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It’s official: Toronto to host 2016 NBA All-Star Game

Sep 30, 2013, 11:39 AM EDT

toronto

We told you this was coming last week but now NBA’s commissioner in waiting Adam Silver and the league have made it official:

Toronto will host the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.

The announcement came on the 20th anniversary of Toronto being awarded an NBA franchise.

“We are thrilled that Toronto is hosting our first NBA All-Star Game outside the United States,” Silver said in a released statement. “As the site of the first game ever in the NBA, Toronto is an ideal location for this global basketball celebration.”

This came together because of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (which owns the Raptors) CEO Tim Leiweke. He is connected and respected in the league office. Leiweke was the guy who helped get the Staples Center built in Los Angeles (when he worked for AEG) and brought two All-Star Games to Los Angeles. He thanked his predecessor Bryan Colangelo for planting the seed, but he got it across the finish line.

“This will be the first time we played the All-Star Game outside of the United States,” Leiweke said at the press conference, then he turned to address Silver. “We appreciate that you have a vision like we do of the greatness of basketball in Canada and if you look at where we are headed as an organization we are going to help take this sport in Canada… we are blessed the sport is growing like it is in Canada.”

The 2014 NBA All-Star Game will take place in New Orleans, then in 2015 the Knicks and Nets will share the event in New York City.

By 2016 the Raptors will have a new look — not a new name, something Leiweke said, but he added they were teaming with Drake to help give the team a makeover. It could use one.

The goal is to make the 2016 All-Star Game a celebration of Toronto, all of it, both Drake and Leiweke said.

It could use one on the court as well, that job falls to new GM Masai Ujiri. He has already rid the Raptors of the anchor contract and PR disaster that was Andrea Bargnani, which was a step. Now he has to put a team together that can win. No pressure, but you need an All-Star by 2016.

  1. DonRSD - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    I’m still waiting for Miami to get another game. Hasn’t been down here in over 20 years.
    Boo!!!

  2. hildezero - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I was gonna say to bring it back to Phoenix, because it’s been awhile, but 20 years since Miami? Damn. That’s a long time. I was gonna say 2017 Phoenix, but I guess it should go to Miami instead. Then PHX can get it in 2018 which I would like.

  3. fredbavre - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    My immediate reaction is ‘how many people won’t be able to go due to their criminal record?’

  4. nflnhlrulznbasux - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Big deal. The only reason the Rappers draw fans to their games is because Maple Leaf season tickets (90 year waiting list) are forced to purchase NBWWE season tickets as well……..now where is that Drake cd?…oh yeah, I left it in the garbage can.

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