NBA All-Star

How Joey Reinsdorf helped bring the NBA All-Star Game back to Chicago

How Joey Reinsdorf helped bring the NBA All-Star Game back to Chicago

The NBA All-Star Game hasn't been in Chicago since 1988, but that's going to change in 2020 and the way that changed isn't exactly conventional.

The Bulls will host the event in 2020 and Joey Reinsdorf, the son of Bulls President Michael Reinsdorf, had a big role to play in that.

Mark Schanowski sat down with the two Reinsdorfs to talk about the story of the NBA All-Star Game returning to Chicago. Watch that story in the videos embedded below:

Will anyone on the current Bulls roster make the 2020 All-Star team?

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USA TODAY

Will anyone on the current Bulls roster make the 2020 All-Star team?

For the first time since 1988, Chicago is set to host an NBA All-Star Game

In 2020, basketball fans from around the globe will descend on the United Center to catch a glimpse at the very best the Association has to offer. Whether any Bulls player fits that criteria remains to be seen. 

At the beginning of what is likely a long rebuild, the Bulls roster isn't filled with obvious future All-Stars. And unlike in 1988 at Chicago Stadium -- when Michael Jordan started and dropped 40 -- getting a player in the game is questionable. Here's a breakdown of each current player's chances: 

Nahhhh.  

Cameron Payne: In a league loaded with point guards, Payne doesn't rank anywhere near the top. Pitched as the possible point guard of the future in last year's deal that sent Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to Oklahoma City, Payne has played in just 11 games with the Bulls. Barring some miraculous development, he won't be reppin' Chicago at ASG Weekend. 

Kay Felder: He may turn into a heat-check guy, but he's no Isaiah Thomas. 

Quincy Pondexter: He beat the odds when he returned to an NBA floor after a myriad of serious knee injuries. The odds of an All-Star appearance are much greater, though. 

Jerian Grant: The 25-year-old point guard out of Notre Dame is getting his chance to run the show... he's shooting just over 30 percent. 

Cristiano Felicio: Big Cris has made huge strides in his short time in the NBA. Becoming one of the best big men in the East, though, seems a tad unrealistic. 

Paul Zipser: Until he improves his 3-point shot (32 percent in his career), he's not a candidate. 

Anything is possible... but probably not 

David Nwaba: The guard has an incredibly high motor, but it's not often that a strong, energetic defender with clear offensive limitations gets an invite. 

Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic: Given the sour relationship between these two, it's probably one or the other. Portis would have to consistently hit his outside shot along with rebounding like a menace. Since Mirotic is a below average defender, he'd have to have an incredible offensive first half to earn a spot. 

Denzel Valentine: It's fairly obvious that the Bulls did not get the 2016 version of Draymond Green. Could be a solid role player still.   

Justin Holiday: On pace to have a forgettable offensive season, Holiday's a terrific perimiter defender who can get hot for one half of a season. Right? 

Robin Lopez: The trusted veteran in the Bulls locker room would be 31 come the 2020 Game. He's yet to make an All-Star roster in his career, so this "it's possible" nod is just out of respect for RoLo continuing to be a positive influence on this version of the Baby Bulls. 

Kris Dunn: Where there's hype, there's not always All-Star appearances. Dunn has looked better of late with the Bulls, but he still struggles to shoot, a pretty important factor in determining ASG worthiness. 

Legit shot

Zach LaVine: This may be a bit overzealous considering LaVine hasn't even played a game with the Bulls yet. The 22-year-old has already left several marks on previous All-Star Weekends though, winning the Slam Dunk Contest twice. If he fully recovers from his torn ACL, his scoring and playmaking could land him a spot. If not, he could make an appearance in the Slam Dunk Contest or 3-point contest (38 percent for his career). 

Lauri Markkanen: He's turned heads in his rookie campaign, being lazily compared to Kristaps Porzingis. Assuming he'll continue to get more touches and flourish offensively, it's not a stretch that he'll be a 22-year-old All-Star. 

Chicago will host NBA All-Star extravaganza in 2020

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AP

Chicago will host NBA All-Star extravaganza in 2020

How long has it been since Chicago has hosted an All-Star Weekend?

Well, they were in a different building in 1988, and Michael Jordan had hair—albeit thinning, but he hadn’t gone bald yet.

That will change in 2020 when the United Center will host the ever-growing All-Star Weekend, according to league sources. The 1988 spectacle that took place at Chicago Stadium was a launching point of sorts for the NBA, with Jordan winning an epic slam-dunk contest over Dominique Wilkins and then winning MVP of the All-Star Game the next day with a 40-point performance.

Between the game, Larry Bird’s iconic 3-point shootout performance and the collection of All-Star players, which could’ve been the greatest ever, the 2020 weekend has a lot to live up to.

The momentum was increasing in recent years, especially with the atrium being finished inside the United Center—which the NBA will surely use as a way to engage fans to get out of the bitter February cold.

Chicago has been home to the NFL Draft in 2015 and 2016, getting rave reviews for its handling of an estimated 100,000 people each year to the downtown area in late-April, along with its bid for the 2016 Olympic Games that was placed over a decade ago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Bulls COO Michael Reinsdorf will be present at the “major announcement” Friday afternoon at the United Center, and one can assume they played a major part in pushing Chicago’s candidacy to the NBA as Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf was previously on record as being against hosting an All-Star Weekend.

Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Orlando and New Orleans have hosted All-Star weekend recently, cities that didn’t have to worry much about weather being a factor.

Toronto and New York City also hosted it recently and the league and its sponsors were better prepared for the inconveniences that can arise. Apparently, Chicago was likely able to assuage those concerns along with providing a burgeoning area around the United Center that has grown in recent years.

The last time Chicago hosted the event, it could be best considered a gathering. Now, it’s a worldwide extravaganza that requires multiple buildings in different areas, something Chicago is well-equipped for.

It’ll be a huge party—one that will have people packing their parkas to spend a weekend in Chicago.