Boston Celtics fans might just be receiving an unexpected gift this holiday season. Per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, majority owner Wyc Grousbeck is very open to the idea of hosting the 2022 All-Star game and will be pursuing the opportunity to do so. Having not hosted the game since 1964, this would be the first time in over five decades Boston will call itself home to the mid-February festivities.
Despite criticism over the quality of the game in recent years due to players' lack of effort and no incentive, All-star weekend is still one of the best parts of the NBA calendar year. There has also been some controversy in recent years as well with the game being pulled from the Charlotte Hornets last year to state legislature passed that many players/fans don't see eye to eye with. This resulted in the New Orleans Pelicans hosting two of the past four times. Not to take anything away from the illustrious Smoothie King Center and the Pelicans but I'm not quite sure they've earned their place quite yet in basketball lore like the Celtics or the Garden.
All right, maybe it's not "the Garden" anymore (it's now the TD Garden), but the Celtics are still NBA royalty and the fact they haven't been able to host it despite their success over the years is shameful. While I'm sure some players would love to take a weekend off somewhere warm in med-February, I don't recall a lot of complaining when the game was held in New York in 2015 or Toronto in 2016.
The city of Boston as a whole hasn't called itself home to an all-star game in any of the four major sports since the Boston Red Sox held the 1999 MLB Mid-Summer Classic at Fenway Park. One of the more unforgettable All-Star games in MLB and sports history in general, I think everybody remembers the scene with Ted Williams being carted around the warning track and then being mobbed by all the players wanting to meet them.
Between a 58 year wait for the league's most decorated and historic franchise and 23 years for the city (come 2022), it will be long overdue for this to happen. Considering Gillette Stadium won't play host to the NFL Pro Bowl in this millennium either, this decision seems to make more and more sense for Celtics ownership and Boston sports fans in general.
Outside of Los Angeles Lakers loyalists, I can't even imagine any fan of basketball not enjoying the sight of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek and many other Celtic legends of yester-year being honored out on the court. This organization has a lot of history to tell and it's time it has had it's due and can enjoy sharing it as they host one of the league's best events.
Only time can tell who will get to host the game and as much as Grousbeck would like to it's not like he gets his choice. However if I'm a Celtic fan, I'm expecting an all-star game in town in the very near future.