All Star Game Rumors
Jeff Zillgitt: All-Star ballot voting. West: frontcourt: Davis, Griffin, Gasol, Duncan, Durant. Backcourt: Curry, Bryant, Harden, Paul, Rondo.
Marc J. Spears: Current East Starters based on balloting: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony & Pau Gasol in the frontcourt & John Wall & Dwyane Wade in backcourt
Silver said Charlotte would be awarded an All-Star Game. The 2015 and 2016 events are in New York and Toronto, respectively, with 2017 and 2018 announcements to come. Silver said he met with Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan and Hornets President and Chief Operating Officer Fred Whitfield on Wednesday about a timeline in relation to $40 million of upcoming renovations to Time Warner Cable Arena.
For those who haven’t filled out their NBA All-Star ballots yet, according to this compelling argument from teammate Timofey Mozgov, Ty Lawson definitely deserves a vote. Mozgov released this video with a simple plea: “He’s a good dude, you’ve got to vote for him … and again have a good day and don’t drink and drive.”
For the first time, the NBA All-Star Ballot presented by Sprint will feature all NBA players, NBA President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn announced today. The NBA All-Star Ballot presented by Sprint had previously been determined by a panel of broadcasters and media members who cover the NBA, and contained 60 players from each conference. Fans will continue to select two guards and three frontcourt players when choosing the starters for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, but will now be afforded the opportunity to choose from the entire NBA player pool, as opposed to 36 frontcourt players and 24 guards per conference.
Going back to fashion elements of the earliest NBA All-Star games, the league will feature a “simple, classic and timeless” uniform design at the 2015 All-Star Game in New York in February. Also, for the first time, the All-Star uniforms will include the first and last name of the player on the back of the jersey – the first name above the number and the last name below it. The East and West uniforms will incorporate “indigenous elements of the city or the host team into the uniform and that’s where the uniform for New York really begins,” NBA vice president of apparel, sporting goods and basketball partnerships Christopher Arena said.
Marc Berman: Nice touch by NBA with All Star uniforms containing 5 stars to represent each NYC borough. Decided to even have star for SI.
With NBA All-Star Weekend headed to New York in 2015, the league and its outfitter adidas could have gone any number of directions. Consider us blessed, then, that the league went so simple and relatively unadorned.
Q How do we fix the NBA Slam Dunk contest — and can it ever be like it was when you and Michael Jordan were going head to head? Dominique Wilkins: Well, it’s never going to be like me and MJ [laughs]. But I think it can get back to that excitement if all the best athletes get in it. For whatever reason, they don’t. I think [players] are afraid of losing. Guys feel now that their brand is more important so they’re afraid to do it, for whatever reason.
The Charlotte Hornets plan to formally submit a bid Tuesday to host either the 2017 or 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, a source close to the process said Monday. The team and the Charlotte Sports Foundation have called a news conference for Tuesday morning. It’s expected that’s when a formal announcement of the Hornets’ pursuit will be made. The All-Star Weekend was in Charlotte once before, in 1991, when the original Hornets played here.
The NBA is poised to turn the All-Star break into All-Star week this coming season, the Sun Sentinel has learned, providing teams with a full week off at midseason. The move, which would give players seven days off between games in mid-February, would result in an increase of one or two back-to-back sets per team for the coming season, a party familiar with the process said.
With the elongated All-Star break, the possibility of then starting the 2015-16 season a week earlier also has been deliberated recently, although that dynamic has yet to gain traction, according to an NBA source familiar with the situation, with such a move potentially requiring an adjustment in the collective-bargaining agreement. “And then,” the NBA source said, “we’d have to look at dates already committed to on the  preseason schedule.”
“That’s the model they’re using right now while they’re filling in the schedule,” an NBA source familiar with the process told the Sun Sentinel Friday. “Could they go back and use some of those dates if needed? That’s possible. But the week off looks like what’s going to happen.”
It’ll be fifth All-Star game in New York next February 15, but the first time the weekend will be shared by two boroughs. The Friday and Saturday events – which include the Slam Dunk and 3-point contests – will be held in Barclays Center. Sunday’s All-Star Game will be at Madison Square Garden. As part of the agreement to split the All-Star Game, the Barclays Center will be given the chance to host Sunday’s All-Star game as early as 2017. According to the NBA, the 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando generated $95 million for the Florida city in “economic impact.”
Now certified as an in-demand NBA celebrity, George ranks second in the Eastern Conference in All-Star votes and will undoubtedly start in the game held on Feb. 17. George explained that he would rather take a respite and try to limit his schedule as much as possible. “Exactly, I don’t want to add to it by doing extra stuff,” George said, responding to a comment that rest rarely happens during hectic All-Star weekends.
On Saturday night, George said that he declined an invitation by the league to compete in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest in New Orleans. Although George —who made his first All-Star appearance as a player last year — has not completely closed the door on the possibility, he confirmed that he likely will not participate in other All-Star weekend events such as the Skills Contest and will not make a return appearance to the 3-point Shootout.
Howard, however, said he had thought about that night just because with the return to New Orleans. “It was a night to remember,” Howard said. “It was probably one of the best memories of me being in the NBA being in the dunk contest here in New Orleans. The fans were amazing here. Every time I come in this building, I get chills thinking about it.” “I remember that whole experience,” Howard said. “Being here, the fans were amazing. I saw in past years, nobody tried to really engage the crowd. I like to entertain. I tried to really engage the fans, give them something they’ll remember.”
Dwight Howard never did hit the Pelicans with the sort of dunk that would require his New Orleans cap, but he had happy memories of the time he win the dunk contest with his superman slam at New Orleans Arena. He will not, however, reprise that performance in the dunk contest next month either. Howard, who won the 2008 dunk contest at New Orleans Arena, said the NBA invited him to dunk again this season in New Orleans, but he declined. “Couldn’t do it,” Howard said. Howard, 28, said he would participate again, “If I wasn’t so old. I’m getting up there in age, man, I tell you. I got a lot of years.”
Right around the time the Indiana Pacers’ locker room was clearing out, after the team’s 116-92 win over the Sacramento Kings, rookie Solomon Hill, C.J. Watson and Paul George huddled around a smartphone. Laughter and looks of utter confusion filled their circle. There’s only one in that room who could incite such a reaction. Lance Stephenson. On Tuesday, Stephenson released an All-Star campaign video that is sure to go viral. In it, Stephenson wears thick-brimmed glasses and a shaggy blond wig. He is “Sir Lancealot” and he wants you to vote Lance Stephenson as a first-time All-Star. “Actually, shot that yesterday,” said Stephenson, who held the production as his home. ” Me and my cousin and Rasual (Butler) came up with the idea.”
Still, Bryant’s popularity is such a force among NBA fans that his requests didn’t matter much. On Thursday, the league released the third round of All-Star balloting returns, and once again, Bryant is second among overall vote-getters in the Western Conference, trailing only Kevin Durant. He has 844,538 votes. Lillard, meanwhile, is eighth among West guards with 182,363 votes. Even when he’s injured and likely won’t be healthy by the All-Star break anyway, Kobe still dominates the vote. Even when he explicitly asks people not to vote for him.
Bryant singled out Portland’s Damian Lillard as a player deserving of votes. “I probably won’t be able to come back (to the Lakers) soon enough to be able to make my stamp or be able to make my mark on a game,” Bryant said. “So my advice would be to focus on younger players, the Damian Lillards of the world, because they’re more than deserving to be out there and playing that weekend.”
Musto: Hi, Zeke. Do you find that the NBA is gay friendly? Zeke Thomas: I do. When Jason Collins came out, my father said to me, “This isn’t something uncommon.” He played with gay players. He said, “Even in high school, I knew there were gay athletes.” It’s not as big an issue as the media like to make it out: “You’re gonna be shamed in the locker room!”
You think there’s no gay visibility in sports? Well, the out, proud Zeke Thomas—son of NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas—happens to be the official DJ for the annual NBA All-Star game, which will be held in New Orleans in February. That’s music to a lot of sports fans’ ears—and it’s hardly Zeke’s only high profile credit either. He also DJs club bashes in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and his hometown of Detroit, plus he’s a recording artist/producer who’s coming out with a song called “Regret,” about the horror of waking up after a not really necessary night of too much partying. Our recent chat was intoxicating—a real slam dunk, if you will (with no dribbling).