LOS ANGELES—The City of Angels will once again play host to the NBA All-Star Game in 2018. NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, confirmed that the game will take place at the Staples Center on Sunday, February 18, 2018.
This will mark the third time in 15 seasons that the game will be played in Los Angeles and a record sixth time overall the event will take place in Los Angeles in three different arenas. The game made its first appearance at Staples Center in 2004 and again in 2011. The soon-to-be-demolished Los Angeles Sports Arena hosted the game in 1963, and the NBA’s best played at the Famous Forum in Inglewood in 1972 and 1983.
The announcement was made by the Commissioner, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Staples Center officials before the Lakers hosted Memphis.
“We couldn’t be more excited to see the All-Star Game coming back,” Garcetti said. “Let’s think: It’s 2004, 2011 and now 2018. We might just have to move it here permanently, Commissioner, but we certainly are ready for the task.”
Many factors came into play when choosing Los Angeles as a future site, but I’m sure the sunshine and beautiful weather played a small role.
“This is truly a sports town,” said Commissioner Silver. “The weather doesn’t hurt, (but there’s) so much to do here. Coming back here on a regular basis makes sense.”
The last two years the game was played in New York and Toronto, respectively, and frigid temperatures, including record lows in Toronto, limited some of the activities outside of the arena itself.
Although the weather was mentioned often, Silver deflected that it was the deciding factor.
“Fortunately, our game is played indoors,” said Silver. “And actually, I think it was very much a bonding experience in Toronto for our guests. In fairness to Toronto, it was cold, but it was even unusually cold for Toronto, and it was unusually cold for New York the year before, but it didn’t stop anyone from having a great time.”
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Clippers Executive Gillian Zucker represented the Lakers and Clippers organizations as joint hosts of the game. They played the same role in 2011 when Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers won the dunk contest, and Kobe Bryant of the Lakers earned his fourth All-Star MVP Award.
“An All-Star Game is so fun for the city,” said Garcetti. “So while it’s great to have visitors that come in, I hope there are kids that are right here in Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley and South LA and the Eastside that are going to take some time to participate in things. And if they need me to try to dunk with them, I’ll do that, but I’ll come up a little but short.”
The goal of the LA Live Complex was to lure big events like All-Star Games coming to Los Angeles. It has certainly been successful since its completion in 2007.
The Rising Stars game will be held at the Staples Center on Friday, February 16, 2018, with the dunk contest and 3-point challenge on Saturday, February 17, 2018.