The 2020 NBA All-Star Game is officially underway, and with it comes the typical pageantry of the league’s marquee regular-season event. Before the game even started, the league pulled out all the stops to give the fans in Chicago and those watching at home a great show. 

It all started with Common, the MVP of Friday’s Celebrity Game and a judge in Saturday’s Slam Dunk Contest. He served as the master of ceremonies for the pre-game festivities, first leading us through a tribute to his hometown of Chicago, where the game is being played, that also honored Kobe Bryant, who died in January. 

From there, he introduced the starting lineups for both teams, starting with Team Giannis. The twist? He did so in spoken word form and rhymed every player with a description of them. Some highlights include rhyming “Adebayo” with “style” and “Walker” with “Gibraltar.”

He then moved on to Team LeBron, whose names sadly weren’t as difficult to rhyme. 

All-Star festivities can be pretty hit-or-miss depending on the city and the talent involved, but most of the non-basketball elements of the events so far have been very well received. It is a testament to the city of Chicago. So many talented musicians and celebrities grew up there and have played a part in making this one of the most exciting overall All-Star Weekends in recent memory. Nothing that happens during tonight’s All-Star Game can change that.