For the second time in the 27-year history of the NBA in Charlotte, the league will award the Queen City an All-Star Weekend in 2017.
Multiple NBA sources told the Observer Monday that the bid will be formally awarded at a Tuesday news conference. The mid-February All-Star Game will be held at Time Warner Cable Arena with many other events filling out the weekend.
Five things to know about the NBA All-Star Weekend:
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Welcome home, Stephen Curry
Barring a dramatic decline in the skills that made him the NBA’s Most Valuable Player this season, Charlottean Stephen Curry figures to be an All-Star starter again in 2017. Fans vote for All-Star starters, and Golden State Warriors point guard Curry was the leading vote-getter last February.
Heaven help Curry and his parents, Dell and Sonya, for all the ticket requests they’ll get for that weekend.
A mob scene
Remember the congestion uptown during the Democratic National Convention? That will be the case again Thursday through Sunday for All-Star Weekend.
The NBA uses All-Star Weekend to entertain its sponsors and partners, so most of the people attending the game and other events (slam-dunk contest, 3-point contest) are visitors from out of town. The 4,500-plus hotel rooms in the center city will be packed as will restaurants and clubs.
There will be a limited number of tickets for Charlotteans and those will go to some portion of the Hornets’ season-ticket base. That doesn’t mean there are no entry points for the general public.
The NBA annually holds a Fan Fest during All-Star Weekend with all sorts of basketball-related amusements and activities. This is very kid-friendly. It will likely be held at the Charlotte Convention Center.
The NBA All-Star Game doesn’t have the cache of a Super Bowl, but it’s probably as close as Charlotte will get as far as celebrities descending on town.
Film director Spike Lee is a regular.Singer Beyonce wouldn’t be out of the question. The weekend is one huge party for the beautiful people. (Not that you’ll mingle with the stars at the Epicenter unless you find a way into the VIP rooms.)
Familiar faces, new roles
In 1991, the previous time the All-Star Game was here, Charles Barkley was the Most Valuable Player, playing alongside Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing for the Eastern Conference.
Get the band back together: Barkley will be here as a TNT broadcaster. Jordan now owns the Hornets and Ewing is associate head coach.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell