Reports: Manhattan, Brooklyn to share 2015 All-Star Weekend; MSG to host game
New York City will reportedly play host to the NBA’s 2015 All-Star Weekend, with Sunday’s All-Star Game set for Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden and the preliminary events set for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The New York Post and the New York Times both report the split arrangement, which is expected to be formally announced by commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver at a Wednesday press conference in New York.
A person with knowledge of Wednesday’s announcement said that the game would take place at Madison Square Garden and that many of the weekend’s other events — the dunk contest, the 3-point shooting contest and the skills challenge — would be held at Barclays Center.
Stern told reporters in February that the NBA had received 2015 All-Star Weekend applications from both Madison Square Garden, home to the Knicks, and the Barclays Center, home to the Nets; Silver added that it was “likely” that one of the two venues would host the game, but he did not reveal the decision at the time.
The NBA All-Star Game has been held in New York City four times — 1954, 1955, 1968 and 1998 — with the first three games being held at the predecessor to the current Madison Square Garden, which opened in 1968. The building is in the midst of a multi-year renovation, which includes updates to the lower and upper bowls, the suites, and the locker rooms, and has a basketball capacity of 19,763.
The Barclays Center opened in 2012 and is the home arena for the Nets, who relocated from Newark, N.J., and has a basketball capacity of 17,732.
Together, the Knicks and Nets have four 2013 All-Stars on their current rosters: Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez. Brooklyn also has three additional 2012 All-Stars — Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams — while New York has Amar’e Stoudemire, who was selected for the game in 2011.
The decision to split the major events between multiple venues is an unusual one, but it should be noted that All-Star Weekend as a whole is a sprawling affair that requires multiple, large buildings to pull off. The timing of the split decision is particularly interesting, as players from the Knicks and Nets have engaged in plenty of crosstown trash talk this summer. Pierce said that it was time for Brooklyn “to start running this city,” which prompted J.R. Smith, who guaranteed that the Knicks would win the 2014 title, to say that Pierce would “pay” for those words. Knicks guard Raymond Felton also proclaimed the Nets will “never take over the city,” while Nets guard Jason Terry responded to Smith, saying the Knicks could “maybe [win] the Rucker Park Championship” but not the NBA championship.
The 2014 All-Star Weekend is set for New Orleans after Houston played host in 2013. The 2016 All-Star Weekend will reportedly take place in Toronto, Canada.
The NBA has held an All-Star Game every year since 1951, with the exception of 1999, when a lockout canceled the game. Brooklyn remains one of six current NBA locations — along with Memphis, Oklahoma City, Portland, Sacramento and Toronto — to have never hosted the game.