CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The NBA All-Star game is exciting, but the real winners are the local charities.
When they're not playing or hosting parties, NBA players and other celebrities are spending their time giving back.
Earlier this week, Hornets owner Michael Jordan praised the team’s persistence in making sure All-Star weekend returned to Charlotte.
“We have 1,500 people working around the community, and I think it’s just, it just shows how the NBA can come into the city in Charlotte and just become part of the fabric in just a few days,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
Jordan and Silver spent Friday afternoon sorting donations for the Second Harvest Foodbank, two of those 1,500 volunteers spread across the community for the NBA Cares Day of Service.
Hornets forward Miles Bridges joined Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles in packing wellness kits for local families at the Southview Recreation Center.
“While we think about the hotels being full and the restaurants, what the NBA Cares programs do for the community, all of that’s important,” Lyles said.
“The fans, they give so much to us through our good times and bad times. For us to be there for them and provide for them is definitely good for us,” Bridge said.
At the Convention Center, Hall A was transformed into a basketball playground, setting the stage for Junior NBA Day, where 1,500 local kids ran through drills with NBA stars including Charlotte natives Steph and Seth Curry and Hornets point guard Kemba Walker.
“It's just really humbling that I get a chance to put smiles on kids' faces. See when they get excited to see me, those are feelings that are really hard to describe,” Walker said.
“Just to come back into the community in Charlotte and see a lot of familiar faces, family and friends, just trying to represent the city well,” Steph Curry said.
Silver said since he's been back he's heard people say that Charlotte has become a better community after living through the fallout of House Bill 2 and the loss of All-Star weekend in 2017.
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