For the first time in 25 years, the city of Cleveland played host for the NBA All-Star Break February 18-20 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The last time Cleveland was on this stage was in 1997 — a few years after they moved downtown to what was then known as the Gund Arena. Prior to that, Cleveland held its first event in 1981 in Richfield at the Coliseum.
For the 75th anniversary, the weekend was packed with not only the usual festivities — one being the 71st All-Star Game — but also a celebration of the top 75 players in NBA history. Eleven active players were on the NBA 75th Anniversary Team including James Harden, Damian Lilliard, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and of course Akron’s own, LeBron James.
The weekend shaped up to be another great showing for downtown Cleveland despite some early winter weather. Otherwise, the weekend events held at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse (Rising Stars Challenge, Skills Challenge, Three-Point and Slam Dunk Contest, and the All-Star Game) went on without a hitch.
Down the road at the Wolstein Center, home to the Cleveland State Vikings and Cavaliers G League affiliate, the Cleveland Charge, the All-Star practice, Celebrity Game, and the HBCU Classic between Howard and Morgan State were on display.
This year, ChoiceLocal was able to send a few of our team members to take in the weekend with their families. On Friday evening, they were able to enjoy the Rising Star game which includes the top rookies and sophomores in the league — including four members from the G League Ignite team. Cleveland’s own Issac Okoro and Evan Mobley represented the Cavs and played for Team (Rick) Barry.
Team Barry won its first game to advance to the finals with timely contributions from both Mobley and Okoro. In the second game, Team Barry would execute a comeback win and capture the trophy with much applause from the Clevelanders in the crowd.
“It was nice to be able to step out and see the city of Cleveland in the national spotlight,” said James, one of our team members who attended. “They really did a nice job, and I was happy to see some of our Cavaliers in action on Friday night,” he added.
On Saturday Morning, our teammates enjoyed the All-Star Breakfast hosted by Athletes in Action. Longtime Cavaliers point guard and sharpshooting legend, Mark Price, was a special guest in attendance. The surrounding streets and buildings including Terminal Tower, Huntington Convention Center, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Auditorium, also welcomed visitors.
“The All-Star breakfast was amazing, I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend,” said Heather, another ChoiceLocal teammate. “Hearing about all these different organizations that come together to help others was truly inspiring, and so similar to our values and our mission as well as learning more about what happens off the court and behind the scenes.”
Overall, the weekend was a success and it was great the city of Cleveland put on a wonderful event once again. At the pace the city has been hosting including the 35th, 50th, and 75th All-Star Break — maybe we’ll see you again at the 100th anniversary.
ChoiceLocal is a franchise marketing agency that is dedicated to leading a purpose-driven business as the first and only franchise marketing agency with a money-back guarantee. This has led to successful partnerships with more than 50 franchise brands and a spot on Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies. The core values are driven not only by the digital marketing work that is done but reflected in each person that becomes a teammate. Teammates are volunteering in their local communities every quarter and making a difference to those around them. Named a top workplace for four years straight, ChoiceLocal is dedicated to making the lives of all those it’s involved with better.