Year in, year out, the NBA’s All-Star weekend leaves basketball fans in Toronto wondering when it will be their turn to see the league’s marquee regular season event up close. On Sunday night, we may have gotten an answer.
While the process will be drawn out and we don’t know how many other cities will bid, I honestly can’t see the NBA passing on Toronto. The Association is all about growing the game internationally, Toronto would present the first chance to hold the All-Star festivities outside of the U.S., it’s one of the four biggest markets in the league and hasn’t hosted yet, and there might not be any competition from other mega cities (with all due respect to Cleveland, who is also in the running) since New York/Brooklyn will host in 2015 and Los Angeles just hosted in 2011 (For what it’s worth though, Chicago hasn’t hosted since 1988 and Boston hasn’t hosted since 1964).
In addition, Smith reported that Toronto bidding for the 2016 game would be “to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the franchise,” which only adds to the case for T.O., even though it will actually be the 21st season in franchise history.
We’re obviously nowhere near the league making any decisions, but if Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Toronto are serious about hosting the NBA All-Star game in 2016, quite frankly, I think we got this.