Ex-Cats

When and where to watch nine ex-Cats on NBA All-Star Weekend

Former University of Kentucky stars John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis will be playing in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.
Former University of Kentucky stars John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis will be playing in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. Associated Press photos

It’s time for NBA All-Star Weekend, and there are nine former University of Kentucky players — led by All-Stars Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall — participating in New Orleans.

Here is an event-by-event look at when and where to watch the ex-Cats:

RISING STARS CHALLENGE

EX-CATS PARTICIPATING: Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns and the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker are on the U.S. Team’s roster, and Canadians Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles will play for the World Team.

HOW THEY GOT THERE:

▪  Towns is averaging 23.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists, an increase in all three categories from his rookie season for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

▪  Devin Booker is averaging 21.1 points, 3.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds for the Phoenix Suns. He’s shooting 36.7 percent from three-point range.

▪  Murray averages 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 19.9 minutes as a rookie for the Denver Nuggets. He has hit 33 percent of this three-point attempts.

▪  Lyles averages 7.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game in his second season for the Utah Jazz.

OTHERS TO WATCH: The Los Angeles Lakers’ De’Angelo Russell (Louisville native), New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis and Denver Nuggets power forward Nikola Jokic.

TV INFORMATION:

▪  Practice: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17 (NBA TV)

▪  Game: 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 (TNT)

NBA D-LEAGUE ALL-STAR GAME

EX-CATS PARTICIPATING: Dakari Johnson (Oklahoma City Blue) and Alex Poythress (Fort Wayne Mad Ants). Poythress is also participating in the D-League’s slam dunk contest.

HOW THEY GOT THERE:

▪  Johnson, whose rights are still held by the Oklahoma City Thunder, is averaging 18.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.

▪  Poythress averages 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.6 blocks as a D-League rookie.

OTHERS TO WATCH: Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids, brother of ex-Cat Joe Crawford) and former Morehead State coach Donnie Tyndall, an assistant for Raptors 905 and the Eastern Conference squad.

TV INFORMATION:

▪  Game: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 (NBA TV); the finals of the dunk contest (including Poythress) will be at halftime.

ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

EX-CATS PARTICIPATING: Davis, Cousins, Wall and Booker are all competing in the Skills Challenge, an event won by Towns last year.

OTHERS TO WATCH: Porzingis and Jokic are also in the field for the Skills Challenge. Defending champion Klay Thompson (Warriors) headlines the three-point contest field. The dunk contest will feature DeAndre Jordan (Clippers), Glenn Robinson III (Pacers), Aaron Gordon (Magic) and Derrick Jones Jr. (Suns).

TV INFORMATION:

▪  Skills challenge, followed by three-point and dunk contests: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 (TNT)

ALL-STAR GAME

EX-CATS PARTICIPATING: Davis was voted in as a Western Conference starter by the fans, media and players. Wall and Cousins were chosen by the coaches for the East and West squads, respectively.

HOW THEY GOT THERE:

▪  Davis averages 27.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists for the New Orleans Pelicans. His 2.5 blocks per game rank second in the league, and his points and rebound averages are career bests.

▪  Cousins averages a career-high 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.8 assists for the Sacramento Kings.

▪  Wall is averaging a career-best 22.9 points for the Washington Wizards while leading the league in steals (2.1 per game) and ranking second in assists (10.6).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Stephen Curry, LeBron James, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard, just to name a few.

TV/RADIO INFORMATION:

▪  Media availability: Noon, Friday, Feb. 17 (NBA TV)

▪  Practice: Noon Saturday, Feb. 18 (NBA TV)

▪  Game: 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 (TNT, WLXG-AM 1300)

OTHER EVENTS

▪  NBA All-Star Celebrity Game: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 (ESPN)

▪  Hall of Fame announcement: 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18

▪  NBA Commissioner Adam Silver media availability: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 (NBA TV)

▪  NBA Legends Brunch: 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 (NBA TV coverage starts at 1 p.m.)

Dennis Varney: 859-231-3514, @ExCats

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