NBA and city officials have announced that the 2018 NBA All-Star Game will be hosted by the city of Los Angeles, making it the third time that the Staples Center will host the event.
The bid gives the city of Los Angeles its sixth All-Star Game–the most for any city in the event’s history. New York has hosted the marquee event five times while Boston and Philadelphia have each hosted the All-Star game four times a piece.
“Los Angeles is one of the world’s great basketball cities — a place where players become legends and great NBA moments last forever,” said L.A. Mayor Garcetti. “Now we will make history again, in 2018, by hosting our sixth NBA All-Star Game, something no other city has done. I look forward to working with the NBA and our local partners on this amazing event at Staples Center, which will bring thousands of visitors to Los Angeles, and generate more than $100 million of economic activity.”
Staples last hosted the mid-season spectacle in 2011 and 2004–when the Lakers were in their prime and vying for an NBA title with a younger Kobe as their centerpiece. The Forum in Inglewood hosted the event in 1983 and ’72 while the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena hosted the event in 1963.
“All-Star is a premiere event, so it’s fitting that it’ll be hosted by Los Angeles, the premiere sports city in America, and by Staples Center, one of the premiere arenas in the world,” said Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss. “2004 and 2011 proved what a great combination this is, and 2018 will prove it again.”
Rival Clippers owner Steve Ballmer– whose team shares the Staples center with the Lakers–added, “Since becoming part of L.A. through my ownership of the Clippers, I’ve witnessed firsthand the passion this city has for basketball and celebrating world-class talent, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for both players and fans during NBA All-Star 2018.”
It will be interesting to see what state each team (Clippers and Lakers) will be in when the game rolls around in 2018. The Clippers are currently–and for the first time in either franchise’s existence–the face of Los Angeles with Chris Paul leading the Clips to a fourth place record in the Western Conference, while the Lakers have, for the second consecutive season, been one of the worst teams in the NBA.
It will also be the first time that a Staples Center All-Star game will not feature Laker icon Kobe Bryant, and possibly not include a Laker, as he has announced that this will be his last year in the league.
According to ESPN, of the past five All-Star Games that have been played in Los Angeles, the West All-Stars have come out on top three times, and coincidentally, all three victories saw a Los Angeles Laker win the MVP: Kobe Bryant (2011), Shaquille O’Niel (2004) and Jerry West(1972).
The announcement was made collectively by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman, L.A. Major Eric Garcetti and L.A. Sports & Entertainment Commission President Kathy Schloessman at Staples Center prior to the Lakers-Memphis Grizzlies game Tuesday evening.
“Los Angeles is known for first-class hospitality and entertainment, making it the perfect host for NBA All-Star,” said commissioner Silver. “The city is home to some of the most passionate basketball fans in addition to extraordinary facilities, including Staples Center and L.A. Live.”
The All-Star Game announcement comes only days after two of the Los Angeles Lakers young stars were accused of harassing a young woman and her mother Sunday evening in Los Angeles.
Laker guard’s Nick Young and Jordan Clarkson, along with two friends, were accused by a known woman’s activist, Alexis Jones, of committing “vulgar, sexual” gestures towards her 68-year-old mother.
The incident is still under investigation, but both Laker guards have since come forward to deny the allegations and provide their interpretation of what transpired. The Lakers have yet to discipline either player, and both will play Tuesday night versus the Grizzlies.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]