NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Knicks and Nets are working together to split the NBA All-Star weekend in New York City in 2015.
The game will be played at Madison Square Garden and the slam dunk contest and other skills events held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Wednesday’s announcement completes about two years of planning, an idea brought to the teams by the league to share the three-day weekend.
The league last split sites for its midseason showcase in 2010, when the Saturday events were in the Dallas Mavericks’ arena and the game was held at the Cowboys’ stadium.
The game was last held at Madison Square Garden in 1998 in what turned out to be Michael Jordan’s final All-Star appearance with the Bulls and Kobe Bryant’s first overall.
With two state-of-the-art venues after the construction of Barclays Center and a three-year renovation project at the Garden, the league saw the opportunity to show off two of its best arenas in what it’s touting as a weeklong celebration of basketball.
“It’s been a tremendous, tremendous effort and we’re really excited,” Commissioner David Stern said.
Community and fan events will be held in all five boroughs as the All-Star game comes to New York for the fifth time. The game will be played Feb. 15.
Though the Knicks and Nets have developed a strengthening rivalry since the Nets’ move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, officials from both teams and the league insisted there was cooperation from the clubs and an easy negotiation.
Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said the Nets are interested in hosting the game and would likely get one soon, and it would be up to MSG to see if it wanted to host the preliminary events once that happens.
“I think the world is coming to understand Brooklyn is a very important and distinct part of New York City,” Silver said.
The region has been a hot bed for major sports events lately, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported. Citi Field hosted the baseball All-Star Game in July, the Super Bowl will be played at Met Life Stadium in February, and the NCAA basketball East Regional is slated to be played at Madison Square Garden this season.
“Today’s annoucement is just the latest exciting development here in the sports capital of the country,” Bloomberg said.
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