In light of the NBA pulling the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte due a controversial North Carolina law restricting bathroom use to transgenders, Massachusetts Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo tweeted his hopes of next year's event landing in Boston.
Bring the #AllStarGame to MA, where we recently advanced civil rights with #transgender law https://t.co/KbleclQeaW https://t.co/yFKsgsHRRe— Speaker Bob DeLeo (@SpeakerDeLeo) July 21, 2016
Unfortunately for basketball fans in the area, Speaker DeLeo's plea will likely be for naught. There have been a myriad of reasons why Boston have not hosted this event in decades and that trend will continue. As for 2017, a scheduling conflict appears to be the chief reason.
Via Adam Himmelsbach, Boston Globe
But despite the sudden All-Star vacancy, and the fact that Boston appears to now have the infrastructure in place to host the event, several NBA sources said it was not a viable option for the coming year.
Mainly, TD Garden is booked by Disney on Ice that weekend, a spokesperson for Feld Entertainment confirmed.
“We have not been approached by the NBA to host the 2017 All-Star Game,” TD Garden spokesperson Tricia McCorkle said in an e-mail. “However, we would be unable to host due to scheduling commitments that week.”
Celtics president Rich Gotham voiced his doubt in Boston's hopes to replace Charlotte, but is willing to discuss the possibility of Boston hosting this event in the future.
“It would be unlikely for a variety of reasons on such short notice,” Celtics president Rich Gotham said in a text message. “But if the city and state feel strongly about hosting a game in future years, we would be happy to have those conversations.”
After hosting four of the first fourteen NBA All-Star Games, the city of Boston hasn't hosted the event since 1964. Basically, Boston showcases the best basketball players in the world about as often as the city of Cleveland wins professional sports championships.
And that's a shame.
It is disappointing considering what the city has meant to the league itself. One the sport's original franchises, the Celtics are one of the two most, if not the singular most significant and successful franchise the league has to offer.
That '64 All-Star Game held in Boston is one of the game's most important editions. It is the first televised all-star game. With those stakes as leverage, the players threatened to boycott the event in an successful effort to get the league owners to address previously ignored issues from the union.
But despite the history, Boston is relatively foreign to the mid-season event.
And it's not like it's a great event either. Your average all-star weekend includes Kevin Hart abhorrently playing basketball, 874 noncompetitive points scored in the Rookie-Sophomore/USA-World game, and four out of five times, a gimmicky slam dunk competition.
Lastly, the main event is more frown-inducing than it is pleasing thanks to the dozens of failed alley-oop attempts and matador defense that cheapens whatever aerial display or passing magic from the stars.
But that's not the point.
For one weekend, the basketball universe would be set in a location that has arguably given the sport as much as any other place. Boston and its history has earned it by now.
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PatBernadeau Patrick Bernadeau 7/23/2016 11:53:00 AM Tweet Edit