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All-Stars share busy weekend with their kids

HOUSTON (AP) - Many of the fathers in this year's crop of All-Stars brought their children along as they moved through Saturday's jam-packed schedule.

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Several members of both teams had their sons and daughters with them as they met with the media before practice for Sunday night's game.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, with his young son Kiyan on his lap, lit up when asked what it meant for him to share this weekend with his boy.

``This is for him,'' he said. ``We do this for our kids and our family. Of course we enjoy it, but we want them to enjoy it. That's why we bring them up here and try to do as much as possible with them. This is something that they'll never forget.''

Kiyan, who wore a Knicks shirt and oversized baseball cap with the word ``EAST'' on it, was quiet the entire time Anthony spoke.

``He's going to talk about it later on,'' Anthony said, nudging the boy. ``He's shy right now. He loves basketball. He can name all these players and their stats, what they do.''

Kiyan finally broke his silence when asked to reveal his favorite player besides his father.

He paused for a couple of seconds before quietly saying ``LeBron,'' and smiling to reveal a grin that was missing its two front teeth.

Some of the kids at the event weren't as patient as Kiyan. The son of Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul let his father know when he was ready to go.

``Daddy, we're done,'' the boy exclaimed near the end of the interview.

Paul talked for another minute or so while the boy went back behind the curtain, then returned and threw his credential down.

Even if he wasn't on his best behavior, Paul couldn't imagine not bringing him to All-Star weekend.

``I try to take my son everywhere,'' Paul said. ``We just got off a 15-day road trip and I ain't seen my son for two weeks. I wasn't going anywhere without him.''

Tyson Chandler, who also plays for the Knicks, had his young son sitting on his lap during interviews. He knows this is a great opportunity to build lasting memories.

``They'll be able to see pictures of this as they get older and really look back and see a lot of the stars of our generation,'' Chandler said. ``They'll be in a picture with Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Carmelo and it's just fun.''

In his 12th NBA season, Chandler is thrilled to be an All-Star for the first time, but participating in the game takes away from time he normally spends with his family. So he knew his son had to be here this weekend.

``Being a father to me is the most important job in the world,'' he said, beaming at his son. ``It's way more important than anything we can do on the basketball court. This is going to shape someone that's going to eventually get out into society. So I take that to heart. That's the ultimate thing in life.''

Most of the players who brought children on Saturday were joined by their sons, but Kobe Bryant brought his daughters.

One of them had a great view of a half-court shooting contest at the end of Saturday's practice as she sat on Bryant's shoulders to check things out.

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YOUNG STAR: At just 22, Jrue Holiday is the youngest player in 76ers history to make it to the All-Star game. Fellow All-Star Tim Duncan was 14 years old when Holiday was born in 1990.

On Saturday, Holiday was still getting used to the fact that he'll be playing with so many guys that he watched in his childhood.

``Growing up trying to be like a player and then next thing you know you're in one of the biggest games of the year playing with them or against them,'' he said. ``It's cool. It's exciting, but at the same time it is a little weird.''

Holiday has fond memories of watching the All-Star game and dunk competitions as a child and going out to the court to try and replicate the plays those stars made.

He's hoping he can create similar memories for kids watching this year's game.

``Hopefully tomorrow I'll try to make a memorable play and they'll try to mimic me,'' he said. ``That would be awesome. Hopefully I can make a permanent All-Star highlight that will stand for the rest of my life.''

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D-LEAGUE ALL-STARS: Travis Leslie scored 19 points to earn most valuable player honors, and Justin Dentmon added 18 points as the Prospects team got a 139-125 win over the Futures team in the D-League All-Star game on Saturday.

DaJuan Summers led the Futures team with 28 points and Courtney Fortson had 20. Shelvin Mack added 12 assists, eight points and two steals for the Futures.

Tim Ohlbrecht helped out in the win with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Prospects.

The Futures cut the lead to three with about 13 minutes remaining before the Prospects used a 16-4 run to increase the advantage to 105-90 and coast to the win.

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WANNA BE A BALLER: Before American Idol winner Phillip Phillips performed at All-Star Saturday night, he lamented the fact that he was never any good at basketball.

But he does like watching the sport, especially the slam dunk contest.

``I wish I could dunk,'' he said. ``Maybe if it was a short goal I could try. I have no basketball skills at all.''

Aside from dunking, Phillips, who is currently on tour with Matchbox Twenty, prefers another sport.

``I'm a college football fan,'' he said. ``I always pull for Georgia. It's always next year, but I still pull for them.''

British pop star Ellie Goulding, who performed her hit song ``Lights'' on Saturday night, was surprised when she was invited to participate in All-Star weekend.

``When I was asked I was really over the moon because it's not something I ever thought about doing,'' she said. ``It's a whole new, very surreal experience for me. I've never done anything at a big sporting event. This is yet again one of the things I can do that is really cool.''

While excited to be involved in the All-Star festivities, Goulding admitted she knows nothing about the sport.

``I never watched a single game of basketball,'' she said. ``It was football (soccer) growing up. I wore football shirts and I had a Beckham shirt. Basketball was really never something in my life.''

Goulding is touring for the rest of the year, hitting the road with Bruno Mars this summer. After that she said she has something mysterious planned, but refused to divulge the details of her plan.

``At the end of the year I'm going to be doing something else that's not singing,'' she said. ``I might be taking on a different project. It's just something that I've always wanted to do, but I have no idea how it will pan out.''

---

AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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