By Nick Gallo | Broadcast Reporter and Digital Editor
It’s a day for reconnecting with lifelong friends, like Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. It’s a day for forging bonds on new ventures like Players TV, where NBA veterans CJ McCollum and Anthony Tolliver mingled with the NFL’s Vernon Davis and Olympic gymnast Kaitlin Ohashi. For players of Chris Paul’s magnitude, Friday of All-Star Weekend is about nearly everything but Sunday night’s showdown.
Paul hopped between multiple events on Friday morning, including the Athletes on Demand to promote Players TV. Next came the NBA’s Tech Summit at a downtown hotel in the Windy City, where Paul sat on a panel of the who’s who in the NBA that included Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Vivek Ranadive, Candace Parker, Luka Doncic. Topics included fashion, social media and how the NBA can continue moving forward into the 21st century and staying ahead of the game, both literally and figuratively.
Bundled up in a navy quarter zip sweater, an orange plaid-houndstooth overcoat and an orange beanie perched on top of his head, Paul networked throughout Chicago all Friday before taking his family over to the United Center to support Thunder teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the Rising Stars game. Sitting courtside next to his wife, Paul cheered on SGA and the world team.
“(Paul) was heckling me a little bit, trying to bribe me to go for MVP,” Shai said.
Here’s what’s next for the Thunder duo for the remainder of All-Star Weekend:
Shai will be back at it right away Saturday morning with NBA All-Star Saturday Night media availability. In the afternoon, Gilgeous-Alexander has a promotional appearance with Levi’s at The Godfrey hotel before heading back to his own hotel to get dressed and ready for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
Meanwhile, Paul will be going through practice with Team LeBron at Wintrust Arena and answering questions from media members who have traveled in from all over the world. After a couple of personal events in the afternoon, he’ll be able to spend some time with his family and rest up for the big game on Sunday.
Paul has plans to attend the PlayMakeHer Brunch on Sunday morning, which honors a group of female influences, game changers and groundbreakers in the sports and entertainment industry. Meanwhile, Gilgeous-Alexander has a pair of NBA Canada events in the afternoon, including one at the iconic Navy Pier. After a few hours of rest in the early afternoon, it’ll be time for Paul to get ready for his red carpet walk-in at the United Center and to suit up for the NBA’s 69th All-Star Game and the 10th of his career.
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