All-Star Ball Out

Cha Thorpe

February 24, 2012 kicked off the NBA All-Star Weekend where the best NBA basketball players from the West met the best from the East for a showdown in Orlando, Fl. Among those players where Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony just to name a few that showed up to show out on and off the court for the weekend.

The weekends included the All-Star Dunk Contest, Shaquill O’Neil’s All-Star Comedy Jam, and an array of high profile day and night club events and the grand final East vs. West All-Star game Sunday night.

This year marked the 61st Annual NBA All-Star game and it was nothing short of the name. The biggest names in sports and entertainment showed up for all the event related activities, everyone who is anyone was there.

Coined as the “Rising Stars Game” which went to a “Team Shaq vs. Team Chuck” for this year’s format, as opposed to the traditional rookies vs. sophomores format, which was a huge success, and also proving that the NBA lockout did not keep away fans support and enthusiasm when it came to coming out and coming out of pocket.

Allegedly tickets for the game ranged from $100 all the way to over $2000, and if you were looking for fun afterwards there was plenty to do but with a pretty price tags. The city of Orlando calculated that over $80 million was made for the weekend with merchandise sale, hotel and lodging as well as food sales, a much need boost to the city’s economy.

“I think it was great that All-Star Weekend was in Orlando this year because we aren’t really considered to be a popular city like LA or Las Vegas for an event like this. It brought a lot of big names out and it got the wheels turning for money to be made in the city,” said Jazmine Jackson an Orlando resident.

A statement released to the press from the Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer also commented on the economic boom that the four day event brought to the city saying it put Orlando on the map and that type of exposure could not be bought.

And the city wants to keep that ball rolling and is already in talks of bringing the event back in 2015, which is the earliest it could return due to locations already being confirmed two years in advance.

The final event, The All-Star Game aired on television Sunday night and drew in the highest ratings since 2005 final game, even despite the Academy Awards airing on the same night.

The game was heated and full of fun among the players who play the game the best. Scores trailed each other most of the night but the West prevailed with the final score152 to 149. Though not everyone walked away winners the weekend was nothing short of “winning”.