The most magical week in sports is returning to Orlando for the second time, as the city has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2012, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced at a press conference today at the Amway Center. Orlando Magic President Bob Vander Weide, Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Stern at the announcement. Orlando also hosted the 1992 All-Star Game.
The 61st NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Amway Center, which will also host the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam and NBA All-Star Saturday Night. NBA All-Star Jam Session, the hugely successful interactive basketball celebration, will be held at the Orange County Convention Center.
“As a premier entertainment destination with a new, state-of-the-art arena and a wide array of hospitality options, Orlando is an obvious and compelling choice to host this celebration of our game,” said Stern. “We thank the Magic, Orlando and Orange County for once again welcoming NBA All-Star.”
Few All-Star Games have rivaled the one Orlando hosted in 1992 in which the West defeated the East, 153-113, at Orlando Arena. The game is best remembered for the return of Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who had retired in November 1991 after contracting HIV. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Johnson had gone one-on-one with both Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan, and turned in a vintage performance, recording game highs of 25 points and nine assists to lead the West and win his second All-Star MVP award. Golden State guard Tim Hardaway, who had allowed Johnson to replace him in the starting lineup, contributed 14 points and seven assists.
“This is a great day for the DeVos family, for the Amway Center and, most importantly, for Orlando,” said Orlando Magic President Bob Vander Weide. “We are excited the NBA is bringing one of its signature events to our community and believe it will be among many legendary moments we are able to attract to this first-class facility.”
“We are proud that Orlando, and especially its revitalized downtown, will be showcased during NBA All-Star 2012,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “With the majestic Amway Center hosting great events like NBA All-Star, our vision for a world-class downtown is well on its way to being realized.”
The 2011-12 season will mark the 28th year that Turner Sports will provide NBA All-Star coverage, and the 10th consecutive year the All-Star Game will be televised in primetime on TNT. The All-Star Game will be seen by a worldwide television audience in more than 200 countries and territories and in more than 40 languages.
NBA All-Star competitions will get underway on Friday, Feb. 24, as the league’s top rookies and second-year players square off in the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. The following day’s festivities will feature NBA All-Star Saturday Night, an all-inclusive skills showcase comprised of Shooting Stars, a competition featuring NBA and WNBA players, and NBA legends; Skills Challenge, a contest of top guards working against the clock to complete a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills; the Three-Point Contest, a long-standing staple of the evening; and the ever-entertaining Slam Dunk contest.
“It’s a testament to our Central Florida community, the Magic organization and our beautiful new Amway Center that Orlando has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2012,” said Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins. “We look forward to working with the city, the county and the NBA to make this an unforgettable week that will drive major economic impact.”
“Orlando is the entertainment capital of the world, making it the ideal city to host the action of NBA All-Star,” said Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty. “On behalf of the county, we look forward to welcoming NBA fans and players from around the world and doing what Orlando and Orange County do best: helping create memories that will last a lifetime.”