North Carolina's folly has become Louisiana's gain, as New Orleans has been selected to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, the NBA announced. The 66th All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 19, at Smoothie King Center – home of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The game was previously scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, but the NBA pulled it from that location due to certain discriminatory laws that could affect patrons attending the game in Charlotte.
This will mark the third time the “Crescent City” has been the site of the league’s annual midseason celebration, having previously hosted the event in 2008 and 2014.
“New Orleans is a world-class destination for sports and entertainment and we are very appreciative that the city is once again hosting our All-Star festivities,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We are grateful to Tom and Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization and to Governor John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation for inviting us back for what promises to be another exciting and memorable celebration of the game.”
In addition to the All-Star Game, the Smoothie King Center will host the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17, and All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 18. In addition, the NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA Development League All-Star Game will take place at the Superdome.
“We are grateful that the NBA has selected us to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans,” said New Orleans Pelicans Owner Tom Benson. “We have made tremendous upgrades to the Smoothie King Center and know the building will be a first-class venue to host the myriad of events associated with All-Star weekend. New Orleans has hosted the All-Star Game twice in the past nine years, and is a perfect destination for NBA fans."
In addition, in the wake of the devastating floods that have affected tens of thousands of Louisiana residents, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have joined the Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints to provide financial and other ongoing support of the flood rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts.
NBA All-Star oncourt festivities tip off Friday, Feb. 17, with the Rising Stars Challenge, where the league’s top rookies and second-year players will compete in a U.S. versus World game format for the third consecutive year.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, All-Star Saturday Night will feature current NBA players showcasing their unique abilities in exciting basketball competitions, including the Skills Challenge, where participants compete head-to-head in a series of passing, shooting and agility drills; the Three-Point Contest; and the Slam Dunk contest.
The weekend concludes on Sunday, Feb. 19, with the NBA All-Star Game.
"Not only will NBA fans be able to participate in the All-Star Game events, they will also be a part of our world-famous Mardi Gras festivities," said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. "The fan experience can't get any better than that.”
New Orleans last hosted NBA All-Star in 2014, when the Eastern Conference overcame an 18-point deficit to post a 163-155 victory, snapping a three-game losing streak. Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his team-high 31 points in the fourth quarter and handed out a game-high 14 assists on his way to capturing MVP honors. Carmelo Anthony added 30 points for the East, while Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin each finished with 38 points for the West.
The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will be televised in prime time on TNT for the 15th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 32nd year of NBA All-Star coverage.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services