It took four years, but it appears that NBA All-Star weekends are finally starting to feel safe again.
No longer fearful that the volatile combination of Pac Man Jones, strip clubs and firearms is a threat, the city of Houston and the Rockets submitted a proposal last year to the league to have Houston host its first NBA All-Star Game since Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady let the All-Stars figuratively crash on their couches back in 2006.
According to the Houston Chronicle....
Rockets CEO Tad Brown often has said that the team has pursued hosting another All-Star Weekend since the 2006 event was held in Houston, but he said Tuesday that he was more confident than ever that the franchise and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau could land another game and the associated festivities.
"Since last All-Star Game, we've submitted to the league a proposal to host the All-Star Game again," he said. "We're under consideration for 2014. We're hopeful, but the NBA has not made any determinations. There are a number of cities bidding for the same thing. We're working with the city and the sports authority to try to get the game."
Because the NBA Finals are a multiple-game, unknown-venue (until the teams are decided) event, it doesn't have the same singular "summit meeting" vibe as, say, the Super Bowl, where the occasional collective bargaining meeting is surrounded on the calendar by a variety of $100-cover-charge, $20-per-drink, "chicks in chain bikinis dancing in cages" parties.
The NBA All-Star Game serves this purpose for professional basketball.
Would I like to see Houston get the game? Of course. It would be fantastic for the city, it would be something to talk about on the radio, and I might finally get to give Julius Erving that man hug that I've wanted to for so many years. It would be nice. I would say, until about 1:00 this afternoon, my emotion attached to Houston winning the bid was about a six on a scale of one to ten.
Then I read about Dwight Howard's "Larger Than Life" All-Star Celebrity Party. My emotional score is now a solid 28 on a scale of one to ten. There can be no debate -- We MUST get the All-Star Game in 2014, if for no other reason than to host what will be the fourth Annual Dwight Howard "Larger Than Life" All-Star Celebrity Party.
If you're keeping score at home and have a moment to visit the website for the party, here are the greatest things about Howard's inaugural shindig in Los Angeles this weekend:
1. It exists.
2. Dwight Howard came into the league in 2004 out of the Southeast Atlanta Christian Academy. Before he was drafted in 2004, he said that he wanted to use his NBA career and Christian faith to "raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world." That said, his party is co-hosted by "Video Vixxens Jessica Burciaga, Suelyn Medeiros, and Daphne Joy." Apparently, I skipped that day in theology class when they went over the Bible passage about "Vixxens" (two X's, by the way).
3. Forget about the prices of the different ticket packages available, they are named (in order of increasing price) General Admission, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, All-Star, All-NBA, MVP, Hall of Fame and, FINALLY, the Dwight Howard "Larger Than Life" Package. While the fact that Greg Oden should be contacting a patent lawyer on the final ticket package is an issue unto itself, I love the fact that clearly in Dwight Howard's eyes, the hierarchy of what one should strive to be as a player appears to ascend in the following order:
- All-Star - All-NBA - MVP - Hall of Fame - Dwight Howard
4. The promotional video for the event -- 19 uninspiring seconds that were apparently filmed either by one of Howard's friends on their iPhone or by the same production company that produces terrorist propaganda videos. Take a look:
EXACT TRANSCRIPT: "Yo, yo, yo this is Dwight Howard a/k/a Superman and join me for my first OFFICIAL All-Star NBA weekend party...FRIDAY, February 18 at the Highlands Nightclub in Hollywood...yo, y'all better show up..."
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Wow, how many empty coffee cups, discarded pizza boxes and cigarette butts are strewn on the floor in the room where they burnt the midnight oil to come up with that? Incredibly persuasive. By the way, "Yo, y'all better show up" needs to be in the next NBA marketing campaign. "The NBA...YO, Y'ALL BETTER SHOW UP!!"
5. Okay, I've somehow managed to make it almost 800 words without mentioning that Antonio Cromartie -- ANTONIO CROMARTIE -- is a goddamn co-host of this thing, a delay in mention which unto itself may be its own measure as to how awesome this party will be. Actually, Antonio Cromartie and Willis McGahee are co-hosting this thing, to be exact. The good news (as if Cromartie's involvement in anything other than a planned parenthood class is bad news) is that if attendance is sparse, Cromartie and McGahee can keep the vibe in the room strong merely by inviting their FOURTEEN (no exaggeration; actual number) combined offspring. May I suggest next time adding an Antonio Cromartie VIP (Very Infrequent Protection-user) Package to the ticket options. It would include a case of baby powder, three boxes of Pampers, six magnums of baby formula, 12 cans of strained peas, a gift card for a custody lawyer and a map of the United States where you can install push pins on the cities that are home to each of your illegitimate kids.
Yeah, we definitely need the All-Star Game in 2014 in Houston, but more than that we need Dwight Howard's fourth annual "Larger Than Life" All-Star bash, co-hosted by Antonio Cromartie and his (in 2014)
nine 12 15 20 kids.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.