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Korea Republic primed for big kick-off

The gathered stars courtside for the 69th NBA All-Star Game, probably expected to see players from Team Lebron and Team Giannis practise step-back threes, Euro steps and alley-oops during their warm-up routine.

Instead, Bam Adebayo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid began soccer showboating and a keepy-uppie routine – all with a classic 22oz, leather basketball.

The ringleader? Butler. Jimmy ‘Buckets’ came back from the Rio Olympics in 2016 with two new loves: a 500-gram, laurel-leafed gold medal and football.

Just moments before taking to the court in Chicago, the 30-year-old Miami Heat forward and five-time NBA All-Star chatted to FIFA.com about his love of Neymar, Paul Pogba and Brazilian football, the battles to win the UEFA Champions League and Qatar 2022, the USWNT and what Kobe Bryant meant to him.

The gathered stars courtside for the 69th NBA All-Star Game, probably expected to see players from Team Lebron and Team Giannis practise step-back threes, Euro steps and alley-oops during their warm-up routine.

Instead, Bam Adebayo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid began soccer showboating and a keepy-uppie routine – all with a classic 22oz, leather, basketball.

The ringleader? Butler. Jimmy ‘Buckets’ came back from the Rio Olympics in 2016 with two new loves: a 500-gram, laurel-leafed gold medal and football.

Just moments before taking to the court in Chicago, the 30-year-old Miami Heat forward and five-time NBA All-Star chatted to FIFA.com about his love of Neymar, Paul Pogba and Brazilian football, the battles to win the UEFA Champions League and Qatar 2022, the USWNT and what Kobe Bryant meant to him.

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