Friday update: CONGRATULATIONS JA!!!

The NBA announced the starters for its All-Star game last night, and the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant was among them. Congratulations to Ja on his first All-Star selection. The vote was weighted 50% votes by fans, 25% votes by NBA players, and 25% votes by a media panel.

The rest of the All-Stars – players who will be coming off the bench in the All-Star Game – will be selected by a vote of NBA head coaches and will be announced on February 3.

On February 10, the All-Star players will be drafted onto one of the two captains’ teams – so Ja will be selected to be on either Team LeBron or Team KD on that day. The game is on February 20.

More good news: No more health directives for Shelby County! The current directive, which went into effect on January 1, will be allowed to expire Monday without a new directive being put into place. The department will transition into an advisory role rather than a role of telling people what they must or must not do.

The Memphis Tigers got a 71-54 home win over ECU last night. The Tigers improve to 11-8 and get an entire week off before a showdown on the road at Cincinnati.

There will be Friday Night Jazz by Strictly Jazz Entertainment tonight at the Westin 6 to 9 PM. Admission will be free.

Chili cheese kegs are a thing now. I kinda want one.

Sugar Grits posted a reminder that they’re doing dinner service until next week 4 to close. So I guess that’s an announcement that they won’t be doing dinner service after next week.

Sign of the times: Yesterday I told people I have no interest in playing squares on Super Bowl Sunday this year. The reason why: I don’t want to get a cash payout and have to walk home with it around 9 on a Sunday evening. The way Downtown is these days, there’s too high a chance someone would follow me out of the bar and rob me.

Hard Rock Cafe will offer a Valentine’s Day menu Wednesday, February 9 through Tuesday, February 15. It’ll offer limited-time entrees like a lobster cobb salad or a surf & turf deluxe steak.

From Mashed: Everything we know about Robert Irvine and Jon Taffer’s new series

The CA reports that a giant neon carrot could sprout in South Main. It’s part of the signage South Point Grocery is requesting to put up.

Also in the CA: A homeless man froze to death steps from City Hall

Bundle up if you go out tonight. The forecast calls for as low of 20.

The Grizzlies host the Utah Jazz tonight at 7. The game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Southeast.

Soul & Parliament play the Hard Rock tonight at 8.

David Graham (not the one that sells cars) plays Blues City Cafe’s Band Box tonight at 6:30. Graham is from Portland, Oregon, fronted the Eskimo Brothers for 8 years, and is known for American Roots music.

President Biden and his wife Jill have a new cat named Willow. The cat jumped up on stage while Dr. Jill Biden was making remarks at a campaign stop in 2020. Seeing their bond, the owner felt the cat belonged with Dr. Biden.

Grape. plays the Ghost River taproom on Beale tonight at 7:30.

Krystal has added sausage & gravy bites to the menu. I need these in my life.

I’ll be back with more Downtown news as well as WWE Royal Rumble predictions tomorrow.