CHARLOTTE – As expected, Ben Simmons is hyped up for Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game.
The 76ers point guard will play for his close friend and mentor LeBron James on Team LeBron here at the Spectrum Center.
The 2018 rookie of year said Saturday that his mindset is just looking forward to the game.
“Looking forward to the first experience for me to be an All-Star,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity. Looking forward to it. I’m competing against the best guys in the world.”
Simmons and Joel Embiid are the first Sixers teammates named All-Stars in the same season since Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo in 2002.
Davis not ruling out Celtics
So much for the Boston Celtics not being among the teams Anthony Davis would welcome playing for.
The disgruntled New Orleans Pelicans center had a list of teams that were his preferred destinations. His father said the Celtics he wouldn’t want his son playing for Boston before the Feb.7 trade deadline. His reported list of teams were the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles.
Davis confirmed there was a list on Saturday.
“They are on my list,” he said of the Celtics.
However, Davis later went on NBATV and said “all 29 teams” outside of New Orleans were on his list.
The All-Star center requested a trade from the Pelicans this season. His top destination is the Lakers. New Orleans flirted with trading him there before the deadline.
Davis is eligible to become a free agent in 2020.
NBA’s All-Star Saturday Night
Jayson Tatum defeated Trae Young in the Skills Challenge on Saturday night.
The Skills Challenge — tests in ball-handling, passing and shooting — had eight participants, and the players raced head-to-head on an identical course at each end of the floor. The winners of the four first-round matchups moved onto the semifinal round. The semifinal winners then advanced to the final.
The Skills Competition was part of the NBA’s All-Star Saturday Night, which also featured the three-point contest and slam dunk competition. Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris won the three-point contest. He defeated Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry and Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield in the final round. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo won the dunk contest.