By Jeff Lenchiner
It was a surprise today learning that the Houston Rockets, after hosting NBA All-Star weekend in 2006, get to do it again in 2013. Many teams would love to host the big event, and there’s no particular reason for Houston to land the honor quite so soon.
So, using Twitter, I reached out to the over 55,800 people currently following InsideHoops and asked them to to chime in with guesses as to why Houston is again playing All-Star host while so many other cities continue to wait. Here are some of my favorite responses (some of which I may agree with, others not so much):
MarkEomurian: Houston wants to draw attention to the smog problem?
Pharoah2012: Cuz…”We Da Best Host City”! :)
Joco967: Brian scalabrine once dreamt about Houston. The rest is self-explanatory.
SupaSIGMA4: Cuz the Chi is too dangerous and they’ve been everywhere else significant.
Crawf33: They’ve gotta have SOMETHING to pep them up after Yao called it a day.
MySkizzle: With Yao gone and the lockout looming, Stern will probably do something around Yao that night to keep Chinese market.
djgray1: Because it’s always hot here. No worries about bad weather.
HoopsU: It’s warm.
dboy03: Losing Yao Ming. NBA feels sorry for them.
MemphisSportFan: The NBA will do anything to keep the all-star game out of Memphis. So they put it in Houston again.
ImmaSavedSinner: Cause all the hoes here in the H.
glazeduck: capitalizing on Asian market before the Yao effect wears off.
MeteAktas76: A consolation for Yao Ming’s early retirement maybe?
Many others also mentioned the Yao Ming factor. I’d say there’s something to that Perhaps Yao will be brought over and there will be a massive tribute to him, as a way to keep fans in China tuned in.
Also, a big part of NBA All-Star weekend is the hotel situation. There needs to be plenty of rooms available, right nearby. And there are also various hotel partnerships that may come into play, somehow.
Houston is also warmer in the winter than most places. It has an airport, with functional planes and everything! That’s probably the bulk of it.
So, here’s to a great weekend in Houston in 2013! But first, in February of 2012 we’ll head to sunny, warm Orlando.