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DeMarcus Cousins replaces injured Kobe Bryant on 2015 All-Star team

demarcus cousins

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Western Conference All-Star Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today by the NBA. Cousins’ selection marks the first time a Kings player will participate in an All-Star game since Brad Miller and Peja Stojakovic represented Sacramento in 2004. He will become the sixth player during the Sac-era, and 23rd in franchise history to represent the Kings in the All-Star Game.

“I’m extremely excited to play in my first All-Star game,” said Cousins. “I appreciate the recognition and want to also thank my teammates and the fans for their support throughout the season. Representing the Kings and the city of Sacramento is a great honor.”

“Everyone in the Kings organization is thrilled for DeMarcus and happy that his diligence and commitment to becoming the best player he can be has been recognized,” said Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

“This honor is a result of the hard work and determination DeMarcus has shown throughout the season,” said Kings Head Coach Tyrone Corbin. “He dedicated himself to improving those talents that make him a special player and he is demonstrating every night how unique an athlete he is in this league.”

In his fifth NBA campaign, Cousins is averaging 23.8 points (.481 FG%, .806 FT%), 12.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.38 steals, 1.63 blocks and 33.8 minutes per game in 32 contests, leading the Kings in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. He was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Nov. 17-23 after registering 25.7 points (.577 FG%, .773 FT%), 16.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.71 blocks per game in leading Sacramento to a 2-1 week. Cousins appears among NBA leaders in several categories ranking fourth in double-doubles (26), fifth in scoring and third in rebounding.

Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, who earned the right to coach the West squad because the Warriors clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 1, will determine who replaces Bryant in the starting lineup.

2015 All-Star game starters announced

2015 All-Star game starters announced

2015 East All-Star Starters
Carmelo Anthony, New York
Pau Gasol, Chicago
LeBron James, Cleveland
Kyle Lowry, Toronto
John Wall, Washington
Head coach: Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta

2015 West All-Star Starters
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
Stephen Curry, Golden State
Anthony Davis, New Orleans
Marc Gasol, Memphis
Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
Head coach: Steve Kerr, Golden State

MORE INFO, about the voting results, including complete exact vote totals:

Read fan reaction or discuss your opinion in this forum topic.

Third returns for 2015 All-Star

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors lead their respective conferences and are separated by only 13,285 votes after the third returns of NBA All-Star Balloting 2015 presented by Sprint. James has 971,299 votes compared with 958,014 for Curry, who trailed by 20,324 votes following the second returns issued a week ago. The New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis sits in third place overall with 922,381. Balloting concludes on Monday, Jan. 19.

More info: NBA All-Star Voting Results

Photo: All-Star NYC 2015 is coming

Photo of the Brooklyn Nets home court, serving a reminder that 2015 NBA All-Star weekend is coming to NYC. The joint hosts are the Nets and New York Knicks:

Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog reporting positive things about the city’s chances of eventually hosting All-Star weekend:

Now that the Charlotte Hornets and the city of Charlotte have agreed to an arena renovation, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said its inevitable Charlotte will get an All-Star Game

“Personally I’m very excited about coming back here. I don’t think there’s any question it’s going to happen,” Silver said during a visit to Charlotte Wednesday. “Just a matter of what year.”

The first available All-Star Game up for bid is in 2017. In all likelihood the 2017 and 2018 events will be awarded to cities simultaneously. Silver said there’s no set date for when those games will be awarded, but he’d like it to be as soon as possible.

Video: Vince Carter IT’S OVER dunk

Video of that legendary Vince Carter IT’S OVER dunk:

Cavs want to host 2018 All-Star weekend

Hosting an All-Star weekend brings lots of attention to a city as a destination, as well as its NBA team. Not every city is cut out for the job. Ideally there’s an easy-to-navigate, hotel-filled, main central area, with an arena but also lots of event space for all the side attractions, parties, etc. And, it helps if the local team has players who are participating in the weekend, hopefully with an All-Star jersey on their back. Anyway, here’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting:

Cavs want to host 2018 All-Star weekend

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission have submitted a bid to host the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.

Cavaliers Chief Executive Officer Len Komoroski and President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission David Gilbert both confirmed to Northeast Ohio Media Group that the bid has been placed.

Cleveland has gone through a transformation in recent years and is already primed to host some big-time events.

The return of LeBron James certainly helps, and in March for the first time the city will host the regional semifinals and finals of the 2015 NCAA basketball tournament. Cleveland also was awarded the Republican National Convention in 2016.

2015 NBA All-Star jerseys

2015 NBA All-Star jerseys

The 2015 NBA All-Star jerseys were unveiled by adidas today. This for the 64th NBA All-Star Game, taking place on February 15 in New York City.

Designed by adidas, the 2015 NBA All-star jerseys pay tribute to New York City’s basketball history and unique boroughs while personifying the city’s legacy as the mecca of sports, music and fashion. The clean, timeless design is inspired by classic sports uniforms and barnstorming basketball teams from the early 20th century.

The jerseys feature a side panel of five stars, each representing New York City’s five boroughs with a unique pattern. Here are photos of the jerseys:



Read fan reaction or share your opinion in this forum topic.

The NBA is expanding the All-Star ballot to include all players, and pushing back the start of voting so fans can better consider their choices.

Voting for the Feb. 15 game in New York will open Dec. 11. It traditionally began this week, when teams aren’t even 10 games into their seasons.

The ballot on will for the first time feature every player in the league. It formerly included only 60 players per conference who had been selected by a media panel.

– Associated Press

Quick reaction from editor Jeff Lenchiner: Both of these moves make sense. The league might as well include all players on the ballot. There’s no negative. But having a set number of players on the ballot, as has been the case, always meant that at least a few players who deserved to be listed weren’t included. And pushing back the start date also makes sense. Voting used to begin extremely early in the season. Yes, All-Star balloting will always be a popularity contest. There will always be many fans voting for players they like, instead of going strictly with players who actually deserve the vote. Still, pushing back the start date at least ensures that the world of basketball observers will have a better sense as to who deserves consideration, and it should only make the voting better.

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 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 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.


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, 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 will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages.

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