Today it was announced that the New York Mets will be hosting the MLB All-Star Game in 2013 at Citi Field, only five years after the cross-town Yankees hosted it in 2008 at the old Yankee Stadium. That brought me to wonder, when will the NBA All-Star Game return to New York City? It has been nearly 15 years since the game was last in the Big Apple when the Knicks hosted it in 1998 at Madison Square Garden. The Nets last hosted it in 1982 at the Izod Center, which was then known as Brendan Byrne Arena (I will always think of it as Continental Airlines Arena). That year was the first year of that arena, and, at the time, it was the nicest brand new arena in the NBA. Oh how things have changed.
But now the question is, when will the NBA decide to return to New York again, and will it choose to go to Brooklyn or Manhattan? Both teams are trying to improve their arenas, with the Nets obviously making the bigger improvements. The Nets are going to have a brand new arena in Brooklyn, while the Knicks are only going to refine MSG during the summers. One would think that the Nets would have the advantage in getting an all-star game in Brooklyn, but don’t be so sure. Madison Square Garden has hosted 4 all-star games in its history, but only one since 1970. It is also known as the “world’s most famous arena”, and many visiting opponents (including Deron Williams and the Nets) really enjoy playing there. But obviously the refinements at MSG won’t make it nearly as nice an arena as the Barclays Center is going to be. MSG is still very, very old, and quite frankly, it is very disgusting. Everybody knows there are rats running around in the walls and every single surface is sticky. Another advantage that the Nets have is that the Knicks already have enough fans and David Stern wants basketball to become popular in Brooklyn. One all-star game probably won’t change the culture in Brooklyn, but it will put the Nets on the map and bring some excitement to the franchise, similarly to how MLB commissioner Bud Selig is trying to bring some excitement back to the Mets.
Unfortunately, the NBA has already chosen Houston to host the game next year, and New Orleans the year after that, but 2015 is the year that I expect the NBA All-Star Game to return to New York. I have a feeling that it will be in Brooklyn, but the Knicks would definitely like to host as well.
Do you believe the Nets, Knicks, or another team will host the All-Star Game in 2015? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.