Tag Archives: Cleveland

NBA Should Consider These Cities For Future All-Star Games

The 2016 NBA All-Star weekend is under way in Toronto. The 6, as it’s known, is the first city outside the continental United States to host the Association’s annual mid-season event. Canada’s most vibrant city is sure to show hoop fans a great time on and off the court.

The 2017 event is already booked for Charlotte. It will be the first time since 1991 Buzz City has hosted the game. With MJ as the host, who wouldn’t want to go to a party hosted by his Airness?
It’s great to finally see the NBA taking the greatest All-Star experience among the major professional sports leagues to new and different places. Locations like Los Angeles (2004 & 2011), Houston (2006 & 2013), New York (1998 & 2015), New Orleans (2008 & 2014) and Phoenix (1995 & 2009) have more than their share in the past 20 seasons, while other great basketball cities have yet host the event or have it return in over a generation. It’s time to go new places.
Not to get to far ahead of myself before the headline events of the 2016 weekend have even tipped off, but I have a list of paces the NBA should visit in the near future and why they’d best for the league.

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Cleveland hosted the ’97 All-Star weekend during the NBA at 50 celebration. Photo Credit: Peggy Turbett/The Plain Dealer

Cleveland – While Cleveland isn’t necessarily the place you want to be in the middle of winter (average temperatures in February are a high of 40 and a low of 20 degrees), it is a great sports city and with the return of the NBA’s best player in LeBron James, that will be on full display as he continues in the prime of his career there.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was actively attempting to lure the NBA to Cleveland for the 2017 All-Star weekend which would’ve been the 20 year anniversary of the NBA at 50 celebration. NBA commissioner Adam Silver visited Cleveland to explore the feasibility of bringing the All-Star Game back to Northeast Ohio. “We had a great experience when we were there in ’97,” Silver told the Beacon Journal. “We would love to return to Cleveland” he went on to say.

The city has grown significantly since the NBA’s last visit and has the venues to host such a highly attended event. With LeBron James entering the backend of his career, it be great to see him get the opportunity to be the unofficial host to the game’s greatest players before he rides off into the sunset.

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Chicago hasn’t hosted the All-Star weekend since 1988. Photo Credit: AP Photos

Chicago, 2018 – This will mark 30 years since the weekend of MJ. In February 1988, Michael Jordan was in the midst of one of the greatest seasons of all time when he averaged 35 ppg, 5.9 apg , 5.5 rpg, 3.2 spg on his way to winning the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.

While his Airness was already being regarded as a Top 5 player at the time, this one weekend can be viewed as when he ascended to a global icon. He won the dunk contest–albeit controversial–while breaking out his iconic Air Jordan III sneaker, and he took home the game’s MVP award after posting 40 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 blocks and 3 assists in only 29 minutes.

What better way to once again honor the greatest player ever, by recognizing this moment. Plus, the Windy City hasn’t hosted the event since 1988, which is odd considering it’s one of the top 3 markets in America and rich in basketball history on all levels.

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South Florida has successfully hosted several major sporting events, but only one NBA All-Star Weekend. 

Miami 2019 – South Beach in February. Let me say that again, South Beach in February.  The ultimate party town, hosting the NBA’s ultimate party event. Nothing else really has to be said.

I am surprised it hasn’t been back since 1990 when the Heat weren’t even relevant. At that time you had to think former Commissioner David Stern selected South Florida to showcase one of his newest franchises as the Heat were only in its first season. But now after being in five NBA Finals in a span of eight years, Miami is a perfect match for the league. Even though they have fans more fickle than the weather down there during tropical storm season.

The city boast an extremely upscale arena, venues and plenty of hotels accommodations and more than adequate means to travel across town. Seems like a slam dunk or a Ray Allen corner three in game six of the 2013 NBA Finals.

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OKC has been a premier franchise and the fans have created a vibrant college atmosphere.

Oklahoma City 2020 – Assuming the Thunder keep both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the fold, OKC will still be an attractive draw. The Heartland doesn’t get much respect from basketball purist. But this is a chance for the NBA to reward this city for how it not only has received the Thunder and made it a great atmosphere for basketball fans, but also for how the community received the New Orleans Hornets—now Pelicans—when they took refuge after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the “Crescent City.”

Also with the NBA cares events done during the weekend, this will be a great opportunity for the league and its partners to help continue to rebuild this area that’s still reeling after the tragic tornado that struck in the spring of 2013.

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Memphis is rich in Civil Rights and hoops history, and what better way to celebrate both than during Black History Month.

Memphis 2020 – If you’ve never been, you don’t know what your are missing. From the barbecue to the nightlife, music and tourist attractions such as the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated, to Graceland the home of Elvis Presley; Memphis would be a great host for All-Star weekend. By the way, “The River City” is also a hot bed rich in hoops history at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.

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Seattle is eager for the NBA to return.

Seattle – Depending on who you are, this may seem like trolling, but let me explain why this would be a win-win for the league and Seattle hoop fans.

The League needs to make a true showing that they really want to bring a team back to Seattle. Since the Sonics were hijacked and taken to Oklahoma City, Seattle has been mentioned as a possible destination for owners looking to scare their current cities into upgrading or building new arenas. Commissioner Silver has said he’d like to bring a team back to the city by expansion or an existing franchise. This will go a long way in proving he’s serious.

For the fans and city leaders, this will be their opportunity to show that their love for NBA basketball has not dissipated in the absence of their beloved Sonics. Players will get a chance to see what NBA life in the “Emerald City” has to offer.

It shouldn’t matter that Seattle doesn’t currently have a team, that precedent was already set when the NBA took the All-Star festivities to Las Vegas in 2007.

The NBA Should Consider These Cities for Future All-Star Games

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Friday night the 2015 NBA All-Star weekend tips off in the NYC/Brooklyn area. The League’s midseason celebration is by far the best All-Star showcase of the major four American pro sports leagues. The 2016 All-Star weekend is already set for Toronto—for the first time outside of the continental U.S.—which I’m all for. But, I am tired of the league’s premier event being hosted in the same select cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix and New Orleans multiple times in a short span. So I decided to look at cities where the mid-season classic could visit in the near future and why they’d best for the league.

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Cleveland hosted the 1997 NBA All-Star weekend celebrating the NBA at 50. Photo Courtesy: Peggy Turbett/The Plain Dealer.

Cleveland 2017 – While Cleveland isn’t necessarily the place you want to be in the middle of winter, it is a great sports city and with the return of the NBA’s best player in LeBron James, that will be on full display as he continues in the prime of his career there.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is actively attempting to lure the NBA to Cleveland for the 2017 All-Star weekend. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has recently visited Cleveland to explore the feasibility of bringing the All-Star Game back to Northeast Ohio. “We had a great experience when we were there in ’97,” Silver told the Beacon Journal. “We would love to return to Cleveland.”

As mentioned, Cleveland hosted the All Star Festivities in 1997, which was the 50th Anniversary of the league. The city has grown much since then and has the venues to host such a highly attended event.

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Chicago hasn’t hosted the All-Star Weekend since 1988 when MJ won the Dunk Contest and the game’s MVP. Photo Courtesy: The Associated Press.

Chicago 2018 – This will mark 30 years since the weekend of MJ. In February 1988, Michael Jordan was in the midst of one of the greatest seasons of all time when he averaged 35 ppg, 5.9 apg , 5.5 rpg, 3.2 spg on his way to winning the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.

While his Airness was already being regarded as a Top 5 player, this one weekend in February can be viewed as when he ascended to a global icon. He won the dunk contest (albeit controversial) while breaking out his iconic Air Jordan III sneaker and he took home the Mid season classic’s MVP award after posting 40 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 blocks and 3 assists in only 29 minutes.

What better way to once again honor the greatest player ever, by recognizing this moment. Plus, the Windy City hasn’t hosted the event since 1988, which is odd considering it’s one of the top 3 markets in America and is rich in basketball history on all levels.

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South Florida has hosted several major sporting events, but only once has it has the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Miami 2019 – South Beach in February. Let me say that again, South Beach in February. The ultimate party town, hosting the NBA’s ultimate party event.

I am surprised it hasn’t been back since 1990 when the Heat weren’t even relevant. At that time you had to think former Commissioner David Stern selected South Florida to showcase one of his newest franchises as the Heat were only in its first season. But now after being in five NBA Finals in a span of eight years, Miami is a perfect match for the league. Even though they have fans more fickle than the weather down there during tropical storm season.

The city boast an extremely upscale arena, venues and plenty of hotels accommodations and more than adequate means to travel across town. Seems like a slam dunk or a Ray Allen corner three in game six of the 2013 NBA Finals.

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OKC has premier franchise and the city has embraced the NBA wholeheartedly.

Oklahoma City 2020 – Assuming the Thunder keep both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the fold, OKC will still be an attractive draw. The Heartland doesn’t get much respect from basketball purist and OKC is always disrespected—isn’t that right Sir Charles Barkley? But this is a chance for the NBA to reward this city for how it not only has received the Thunder and made it a great atmosphere for basketball, but also for how the community received the New Orleans Hornets—now Pelicans—when they took refuge after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the “Crescent City.”

Also with the NBA cares events done during the weekend, this will be a great opportunity for the league and its partners to help continue to rebuild this area that’s still reeling after the tragic tornado that struck in the spring of 2013.

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Who wouldn’t want to go to a party hosted by MJ?

Charlotte 2021 – The Hornets are back home where they belong and so should the game for the first time since 1991. MJ would be the host and who wouldn’t want to go to a party hosted by his Airness? Nothing else needs to be said.

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Memphis is rich in Civil Rights and hoops history that would be on full display during NBA All-Star history.

Memphis 2020 – If you’ve never been, you don’t know what your missing. From the barbecue to the nightlife, music and tourist attractions such as the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated, to Graceland the home of Elvis Presley; Memphis would be a great host for All-Star weekend. By the way, “The River City” is also a hot bed for hoops.

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Seattle is eager for the NBA to return.

Seattle, WA – Depending on who you are this may seem like trolling, but let me explain why this would be a win-win for the league and Seattle hoop fans.

The League needs to make a true showing that they really want to bring a team back to Seattle. Since the Sonics were hijacked and taken to Oklahoma City, Seattle has been mentioned as a possible destination for owners looking to scare their current cities into upgrading or building new arenas. Commissioner Silver has said he’d like to bring a team back to the city by expansion or an existing franchise. This will go a long way in proving he’s serious.

For the fans and city leaders, this will be their opportunity to show that their love for NBA basketball has not dissipated in the absence of their beloved Sonics. Players will get a chance to see what NBA life in the “Emerald City” will be like.

It shouldn’t matter that Seattle doesn’t currently have a team, that precedent was already set when the NBA took the All-Star festivities to Las Vegas in 2007.

Concerns in The ‘Burgh

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Roethlisberger already looks and probably feels like it’s already week 16. Signs the worst is coming?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 0-1, and in a tie for 1st place of the AFC North, but it already feels like they’re farther behind their three other foes. I know what you’re saying, “it’s one game out of 16”, but it’s not that they lost, it is how they lost. The signs are pointing to a less than Steeler-like season.

First, this team had a very unimpressive preseason. They were 0-4. I know, you’re saying “IT’S PRESEASON!” Still, you’d like to win a game or two, plus they were dominated in every phase throughout every game. The offensive line still struggles after several early draft picks and “upgrades.” They gave up 13 sacks in those 4 games, and their opponents out gained them on the ground and air, plus scored more touchdowns. That continued against Tennessee. What we are seeing are trends, worrisome trends at that.

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Roethlisberger was sacked 5 times and the rushing game managed a measly 32 yards.

I don’t care what the scoreboard says, they were shutout Sunday. If it weren’t for a brain fart play by the Titans return game and prevent defense to protect the lead in the 4th quarter, it would have been a 16-0 loss.

The Steelers lost the turnover battle with a interception and a fumble. Roethlisberger was sacked 5 times, the offense was 4 of 13 on 3rd down and they were never close to attempt a field goal to get any points. Finally they lost the time of possession battle (34:01 to 25:59). The Titans finished last season at 6-10 in the AFC South and the defense gave up a NFL high, 471 points last season. Revamped unit or not, these aren’t juggernauts!

Sure the AFC North went 0-4 in week 1, but at least the Baltimore Ravens showed they can score points against the Denver Broncos. The Cincinnati Bengals shot themselves in the foot at the ends of both halves to GIVE the Chicago Bears a victory and the Cleveland Browns hung with an upgraded Miami Dolphins team. If it had not been for unforced turnovers they would be 1-0. Still, they had a chance to win. Can’t say that about the Steelers. They showed NOTHING.

To make matters worse, they are going to be without aging starting linebacker Larry Foote (33) with a ruptured bicep – I bet they wished they had resigned James Harrison – back up running back LaRod Stephens-Howling with a torn ACL and their most consistent offensive player Maurkice Pouncey with a ACL and MCL injury for the season. Oh, you read that correctly, the Steelers most consistent offensive player is their All-Pro center. I hear the chuckles, but it’s true. Ask any Steeler fan.

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Pouncey, the best offensive lineman Pittsburgh has, is likely lost for the season.

Every team that sustains a long period of excellence goes through a rebuilding stage. The Steelers have been able to stave it off longer than most expected. Unfortunately for Black & Gold fans, you might not be able to fight it off any longer. Stick with your team through the rough patch though, if any organization can recover quickly, this one can.

Just be thankful the Black & Gold plays the Browns twice, the Oakland Raiders (10/27), New York Mess, I mean Jets (10/13) and you expect them on pride alone to split the season series with the Ravens and Bengals. Throw in two probable wins against the NFC North – The AFC North plays NFC North this season – and that should get them to 8-8 and a respectable season. Because after what I saw Sunday afternoon, you could win some cash if you bet on that as their final record.

NEXT FOUR GAMES:
@ Cincinnati Bengals (9/16) – Monday Night Football
VS. Chicago Bears (9/22)
VS. Minnesota Vikings (9/29) – in London, England
@ New York Jets (10/13)