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Play it Forward Feb. 12-18: Arrival of LeBron James, Paul George for L.A.’s NBA All-Star Game has plenty of subplots

By in Press Enterprise on February 12, 2018

By Tom Hoffarth

Details/TV: At Staples Center, Sunday, 5 p.m., TNT

Wait for the moment when LeBron James comes jogging onto the Staples Center floor for the pregame shootaround in this latest incarnation of an NBA exhibition game. Watch the high-roller fans in attendance with connections to either the Lakers and Clippers begin to out-cheer each other for his approval. Whatever happens, happens. But the narrative won’t be lost on those watching at home, or broadcasting this to all points of the globe – LeBron-to-L.A. is what they’ll be talking about.

He has made clear he will not waive the no-trade clause in his Cavs’ contract and enter free agency (again) at the age of 33 when the season ends. The Cavs actually come to L.A. for games against the Clippers (March 9) and Lakers (March 11) in less than three weeks, so the 14-time All Star and four-time MVP can revisit things sooner than later. But for now, the national and local spotlight will be on him, leading Team LeBron in this schoolyard pickup game with former Cavs teammate Kyrie Irving (2014 All Star game MVP) back on his side along with the Warriors’ Kevin Durant and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and Paul George, two more SoCal locals who could someday be back.

On the other hand, the team led by Stephen Curry will keep Warriors’ teammates Draymond Green and Klay Thompson together with him, along with Rockets star James Harden and the Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan, the one-time Compton High and USC standout.
Let the speculation during this spectacle continue.

Also this week in L.A. associated with the Sunday game:
Thursday: Rising Stars practice, L.A. Convention Center, 9:30 a.m.

Friday: Media day open to the public, L.A. Convention Center, 11 a.m.

NBA All Star Celebrity game, L.A. Convention Center, 4 p.m., ESPN; Rising Stars […]    

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