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Basketball NBA All-Star game unfolds amid frigid temperatures in Toronto

Steam rises as people look out on Lake Ontario in front of the skyline during extreme cold weather in Toronto on Saturday, February 13, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

The Canadian Press

NBA players and fans alike woke up to a frigid all-star Saturday. The city was an ice-box.

Temperatures late morning in Toronto plummeted to minus-23 Celsius, which felt like minus-34 according to the Weather Network. Four hours later, it had "warmed" up to minus-18, which still felt like minus-28.

One reporter from Atlanta called Toronto a wonderful city, but lamented it was too cold to enjoy it.

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A photographer trying to find a weather shot had to call it quits when his camera stopped working in the cold. The city's underground PATH system suddenly became a visitor's best friend.

Sadly in a Toronto winter that has been surprisingly benign, the all-star game weekend has been frozen in an icy grip.

Asked about the weather, Houston Rockets guard James Harden made a face after practice.

"Terrible," said the Los Angeles native. "It's too cold. That's probably the only thing that's wrong, it's freezing.

"Other than that, the city's amazing. The people are beautiful. It's a great weekend."

The city of Toronto issued an extreme cold weather alert – just the seventh of the 2015-16 winter but the third during all-star festivities. In 2015-16, there were 39 days under an extreme cold weather alert.

Even Snoop Dogg was taken aback by the weather. "Dogg in the 6. 10 below. Zero. So cold," he tweeted Friday night above a picture of him standing in the middle of a deserted snowy street.

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Ironically the forecast calls for a balmy minus-one Monday, the day after the all-star game.

In contrast, Yellowknife was a balmy minus-13 Saturday. Moscow was at zero Celsius.

Asked if visiting family and friends are talking about the cold, Toronto Raptors star guard Kyle Lowry replied: "Everyone is."

"But it's still a great weekend," he added. "It can be cold, but everybody's still going to enjoy themselves and have fun."

Former Raptor Chris Bosh, who now calls Miami home, says he got used to the cold during his seven seasons in Toronto.

"Well not like this," he added hastily.

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Bosh was more definitive in a Thursday tweet that read "It. Is. COLD #thatisall."

Toronto's DeMar DeRozan says he gets weather questions from fellow all-stars "every day."

"Nobody seem to believe me when I tell them this has been the worst. It's been a great winter until these last couple of days. Nobody seem to believe me though."

He acknowledged all-star weekend was the coldest he had experienced in Toronto.

"By far. By far. You've got to take the good with the bad though I guess. We've great this great thing happening with the all-star game here, we've just got to have the bad weather."

The forecast for Sunday evening is minus-14, which will feel like minus-21.

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