Archive for the ‘ NBA All-Star blog ’ Category

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the Portland Trail Blazers:

trail blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are one of three NBA teams that have never been given the opportunity to host the league’s All-Star Game. The franchise took a major step toward changing that Thursday, submitting a bid to host the 2017 or 2018 game at the Moda Center.

Team president Chris McGowan, who spearheaded the bid, said the game, along with the numerous activities that surround it, would be a major high point in the state’s sports history.

“It’s going to be the biggest event from a sports perspective hosted in Oregon’s history, I think,” McGowan said.

Earlier this year, the NBA sent out a memo saying it was opening bidding for the 2017 and ‘18 All-Star games. The 2015 game will be played at New York’s Madison Square Garden, co-hosted by the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, and the 2016 game has been awarded to Toronto, with the Raptors hosting for the first time.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets and their desire to host NBA All-Star Weekend:

The Charlotte Hornets officially announced their bid to host the NBA all-star game on Tuesday morning. They will bid for both the 2017 and ’18 all-star games, hoping to lure one of them to Charlotte.

Team and city officials both said that Time Warner Cable Arena will need various upgrades of close to $42 million whether or not its bid succeeds for an all-star game. These would include improvements to the scoreboard and the lighting system, but other specifics were not revealed. It was also not clear whether the Hornets would make a contribution to the arena upgrades or if it would be funded entirely by hospitality tax revenue.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday Charlotte could host a future All-Star Game.

First, he said, the city must upgrade Time Warner Cable Arena, which needs $41.9 million of work, according to a list of needs compiled by the Charlotte Bobcats and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

“I’d love to bring the All-Star Game back here,” Silver said before the Bobcats game with the Houston Rockets. “This is a wonderful community, a hotbed of basketball, not just pro but college as well.”

He added: “There are some upgrades to the building that are needed. I know those discussions are underway right now. It’s part of the understanding here that the building remain state-of-the-art. Nothing dramatic is needed. But certainly an upgrade to the scoreboard, some things with the suites and the lighting.”

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver and LeBron James recently spoke and one thing LeBron wants is what lots of players seem to want: More time off either before or after NBA All-Star weekend. It’s a legitimate concern for players actually involved in the big weekend who basically aren’t getting any real time off. Also, personally, I’d be cool if the weekend was extended, simply because it all goes by very quickly. But as for communication between LeBron and Silver, here’s ESPN.com reporting:

“LeBron and I have had a relationship for a long time,” Silver said. “We’re so far in season [that] the relationship has mainly been one of texting and emailing. I spoke to him for a little bit [Sunday], and he had a few things to say in the locker room when I was in talking to the players.

“One of the issues LeBron raised is a break during All-Star [Weekend]. A guy like LeBron, All-Star Weekend is not a break for him in any way. He’s going around the clock with a combination of things the league is asking him to do, personal commitments, and I think it makes sense if we can work in the schedule a few days so the All-Stars can get a break as well.”

Silver added that a schedule change of that magnitude would have to be negotiated with the players’ association but said he expects the issue to be among the prime topics discussed once the union selects its full-time replacement for ousted executive director Billy Hunter.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on banged-up veteran Heat guard Dwyane Wade:

Different type of All-Star Weekend for Dwyane Wade

An experience that had become routine for Dwyane Wade over the years suddenly was foreign. It was so new Wade for a moment thought about returning in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center. Then he thought against it.

“I’m normally in there at the end,” Wade said. “It was a part of me that really wanted to be in there. I came out in the second half and I felt a lot better. I wanted to play but I decided not to for the better of our season.”

As expected, the night ended earlier than usual for Wade in the Eastern Conference’s 163-155 victory against the West. Wade left with 5 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter, becoming a cheerleader the remainder.

He experienced the game from a “different lense.”

“Just on my vet stuff this year,” Wade said. “I actually got it from other vets. I’ve been around guys when they were older and how they approached the All-Star Game, where they kind of let the younger guys go out there and enjoy themselves and get a feel for the game and have fun. I just kind of chilled a little bit.”

Here’s the New York Post reporting on Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who had a memorable All-Star weekend in New Orleans:

Carmelo Anthony sets NBA All-Star game three-pointer record

It was an eventful All-Star weekend for Carmelo Anthony off the court in New Orleans, where he declared he’d take “a pay cut’’ to re-sign with Knicks if he likes their roster plans. Anthony then made his on-court experience a memorable one by setting an All-Star Game 3-point record.

Anthony’s smile, which rarely has been seen this season, were in abundance in the Big Easy. The Knicks superstar admitted he would have a tough time enjoying All-Star Weekend because of the club’s 20-32 record, but he still had a blast — even if he fell short of winning the MVP. Kyrie Irving of West Orange, N.J., won it with 31 points and 14 assists.

Anthony scored 20 of his 30 points in the first half and hit a huge 3-pointer with 1:04 left to key the Eastern Conference’s 163-155 come-from-behind All-Star Game shootout victory over the West at New Orleans Arena. He finished with eight 3-pointers, breaking the record of six, co-held by LeBron James and Mark Price.

Ernie Johnson talks All-Star weekend

Here’s the Oklahoman talking NBA All-Star weekend with TNT/Turner Sports analyst Ernie Johnson:

Q: How many All-Star games is this for you now, and what’s your favorite All-Star memory?

Ernie Johnson: “Oh man, I don’t know how many this is. This is a lot. I mean, this is my 23rd or 24th year in the studio. And for Turner, you know we’ve had the All-Star Game itself since 2003. Up until then we didn’t do the game, we just had everything leading up to it. But we’ve been to a lot of All-Star Weekends, that’s for sure. And I think, really, one of my favorite moments of all-time was 1997, the year they announced the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history. And this was not something that was on the air, but it was happening on Saturday afternoon when they were having the rehearsal for what they would do Sunday with all the 50 legends. And so I was there, just kind of hanging out in the arena and watching the 50 greatest as they put on their jackets for the first time, those great letter jackets that they had. And just watching all of these guys getting autographs from each other, it was just tremendous as they milled around and got their matching orders for how the ceremony would happen on Sunday. And I’ll never forget that. It was watching every great who’s ever played the game right there. It was tremendous.”

Q: What would you like to see added or even eliminated from the weekend to make the event better?

Johnson: “Oh, I don’t know. You know, they tinker with the events now. I still like the events. I love the events themselves. Certainly there have been years in the past where you shake your head kind of at the slam dunk because you see a guy trying time after time to complete a dunk and then the arena gets a little stale. In 2000, that slam dunk contest in Oakland was incredible. And it wasn’t with a lot of props or any of that stuff. It was just Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis I believe was in there. Guys just doing their thing and making dunks in their first attempt, and it was just electric in there. It was like it was a playoff game. People were just going nuts. You wish that you could have slam dunk contests that resembled that one with the big names and the guys who can really dunk doing their thing. And we’ll see what happens this time. I think it’s en vogue for people to criticize it, and they look at the format this year, East against West, and they (grumble). Give it a chance. We’ll see what happens on Saturday night when they have this freestyle round for both sides and then you have these head-to-head battles. We’ll see how that works out. I know that when it comes to the battle round this Saturday, it’s going to be one guy against one guy. You get three chances to make your dunk, and then the judges decide who won that. And so I think it has the potential to be really entertaining.”

Blake Griffin remains one of the world’s most exciting dunkers. Good news for NBA fans is he has not “officially” retired from participating in the NBA Slam Dunk contest again, someday. We advise you to not hold your breath waiting, though. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Blake on comparisons with fellow All-Star Weekend participant Karl Malone

“I’m humbled by that. That’s a honor. He was one of the best power forwards to ever do it, so obviously I have a lot of work to do to get to where [I can approach] what he accomplished. That’s not a bad person to be compared to … I’ve watched a lot of tape of him. I’ve watched mostly [from] his later years after he had really developed and had really become a force scoring the basketball. And the thing I love about him is everyone I’ve talked to about him talks about his work ethic and how hard he worked. And then on top of that just how he put together a complete game and used his strength to his advantage but also could step out and knock down shots.”

Blake on his future in the dunk contest
“I haven’t retired officially. It isn’t something I’ll never, ever do again. But for right now, I try to take my rest when I can. And this year I really wanted that Saturday night rest. So not this year.”

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the tech summit at upcoming 2014 All-Star Weekend:

The list of other notables scheduled to attend the four-hour session include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, Yahoo CEO Melissa Mayer and Brian Kopp of Sports Solutions. The annual gathering, which is invitation-only and continues to gain significance with the increasing importance of analytics within the industry, isn’t strictly for stats experts, though. Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley will be seated within elbow distance of the tech industry heavyweights. Other NBA owners and business experts also routinely attend.

2014 NBA All-Star data

NBA All-Star 2014 will bring together the league’s most talented players for a global celebration, transforming New Orleans into the center of the basketball universe. Three days of live game action will culminate with the 63rd NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center on Sunday, Feb. 16.TNT will televise the All-Star Game for a 12th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 29th season of All-Star coverage. Fans in 215 countries and territories and in 47 languages will be able to experience a weeklong celebration of the game through an array of digital technologies offered by NBA Digital, TNT and ESPN. The following is a look at NBA All-Star 2014 by the numbers:

NBA All-Star in New Orleans

2 — New Orleans has hosted two NBA All-Star Games (2008, 2014).
3 — NBA All-Star 2014 marks only the second time that the Sprite Slam Dunk will feature three All-Star Game participants – John Wall (WAS), Damian Lillard (POR) and Paul George (IND). (M. Jordan, D. Wilkins, C. Drexler - 1988).
5 — Portland’s Damian Lillard, first player to participate in five All-Star events.
77 — NBA All-Star 2014 performers have received a combined 77 Grammy nominations (Pharrell – 25; Earth, Wind and Fire – 20; Dr. John – 15; Janelle Monae – 6; Kendrick Lamar – 7; Gary Clark Jr. – 2; Trombone Shorty – 1, Mack Wilds – 1).

All-Star Global Reach

· 1,800 — More than 1,800 media will cover events, including 265 international reporters.

· 90 — More than 90 international television and radio outlets and websites will be onsite, with 16 doing live courtside commentary including in Arabic, French, Greek, Hungarian, Mandarin, and Polish.

NBA on TNT

12 and 29 — This is the 12th consecutive year the All-Star Game will be shown in prime time on TNT, and 29th season Turner Sports has provided All-Star coverage.

· 360 — For the first time, TNT will utilize the innovative freeD™ – free dimensional video – technology providing fans a 360-degree defining replay view of the action.

NBA Digital

· 140 — NBA TV, NBA.com and NBA Mobile will present more than 140 hours of All-Star coverage.

NBA Social Media

500M — Over 500 million followers and likes combined across all league, team, and player pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Sina, and Tencent that will have access to All-Star.

NBA Cares

· 3,000 – The NBA Cares All-Star Community Caravan, led by more than 3,000 NBA family members, partners and volunteers, will include four days of hands-on community service, featuring more than 35 projects.

NBA All-Star Jam Session

· 500,000 — Jam Session boasts over 500,000 square feet and more than 40 attractions.

80,000 — More than 80,000 fans will attend Jam Session over the course of four days.

NBA Players and Legends

1,416,419 and 10 — The Heat’s LeBron James was the leading vote-getter in the NBA All-Star Balloting program presented by Sprint, with 1,416,419 votes. James will be making his 10th All-Star appearance.

Miles Plumlee replaces Pero Antic

Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee has been selected to replace injured Atlanta Hawks center Pero Antic in the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge event at All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. Plumlee is averaging 9.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 49 games (all starts) for the Suns.

Plumlee will compete for TEAM HILL, for which Grant Hill is serving in the role of general manager. The head coach for Team Hill will be Nate McMillan of the Indiana Pacers’ coaching staff. On the sidelines for TEAM WEBBER, for which Chris Webber is serving in the role of general manager, will be Rex Kalamian of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s coaching staff.

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 14, from Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages.

2014 D-League All-Stars announced

Twenty of the NBA Development League’s top prospects, including 16 who have NBA experience, have been selected to play in the eighth annual NBA D-League All-Star Game on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Sprint Arena inside NBA All-Star Jam Session at New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The game will air live on NBA TV at 3 p.m. ET.

Chosen to the NBA D-League All-Star Futures team are Hilton Armstrong (Santa Cruz), Seth Curry (Santa Cruz), Dewayne Dedmon (Santa Cruz), Justin Hamilton (Sioux Falls), Manny Harris (Los Angeles), Pierre Jackson (Idaho), Kevin Jones (Canton), DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls), Malcolm Thomas (Los Angeles) and Chris Wright (Maine). The Futures team will be helmed by Canton Charge head coach Steve Hetzel and his staff, who earned the trip to New Orleans by virtue of winning a tie-breaker with Nate Bjorkgren and the staff of the Iowa Energy, which had the same 16-9 record through games of Jan. 26, for the League’s second-best winning percentage.

Selected to play on the NBA D-League All-Star Prospects team are Isaiah Canaan (Rio Grande Valley), Robert Covington (Rio Grande Valley), Troy Daniels (Rio Grande Valley), Ike Diogu (Bakersfield), Devin Ebanks (Texas), Melvin Ely (Texas), Ron Howard (Fort Wayne), Othyus Jeffers (Iowa), Christapher Johnson (Rio Grande Valley), and Jarvis Varnado (Iowa). Rio Grande Valley Vipers head coach Nevada Smith and his staff will lead the Prospects team in New Orleans. They earned the right to coach the All-Stars having had the highest winning percentage with a 19-6 record in games play through Jan. 26.

“We’re excited to bring 20 top young NBA prospects to New Orleans to compete as NBA D-League All-Stars,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA D-League. “The NBA D-League All-Star Game is not only an excellent opportunity for the League’s bright young stars to showcase their talents, but gives basketball fans from around the country the chance to watch up-and-coming NBA players in the midst of NBA All-Star festivities.”

The field of 20 players was selected by a vote of the NBA D-League’s 17 head coaches and was divided into two teams by League officials. Players were eligible to be selected based on having played in at least half of their team’s games through Jan. 26. Each player must be on an active NBA D-League roster at the time of the NBA D-League All-Star Game in order to compete.

Eight players with NBA experience are featured on the Prospects roster, including three current NBA players: Canaan and Covington, who have played in Rio Grande Valley on assignment from the Houston Rockets, and Johnson, a member of the Boston Celtics by way of a GATORADE Call-Up. Diogu, Ebanks, Ely, Jeffers, and Varnado round out members of the Prospects team with NBA experience.

An additional eight players with NBA experience make up the Futures roster, including Harris and Thomas, currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, respectively. Armstrong, Curry, Dedmon, Jones, Liggins, and Wright have also logged NBA minutes.

Last season, seven of the 20 NBA D-League All-Stars who played in Houston went on to earn GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA later in the year. Over the NBA D-League All-Star Game’s seven-year history, 87 of the 126 players have had, or subsequently earned, NBA experience.

The 2014 NBA D-League Dream Factory presented by Boost Mobile will be integrated into Saturday’s NBA D-League All-Star Game, with action beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET when the League’s sharp shooters take to the court to participate in the NBA D-League Boost Mobile Thre-Point Contest. Skills competition activities will continue during the game’s halftime break, with the NBA D-League Boost Mobile Slam Dunk Contest.

The complete 2014 NBA D-League All-Star teams are below.

FUTURES ALL-STAR ROSTER

Pos. Player (Team) Ht. Wt. College Birthdate

C Hilton Armstrong (Santa Cruz) 6-11 235 Connecticut 11/23/84

G Seth Curry (Santa Cruz) 6-1 180 Duke 8/23/90

C Dewayne Dedmon (Santa Cruz) 6-10 255 USC 8/12/88

G Manny Harris (Los Angeles)* 6-5 185 Michigan 9/21/89

F Justin Hamilton (Sioux Falls) 7-0 260 LSU 4/1/90

G Pierre Jackson (Idaho) 5-10 180 Baylor 8/29/91

F Kevin Jones (Canton) 6-8 251 West Virginia 8/25/89

G DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls) 6-6 209 Kentucky 3/31/88

F Malcolm Thomas (Los Angeles)* 6-9 224 San Diego State 11/8/88

F Chris Wright (Maine) 6-8 225 Dayton 9/30/88

Head Coach: Steve Hetzel (Canton)

Assistant Coaches: Jordi Fernandez (Canton), James Posey (Canton), Nate Reinking (Canton)

Athletic Trainer: Mike Gittinger (Canton)

PROSPECTS ALL-STAR ROSTER

Pos. Player (Team) Ht. Wt. College Birthdate

G Isaiah Canaan (Rio Grande Valley)* 6-0 188 Murry State 5/21/91

F Robert Covington (Rio Grande Valley)* 6-9 215 Tennessee State 12/14/90

G Troy Daniels (Rio Grande Valley) 6-7 200 VCU 7/15/91

F Ike Diogu (Bakersfield) 6-8 255 Arizona State 9/11/83

F Devin Ebanks (Texas) 6-9 215 West Virginia 10/28/89

F Melvin Ely (Texas) 6-10 260 Fresno State 5/2/78

G Ron Howard (Fort Wayne) 6-5 185 Valparaiso 11/14/82

F Othyus Jeffers (Iowa) 6-5 205 Robert Morris 8/5/85

G Christapher Johnson (Rio Grande Valley)* 6-6 201 Dayton 4/29/90

C Jarvis Varnado (Iowa) 6-9 210 Mississippi State 3/1/88

Head Coach: Nevada Smith (Rio Grande Valley)

Assistant Coaches: Paul Mokeski (Rio Grande Valley), Jason Young (Rio Grande Valley)

Athletic Trainer: Long Lam (Rio Grande Valley)

* - Indicates a player currently in the NBA

The first thing to remember about NBA All-Star selections and players being “snubbed” is, players that didn’t make the team have to actually be more deserving of a spot than at least one of the players who actually did make it. Or else it isn’t really a “snub.”

Does Kyrie Irving want to leave the Cavs? Well, probably. They simply don’t have a competitive roster. But he’s still their building block. They’re not trading him. That’s that, for now.

I’m not writing Cavs rookie Anthony Bennett off yet. Haven’t seen him play enough to do that. Put him out there for 30 minutes a game for a couple weeks and then I’ll judge. But yeah, of course being the No. 1 pick in the entire 2013 NBA Draft, he’s certainly been a disappointment so far.

Tim Hardaway Jr is one of my favorite Knicks, on a per-minute basis. Athletic, cuts, moves without the ball smartly, hustles, runs the fast break, finishes like a baller. And hits three-pointers. His future appears bright.

Best thing during NBA game timeouts — other than the dance team performing — is the Dance Cam. As far as sheer excitement goes, of course the t-shirt toss wins.

David Stern is retiring as NBA commissioner soon. Adam Silver takes over. I really hope Stern stays involved, visibly. When Silver does press conferences, it would just feel right to at least see Stern in the back of the room, maybe off to the side, giving an occasional head-nod of approval. Just to remind us that we’re safe, and the future is bright, and everything is going to be OK.

2014 NBA All-Star game reserves

Dirk Nowitzki

The Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh headline the list of 14 players that have been selected by the coaches as reserves for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, the NBA announced today. Nowitzki earns his 12th selection, which ties him for sixth all-time with nine players, while Bosh secures his ninth trip to the All-Star Game in 11 NBA seasons.

The 63rd NBA All-Star Game will be exclusively televised on TNT from New Orleans Arena on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. The All-Star Game, also broadcast live on ESPN Radio, will collectively reach fans in 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Three first-time All-Stars join Bosh as reserves in the East: DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors), Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks) and John Wall (Washington Wizards). The Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Johnson earns his seventh selection, while the Indiana Pacers’ Roy Hibbert and the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah are All-Stars for the second time in their careers.

Joining Nowitzki as reserves in the West are LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers), James Harden (Houston Rockets), Dwight Howard (Rockets), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs) and Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers). It’s the eighth selection for Howard, in his first season with the Rockets, while teammate Harden earns his second straight trip to the All-Star Game. Paul garners his seventh All-Star nod, while Parker is an All-Star for the sixth time in his career. Aldridge captures his third All-Star berth, while teammate Lillard is the lone first-time All-Star among West reserves.

Selected to start in the East – through NBA All-Star Balloting 2014 presented by Sprint – were Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Dwyane Wade (Heat), LeBron James (Heat), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and Paul George (Pacers). Voted to start in the West were Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Blake Griffin (Clippers) and Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves).

The NBA Commissioner will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game. If the injured player is a starter, the head coach of that team will determine who replaces him in the starting lineup.

The 14 reserves were chosen by the 30 NBA head coaches, who were asked to vote for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.

The East and West All-Star coaches and coaching staffs were determined by the best record in the conference through games played Sunday, Feb. 2. Indiana’s Frank Vogel and his staff will coach the East, with Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks and staff leading the West. The Heat’s Erik Spoelstra and the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich coached the East and West squads, respectively, last season and were ineligible for the honor this year.

East NBA All-Star head coach announced

At 30-7, the Indiana Pacers have the best record in the NBA. With a very average offense but the best defense in the league on a per-possession basis, the squad is making the most of their talent.

On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Pacers head coach Frank Vogel has earned the role of 2014 East NBA All-Star head coach.

Not-so-bold prediction: Vogel’s East All-Stars will display a lot more offense than his Pacers.

More info: Frank Vogel will be head coach of 2014 East NBA All-Star team

Here’s the Philadelphia Daily News on talented 76ers rookie guard Michael Carter-Williams, who so far has been playing like a clear Rookie of the Year:

michael carter-williams

What if Carter-Williams keeps playing the way he has been for the foreseeable future? Will that land him a berth on the Eastern Conference All-Star team?

It very well could, and he would be the second point guard in 2 years representing the Sixers. MCW is becoming part of the big talk around the league. He opened eyes nationally with his debut against the Miami Heat - 22 points, 12 assists, nine steals and seven rebounds - and hasn’t slowed down since. The 11th overall pick posted the first triple-double of his career against the Orlando Magic and second overall pick Victor Oladipo. He is currently leading the league in steals at 3.13 per game and already has garnered trust from his teammates as a leader of the young team.

He has shown an unbelievable nose for the ball, a tremendous ability to get to the basket and challenge bigger and stronger players, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Many are wondering if trading Jrue Holiday in the offseason after his first All-Star appearance was the right move. MCW’s play early in the season is certainly making it seem that way.

New York City to host 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend

New York City has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2015, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced today. The 64th NBA All-Star Game will be played at Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks, on Sunday, Feb.15, 2015. The Rising Stars Challenge, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and All-Star Saturday Night - including the Shooting Stars, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk contest - will be held at Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets.

According to the Associated Press, “The Garden was ready to host again after its project, which took place over the last three summers, but Barclays also was a strong candidate to land another marquee event to the many it has staged in its opening year. Silver said the teams realized the game wouldn’t come back to New York again right away, so sharing was the only way both could be involved. That was agreeable for both teams, who have developed some friction since the Nets left New Jersey and set up shop in the Knicks’ city. Players have taken shots at each other in the media, and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has even poked fun at Knicks counterpart James Dolan. But apparently that relationship was soothed over for this, with Stern sitting in on a meeting between the two.”

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; James L. Dolan, Executive Chairman, The Madison Square Garden Company; Hank J. Ratner, President and CEO, The Madison Square Garden Company; Irina Pavlova, President, ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc.; and Bruce C. Ratner, majority owner and developer of Barclays Center and Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, joined Commissioner Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver for the announcement at the NBA Partner Forum held at Industria Superstudio in New York City.

As part of NBA All-Star 2015, the NBA and its partners will host a variety of community, grassroots and fan events throughout the city’s five boroughs (The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island).

This will mark the fifth time that NBA All-Star will take place in New York, having been held previously at Madison Square Garden in 1954, 1955, 1968 and 1998.

“New York offers an extraordinary opportunity to host NBA All-Star events at two world-class venues,” said Stern. “We look forward to celebrating our game with basketball fans across the entire city, in all five boroughs.”

“New York City is the basketball capital of the world and the sport’s biggest stage,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We’re lucky enough to have two world-class arenas, and the only thing better than having All-Star weekend at Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center is having it at both of them. The weekend’s activities mean tens of thousands of visitors to the City and lots of activity for local businesses, plus a week of community service events around the five boroughs led by the NBA, which has a terrific record of giving back. We’re thrilled and looking forward to cheering on the stars.”

For the 13th consecutive year, the 2015 NBA All-Star Game will be televised in primetime on TNT. It will be the 31st year that Turner Sports provides NBA All-Star coverage. The 2015 NBA All-Star Game will be broadcast to a worldwide audience in 215 countries and territories and in more than 40 languages.

“We are honored to host the greatest players in the NBA in the newly transformed World’s Most Famous Arena for the 2015 All-Star Game,” said Dolan. “Over its 134-year history, Madison Square Garden has been privileged to host some of sports most defining and enduring moments and we are thrilled to add this prestigious event to The Garden’s illustrious history. We look forward to working with the City of New York, the NBA and the Brooklyn Nets to make the event a celebration of basketball for all New Yorkers to enjoy.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the 2015 NBA All-Star festivities on Friday and Saturday to Barclays Center,” said Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. “Brooklyn has produced some of the greatest players in NBA history, so it’s fitting to hold All-Star events in the ‘Borough of Basketball.’ We are looking forward to showing fans and the players a memorable experience in our state-of-the-art venue, and we are also excited to bring the All-Star Game to Barclays Center in the very near future.”

“Barclays Center is proud to welcome such an exciting event as All-Star ’15 and to continue bringing the best to Brooklyn,” said Bruce C. Ratner. “We are delighted to join with New York City, the NBA and Madison Square Garden for a wonderful weekend. Basketball may have been invented in Springfield, Mass., but its heart and soul are in NYC through and through.”

“Madison Square Garden has been a celebrated center of New York since it first opened its doors in 1879. This fall, with the completion of our three-year Transformation, The World’s Most Famous Arena will also become the world’s most state-of-the-art arena,” said Hank Ratner. “2015 will mark our fifth time hosting the All-Star Game, and we look forward to providing yet another unforgettable experience for the great basketball fans of New York.”

NBA All-Star is an event with deep roots in New York City, reaching back to the 1954 game (the fourth NBA All-Star Game overall), where the Madison Square Garden faithful saw the Celtics’ Bob Cousy tally 10 points in overtime en route to MVP honors as the East recorded a 98-93 win over the West. Boston had a second consecutive All-Star Game MVP in 1955 as Bill Sharman scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter of the East’s 100-91 win over the West in the second NBA All-Star Game played at Madison Square Garden. Philadelphia’s Hal Greer shot 8-of-8 from the floor and notched 21 points during the third NBA All-Star Game played in New York City, a 144-124 East win in 1968. In 1998, the most recent contest in New York, Michael Jordan garnered MVP honors as he scored 23 points and added eight assists and six rebounds during a 135-114 victory for the East.

NBA All-Star competitions will get underway on Friday, Feb. 13, as the league’s top rookies and second-year players take the court in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Saturday’s festivities will feature State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, an all-inclusive skills showcase comprised of Sears Shooting Stars, a competition featuring NBA and WNBA players, and NBA legends; Taco Bell Skills Challenge, a contest of top guards working against the clock to complete a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills; Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, a longstanding staple of the evening; and the high-flying Sprite Slam Dunk. Sunday’s slate of activities will also feature a Sprint Pregame Concert before the 64th NBA All-Star Game tips off.

NBA

The 2015 NBA All-Star weekend will be split between two New York arenas, with Madison Square Garden to host the game, two people with knowledge of the plans said Tuesday.

Barclays Center in Brooklyn will host the Saturday skills events, the people confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the plans were to be announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Commissioner David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will attend the press conference, along with officials from Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center…

MSG is one of the most famous arenas in sports and has undergone a three-year renovation project. The $1 billion Barclays Center opened a year ago and has quickly landed many top entertainment events.

Reported by the Associated Press

The basketball world is coming to Toronto in early 2016.

Multiple sources told the Toronto Sun Tuesday that the Raptors are on the verge of landing the 2016 NBA all-star weekend.

An official announcement is expected shortly that will reveal further details of how one of the sport’s biggest weekends will tie in to the Toronto Raptors’ 20th-anniversary season.

Tim Leiweke, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO, made it clear upon taking over the company that landing the prestigious event was one of his early goals.

Reported by Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun

The decision to bring the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend to New York, an event that will be hosted jointly by the Knicks and Nets, will be announced this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday, multiple sources told The Post.

Plans to split the activities between the two teams were proposed openly last February, but the arrangements under which the Sunday All-Star Game would be staged at Madison Square Garden and other festivities — such as the dunk contest, 3-point shootout and skills competitions — would land at Barclays Center have not yet been publicly announced.

Reported by Fred Kerber of the New York Post

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