Wish upon a star
When it comes to hosting major sporting events, Houston is quickly finding itself in another league.
The latest slam dunk for the Bayou City is the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. The NBA is set to award the game to Houston, as first reported by FOX26 sports director Mark Berman.
NBA All-Star Weekend — which has morphed into a three-day event that includes All-Star Saturday night (slam dunk contest, 3-point shootout, skills competition, etc) and lavish parties that draw mega celebrities — is set to take place in Houston Feb. 15-17, 2013. This is the second time in eight years that the Toyota Center will host the NBA's showcase midseason event (the game was here in 2006).
With the Final Four having been played at Reliant Stadium last April (and set to return again in 2016), Houston is fast becoming the center of the hoops universe.
The good news about hosting the game in 2013 is that LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and the rest of the league's stars should be back playing basketball by then (you'd hope). The current NBA lockout is expected to whip out a good chunk of the upcoming 2011-12 season, perhaps even the whole thing, putting the 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando in serious jeopardy.
James won the MVP award in the last All-Star Game played in Houston, putting up 29 points as a 21-year-old who everyone still loved. In the Toyota return engagement, younger stars like Blake Griffin (the Clipper who dunked over a car in the most memorable scene from last year's All-Star Weekend) figure to be the more likely fan favorites though.