Barclays Center Could Be In Line To Host '17 All-Star Game After MSG Lands '15 Edition
NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver yesterday said that the Nets "will host a Sunday All-Star Game in the 'relatively near future' -- which a league source said will be as early" as '17 -- and MSG "has an open invitation to co-host," according to Stefan Bondy of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Silver said, "It’s up to the Knicks if they want to partner in that All-Star weekend as well. They don't have to make that decision yet." He noted that such a commitment would "require the Garden to forgo booking anything 'four or five days prior' to that weekend." Silver spoke at the official unveiling of N.Y. as the host of the '15 ASG, and the event was "highlighted by a rare media appearance" by Knicks Owner & MSG Exec Chair James Dolan. He said, "To our friends in Brooklyn, like so many other times New Yorkers put their differences aside for something bigger, we’re looking forward to giving our rivalry a rest for a little bit, to ensure we deliver the very best All-Star Game the league has ever known." Dolan added, "The All-Star Game is us taking a break from the rhetoric and promoting basketball and we’ll do a great job together" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/26).
DOLAN'S BEEN WAITING FOR THIS: In N.Y., Marc Berman notes Dolan has "tried to get the All-Star Game ever since the Garden started its transformation." MSG "would have had the 2014 All-Star Game, but the NBA didn’t want to compete against the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium" (N.Y. POST, 9/26). Also in N.Y., Tim Bontemps notes throughout the press conference, it was reiterated Dolan and Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov have "no real animosity towards one another." NBA Commissioner David Stern yesterday said of the meeting he brokered between the two last month, "There was no necessity (for a meeting). When I heard from each of them, that they would like to sort of get-together and talk about their shared interests and the like, I said, ‘That’s a great idea.' ... It was not a major diplomatic initiative, but it came easily, and I was happy to assist in setting it up." Onexim Sports & Entertainment President Irina Pavlova, whose company owns the Nets: "This whole thing is totally blown out of proportion. ... It wasn’t like they had a hatchet to be buried or anything. It was just a conversation between two men who own basketball teams" (N.Y. POST, 9/26).
SHARING THE SPOTLIGHT: In N.Y., Nate Taylor notes in previous years, Dolan "did not want his Knicks to share New York’s or the league’s spotlight with the Nets." Dolan: "The rivalry is a good thing for New York; it’s enjoyable." Silver said, "It was time to get the game back to New York." Taylor writes perhaps the "biggest challenge for the league will be deciding how many season-ticket holders from each team will be able to attend the game and the other events." It is "expected that the league will select an equal number of season-ticket holders through a lottery" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/26). ESPN N.Y.'s Ian Begley wrote, "It's a bit of a surprise that the Knicks and Nets were able to work together to bring the game to New York." The planning for the '15 game "began about two years ago and included a sit-down between Prokhorov and Dolan that Stern brokered" (ESPNNEWYORK.com, 9/25).
SHOULD PROKHOROV HAVE SHOWED? In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence writes the absence of Prokhorov from yesterday's announcement "kind of made the entire program a little wanting." As much as "everyone involved made it a point to say that the two rivals are putting their differences aside to make the 2015 All-Star weekend a smashing success, and we’ll take them at their word on that, it still would have been a little more believable had Prokhorov been present to have his picture taken with Dolan." Prokhorov is a "busy man, no doubt, but he still should have found the time to come" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/26).