The 2018 NBA All-Star Game will be held in Los Angeles, with Staples Center hosting the event for the third time, league and city officials announced at the arena Tuesday.
It will mark the sixth time that Los Angeles has hosted the All-Star Game, the most for any city. New York has hosted it five times, and Boston and Philadelphia have each hosted it four times. The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will be held in Charlotte.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Comission President Kathy Schloessman made the announcement collectively at Staples Center before the Lakers-Grizzlies game.
“Los Angeles is known for first-class hospitality and entertainment, making it the perfect host for NBA All-Star,” Silver said. “The city is home to some of the most passionate basketball fans in addition to extraordinary facilities, including Staples Center and L.A. Live.”
The game is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.
“We couldn’t be more excited to see the All-Star Game coming back,” Garcetti said. “Let’s think: It’s 2004, 2011 and now 2018. We might just have to move it here permanently, Commissioner, but we certainly are ready for the task.”
Staples Center hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 2004 and 2011. The nearby Forum in Inglewood hosted the 1972 and 1983 All-Star Games, and the soon-to-be-demolished Los Angeles Sports Arena hosted the 1963 game.
“I’m biased, [but] this is the greatest city in the world, so the All-Star Game should be here every other year, anyway,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott, an Inglewood native.
The All-Stars haven’t played farther west than Houston since 2011, with the last two games being played in New York and Toronto. Some players said the wintry conditions in both cities, including record-low temperatures in Toronto, slightly dampened the usual festivities.
Good weather was mentioned several times during the announcement of the 2018 game, but Silver laughed at the notion that sunshine was a determining factor in the NBA’s choice.
“Fortunately, our game is played indoors,” Silver said. “And actually, I think it was very much a bonding experience in Toronto for our guests. In fairness to Toronto, it was cold, but it was even unusually cold for Toronto, and it was unusually cold for New York the year before, but it didn’t stop anyone from having a great time.”
Of the five All Star Games held in Los Angeles, the Western Conference All-Stars have won three times, and in those three victories a Lakers player was named MVP: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Jerry West.
“All-Star is a premiere event, so it’s fitting that it’ll be hosted by Los Angeles, the premiere sports city in America, and by Staples Center, one of the premiere arenas in the world,” Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss said. “2004 and 2011 proved what a great combination this is, and 2018 will prove it again.”
Added Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, “Since becoming part of L.A. through my ownership of the Clippers, I’ve witnessed firsthand the passion this city has for basketball and celebrating world-class talent, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for both players and fans during NBA All-Star 2018.”
The Rising Stars game will be held at Staples on Friday, Feb. 16, with the dunk contest and 3-point challenge on Feb. 17.
“An All-Star Game is so fun for the city,” Garcetti said. “So while it’s great to have visitors that come in, I hope there are kids that are right here in Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley and South LA and the Eastside that are going to take some time to participate in things. And if they need me to try to dunk with them, I’ll do that, but I’ll come up a little short.”
The NBA likes Los Angeles for even more reasons than its sunny weather and deep experience with hosting big events.
Staples Center also is attractive because of the bountiful facilities available at L.A. Live, the $2.5 billion entertainment complex built just across Chick Hearn Court by arena owner AEG, Phil Anschutz’s sports-entertainment conglomerate.
The complex, which opened in 2007, contains two luxury hotels, three large theaters and a large collection of restaurants, along with millions of square feet of exhibition space attached to the hotels and in the next-door Los Angeles Convention Center.
“When we think back to when we constructed L.A. Live, it was really built to host events like this,” Beckerman said. “We look forward to activating the entire campus here at LA Live to host the variety of festivities that are going to take place.”