chicago

Mayor Lightfoot shows her White Sox fandom in video encouraging social distancing

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AP

Mayor Lightfoot shows her White Sox fandom in video encouraging social distancing

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is a White Sox fan. 

This information was revealed in a clever video her office released on Twitter Monday evening, encouraging residents to "stay at home, save lives." 

Lightfoot plays different characters in the video, like "The Analyst," where she discusses data, "The Baller," where she spends time in a kitchen making a basket in a hoop on a refrigerator, "The Voice of Reason," where she convinces people on the phone to stay home, and more.

But the truth of her sports fandom is revealed at the two-minute mark, when Lightfoot, as "The Fan," is wearing a White Sox jersey on a couch watching a game and declares, "Tell you what, if my White Sox win, you gotta stay home."

The video cuts to the final out of the 2005 World Series. Sox win. The Mayor cheers. Fandom confirmed. 

Mayor Lightfoot might be happy to know NBC Sports Chicago will re-air that deciding Game 4 as part of our "White Sox Classics" in June. 

At the end of the video, she made a call to action as "The Realist." 

"The truth is, 40,000 hospitalizations will break our healthcare system," Lightfoot said. "Stay home. Save lives." 

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New All-Star game format will honor Kobe Bryant and benefit Chicago community organizations

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USA TODAY

New All-Star game format will honor Kobe Bryant and benefit Chicago community organizations

Since the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others early this week, basketball fans, media and players alike have brainstormed ways the league might honor Bryant at the February All-Star game in Chicago.

On Thursday, the NBA announced a major shakeup to the All-Star game’s format as a part of that plan. Here it is, in layman’s terms:

  • Each of the first three quarters of the game will begin with a score of 0-0. 

  • Each of the first three quarters will run on a 12-minute timer, as they would in a normal NBA game.

  • Team Giannis and Team LeBron will compete to win each of those three quarters, separately, with their scores being reset after each one.

  • The fourth quarter is where things get interesting (and where Bryant will be honored). The fourth will be an untimed quarter, with each team competing to reach a ‘Final Target Score.’

  • That Final Target Score will be determined by adding each team’s cumulative scores from the first three quarters; then adding 24 to whichever team has more cumulative points.

  • From there, the teams will race to that number (i.e. say Team LeBron has 123 points through three quarters to Team Giannis’ 114. The teams would race to 147 — 123 + 24 — with Team LeBron starting at 123 and Team Giannis starting at 114.)

  • The winner of each of the first three quarters will be allocated $100,000 per quarter to donate to Chicago-area community organizations.

  • In the event of a tie, that $100,000 would roll over to the next quarter's allotment.

  • The winner of the untimed fourth quarter will be afforded $200,000 to allocate.

This is a fun shakeup to a game that has become an increasingly droll affair. Sure, switching the team selection format to captains drafting players added a modicum of intrigue, but year in and year out, the game itself is almost always guaranteed to be too high-scoring and too lackadaisical to be worth tuning into live. An eight-minute YouTube highlight package the next morning would do the job just fine. 

Now, with each quarter operating as its own self-contained competition, the chances of intense play theoretically increases. And the inventiveness of the format — which Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press says the league has been mulling since last summer — could pique enough interest to see more fans tune in live.

And putting the minutiae of the format aside, it’s a touching tribute to Bryant, and all those impacted, that has a chance to meaningfully impact the community playing host to the All-Star festivities this year. Per the NBA, $1 million will be donated to Chicago-area community orgs by All-Star weekend’s end, with $500,000 of that derived from the All-Star game itself. There will be additional homages to Bryant and others throughout the weekend, as well.

So the verdict (from this writer, at least) is a good one. If nothing else, the 69th All-Star game will be unlike anything we’ve seen, with the potential to be uniquely fun and fulfilling. And that feels fitting.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Kevin Garnett never forgets the role Chicago played in his life

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USA TODAY

Kevin Garnett never forgets the role Chicago played in his life

Kevin Garnett is a 15-time All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year, MVP, and NBA Champion, so it's safe to say that 'The Big Ticket' knows a thing or two about leadership.

The 43-year old former NBA superstar and actor Adam Sandler were on Thursday's episode of the 'Pardon My Take' Podcast to discuss their starring roles in the upcoming film 'Uncut Gems' as well as their careers up to this point. When asked how he became a great leader after coming into the NBA as a mere high schooler, Garnett was quick to credit his time spent in Chicago (as a student at Farragut Career Academy High School). 

Moving to Chicago helped me understand different types of people. Y'know, every day in the street, I'd like to think that I interacted with a different personality or something so much that when I got into the league, you're in the locker room with arguably 14 other guys [with] different characteristics, different makeups...you're just dealing with a bunch of different cultures in the room, and I just learned how to interact, and how to y'know, tone it down at times, turn it up at times, bring it all together, try to keep it all together, and I found myself having 14 different connections. I learned all that through living in Chicago.

-Kevin Garnett on living in Chicago as a teen

Garnett was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina and was a standout at Mauldin High School in Mauldin, South Carolina. He was involved in an incident involving a huge fight between students at Mauldin in which many students, Garnett included, were arrested. Any charges against Garnett were eventually expunged as he had no direct involvement in the incident and was simply a bystander. But the incident was enough for Garnett and his family to feel like he may be a target due to his rising fame as a preps hoops star and influenced his move to Chicago for his senior year of high school. 

Though the move helped the young Garnett adjust to dealing with different personalities in his soon-to-come NBA life, it also helped him deal with people from all different walks of life in general, which has paid dividends later on, such as now, when he is acting in his first starring role and dealing with an entirely new set of challenges. 

"Learning how to 'whoa man can we get outta this? and 'How we gonna get outta this?'... that all helped me to come into the league and dealing with older people and professionalism and guys with money."

Garnett handled his NBA career with aplomb and now he is having a very successful post-NBA run, and he never forgets the role Chicago played in making him into the man he is today.

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