland that amplifies everything about our values and vision and celebrates our 75th anniversary, and importantly, energizes our fans,” said Kelly Flatow, NBA executive vice president and head of events. “We’ve taken a very fan-centric approach to our planning this year to celebrate the evolution of our game.”

The HBCU Classic is new to this year’s All-Star Weekend and will see Morgan State take on Howard.

New to All-Star weekend is the HBCU Classic, which will be held Saturday afternoon at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. The game between Morgan State University and Howard University will be aired live on TNT and ESPN2, with coverage featuring a lineup of talent that includes HBCU alumni. 

Flatow said the game is “incredibly important to us at the league to continue to shine a light on our initiatives for the HBCU community.” In addition to the game, there will be “unique retail collections that are coming out that celebrate the HBCU community, specifically that support Black colleges,” she said.

With the goal of creating an All-Star weekend that is “tech forward and inspiring,” the NBA unveiled the first citywide shoppable, non-fungible token art gallery, allowing fans to purchase NFTs minted from art displayed on billboards and buildings at 10 locations across the city.

These NFTs feature courts from the four All-Star Games that Ohio has hosted: 1966 in Cincinnati, 1981 in Richfield, and 1997 and 2022 in Cleveland. A total of $100,000 of the proceeds from the sale of the NFTs will go to the Funders Collaborative on COVID Recovery. 

In addition to focusing on innovation, one of the league’s priorities with the event is to support local businesses. The main avenue for this has been the NBA All-Star Rewards Program, which has 200 participating local businesses, with more than 70% of them identifying as being minority- or woman-owned. Through this program, fans have been able to visit the businesses and scan a QR code to redeem points to use toward various rewards. Flatow described the program as a “citywide scavenger hunt for the last six months.”

Fans can purchase NFTs of courts used in the four All-Star games held in

Along with implementing the rewards program, the league brought back its NBA Crossover fan event, which has been a part of several All-Star weekends. Flatow said Crossover will be in an iconic location at Public Auditorium.

“What really makes this year’s Crossover so exciting is all of the fan-sourced experiences that go with it,” Flatow said. “Each fan can customize their package of how they want to experience Crossover this year, and there are personalized offerings and also scarcity-driven add-ons.”

These options include behind-the-scenes access, early entry, drop shops, licensed merchandise, and limited-edition collectibles. The NBA also is launching a Hall of Legends, which will feature programming and performances only available to people buying that package.

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Brands seize on NBA All-Star Game and Valentine’s Day: The Week Ahead

Brands seize on NBA All-Star Game and Valentine’s Day: The Week Ahead

Feb. 15

Restaurant Brands International reports its fourth-quarter and full-year results. This will be the company’s first financial update since announcing plans to acquire the Firehouse Subs chain in December. Analysts will seek answers for slow-growing sales at Burger King and on international expansion for its fast-growing sibling chain, Popeyes Louisiana Chicken. 

Feb. 16

Kraft Heinz Co., which outperformed expectations in its fiscal third quarter, reports results for its fourth quarter and full year. Officials expect flat sales for the year vs. a robust 2020 but improving quarterly profits as it manages cost increases.

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement begins its virtual 11th annual Converged TV Measurement and Data Conference. It comes at a time of unprecedented flux in TV measurement, with industry heavyweight Nielsen having lost Media Rating Council accreditation and a host of networks offering trials of alternative currencies for writing TV deals. Ad Age Editor Jeanine Poggi interviews Krishan Bhatia, president and chief business officer, global advertising and partnerships of NBCUniversal, in an opening keynote fireside chat.

Roblox, the gaming platform that has come to characterize the growing interest in the metaverse, announces fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 15 and hosts a conference call today at 8:30 a.m. ET. Investors will see how the gaming world with almost 50 million active users is shaping up, and hear about how brands have been developing there.

Feb. 17

Coming off a fourth quarter in which it exceeded analyst expectations for sales and earnings, Hormel Foods will review its financial results for the fiscal first quarter. The maker of Spam, Planters and Skippy saw sales gains in all of its four divisions (refrigerated foods, grocery, Jennie-O turkey and international) in the fourth quarter.

Walmart announces fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, showing whether the country’s biggest retailer continued momentum from earlier in the year. Announced departures of the U.S. unit’s chief merchandising officer and chief customer officer in January might lead to some trepidation, but Walmart has been on a roll for a while.

Roku releases fourth-quarter results today with an earnings call at 5 p.m. ET. Industry watchers will get to see how the streaming company closed out last year in the holiday period, and how the connected TV advertising business is performing.

Feb. 18

The action-adventure video game series “Uncharted” gets brought to life in the form of a movie of the same name, starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, that lands in U.S. theaters today. The New York Times reported that Sony Pictures spent $120 million to make it, with high hopes that the 40 million fans who have bought “Uncharted” games (published by Sony Interactive) for PlayStation over the years will turn it into a big-screen blockbuster.

Feb. 19-20

The closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics airs and streams live Sunday at 7 a.m. ET on NBC, Peacock and, with a primetime re-airing on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

The NBA All-Star Game heads to Cleveland on Sunday. TNT coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET. State Farm has the lead sponsorship on the All-Star Saturday night activity, which includes the Taco Bell Skills ChallengeMTN Dew 3-Point Contest and AT&T Slam Dunk.