CLEVELAND (AP) - The NBA’s spotlight faded from Cleveland last summer. It will shine brilliantly again in four years.
After numerous “passionate” discussions between the team and league, Commissioner Adam Silver announced Thursday that the Cavaliers will host the 2022 All-Star Game at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavaliers are thrilled to host the event, which will coincide with the league’s 75th anniversary. Cleveland previously hosted the All-Star Game in 1997, when the league honored its Top 50 players.
It’s a major coup for the Cavs, who lost superstar LeBron James as a free agent in July and are facing a long road back to championship contention.
The Cavs had submitted bids to host earlier All-Star Games, but their downtown arena is undergoing a massive renovation and wasn’t going to be ready until summer 2019.
Silver said the renovations played a major role in the city being awarded the game and its other activities which could have a direct $100 million impact on Cleveland.
“This event is so big now,” Silver said. “We have 1,000 members of the media. The festivities are televised, I should say distributed, not just televised, in 250 countries and territories that we need a massive infrastructure in order to do it. Because the conversations were ongoing about potential upgrades in the building we wanted to wait until those discussions were done and obviously successful before we could lock in the day.”
Hosting the NBA’s signature event was a major goal for the franchise.
“It puts Cleveland on the stage for the whole world to see,” Gilbert said. “It’s great for the region. You can’t measure all the stuff and how important it is for the future growth and reputation for a city like Cleveland that’s clearly on the way back.”
“There’s been some back and forth as the civic leaders have been discussing and debating exactly what to do here,” he said. “We think it worked out really well.”
Charlotte will host the game this season, followed by Chicago and Indianapolis.
The increase around the NBA in scoring early in the season has been a hot topic among coaches and players. Silver believes the league’s new rules that have led to more offense are going well.
“We had a call with our competition committee last week, which is made up of coaches, GMs, owners, players, officials to discuss just that,” he said. “And the consensus, or the strong feeling from the group, was that the rule changes were happening as we intended.”
Silver said the intent of the new rules is to cut down on defensive players clutching and grabbing.
“The question that seems to be coming back from some of the coaches and players is in essence is how much physicality will be allowed on defense,” he said. “Everybody’s feeling their way through this a little bit. What we’re hearing is the teams will adjust to wherever we end up, they just want to make sure there is consistency across the league.”
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