We told you this was coming a while ago, but on Wednesday the NBA will make it official:
The NBA All-Star game is going back to one of basketball’s meccas, where the streets will make you feel brand new, bright lights will inspire you and all that…
The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets will co-host the 2015 All-Star Game. Multiple reports have confirmed the news, which was not really a surprise it is just about to be official. The league is hosting a press conference Wednesday to make the announcement.
Brooklyn’s new Barclay’s Center will host the Friday and Saturday night events, including the Rising Stars Challenge, the Slam Dunk Contest and all the rest (whatever form that is in two years from now). Madison Square Garden, fresh off an $800 million refurbishment, will host the All-Star Game itself on Sunday.
It would be more fun to host the thing at Rucker Park, but I’m not sure Adam Silver thinks it meets the needed seating requirements.
David Stern had said at last All-Star Game in Houston that New York and Brooklyn were the only two bidders for 2015 and they were trying to work out a compromise. Part of that compromise may well be the All-Star Game returning to New York two or three years later and the roles reversing (Brooklyn would host the main game, Madison Square Garden the preliminary events).
The 2014 All-Star Game is in New Orleans. Reports came out Tuesday that Toronto is expected to host the 2016 game.
Bringing the All-Star Game to New York, even in this unusual setup, should be fantastic. There are few better basketball towns than New York, which will set a high bar for the event.
It’s been known essentially since All-Star weekend in Houston last February that in all likelihood, the 2015 event would be played in the state of New York.
With two teams now playing just six and a half miles apart, however — one in a brand new building in Brooklyn, the other in an expensively renovated Madison Square Garden in Manhattan — the logistics of deciding who would be the official host and what events would take place where took a little longer than usual to hash out.
It appears the league has come to an understanding of how 2015 will shake out with the Knicks and the Nets. The only question now involves whether or not the event will return for another co-hosting just a couple of years later.
From Fred Kerber of the New York Post:
Multiple league sources maintain that the 2015 All-Star Game will be played at Madison Square Garden on Sunday of All-Star weekend with the Friday and Saturday night events – the skills, shooting and dunk competitions – set for Barclays Center.
The league and both the Nets and Knicks still are negotiating on a proposal to have a reversal in either 2017 or 2018 — Brooklyn would stage the game while the Knicks and the Garden would serve as host for the Friday and Saturday events. The Nets, sources said, are not completely sold on the host role down the road for a myriad of reasons.
“It’s a possibility,” one league source confirmed of the 2017 or ’18 event plan but cautioned that “nothing has been finalized. They (Nets) aren’t certain (they want it).”
It’s too early to pin down an All-Star city that far in advance; the league typically goes no more than two years out. But it makes too much sense not to have it return to New York relatively soon, given the size of the market and the two state-of-the-art arenas ready and able to host.