NBA All-Star weekend kicks off at Staples Center
Hometown heroes rep their squads
It’s been seven years since Los Angeles’ Staples Center played host to NBA All-Star weekend, and now it’s arrived once more. For three heart-pounding nights, this Friday through Sunday, legions of fans will pack into the massive arena to behold the best and brightest players from the East and West coasts.
Long Beach native and starting-guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook is among the athletes representing the Western Conference this year.
Westbrook, a UCLA alum, burst onto the NBA scene in 2008, as the fourth pick in the NBA draft. Since his entry into the league, the explosive floor-general has established himself as one of the most dynamic point-guards in the league, and continues to elevate his game.
Another “hometown” favorite playing his 10th All-Star game at small-forward for the East, is none other than seasoned NBA veteran Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics.
The Inglewood native, and former NBA champion, began his career as the headliner for Inglewood High School’s basketball program, before moving on to the Kansas University, where he led the J-Hawks to a national championship. He was later drafted 10th overall by the Celtics in 1998.
Pierce, who, for the third consecutive year, captains one of the most formidable teams in the Eastern conference, will also defend his crown as one of the league’s best from beyond the arch, in this weekend’s “three-point shootout”—a contest many favor him to win a second straight year.
The festivities kick-off this Friday, and include Saturday’s highly-anticipated slam-dunk competition; and the 60th annual NBA All Star game on Sunday.
Fans can take part in “Jam Session,” the weekend’s feature fan attraction, which opens to the public Friday at 4 p.m. at Staple Center. Tickets for the event are $20 for participants over the age of 13; and $12 for kids, seniors and veterans.
Saturday and Sunday, Jam Session prices jump to $30 for adults and $20 for kids, seniors and veterans. Children ages 2 and younger are free. Participants can enjoy all of Jam Session’s facilities and interactive exhibits including stations for shooting, dunking, dribbling and passing at no additional cost. Fans will also have an opportunity to rub elbows with current NBA players, legends and WNBA players.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — USC has reached an agreement with Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield to become its men’s basketball coach, athletic director Pat Haden announced.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The planned sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns Staples Center, L.A. Live and the Los Angeles Kings and is the driving force behind plans to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles, was halted today.
AEG Chairman Philip Anschutz, said he plans to take a more active role in the company, while Tim Leiweke, AEG’s president/CEO who has often been the local face of the company, will be leaving “by mutual agreement.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A private memorial service for Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss will be held today at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live, with many of the team’s greatest names among the expected speakers.
Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol, Jerry West, Phil Jackson and Pat Riley are expected to speak, along with NBA Commissioner David Stern, according to John Black, the Lakers vice president of public relations.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—Individual regular-season game tickets for the Los Angeles Lakers will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Tickets will be available online at ticketmaster.com, by calling (800) 4NBATIX, and at all TicketMaster locations. Tickets will not be sold at the Staples Center box office.
Tickets are limited to four per person per game. Approximately 1,000 tickets will be available for each game, according to John Black, the Lakers vice president of public relations.
WESTWOOD, Calif.—A funeral will be held Friday for Edgar Lacey, a starting forward on UCLA's 1965 NCAA championship team who quit the squad in 1968 after being benched during a landmark game against Houston.
Lacey died last week at the age of 66, said UCLA Sports Information Director Marc Dellins, who did not have further details.
The funeral will be held 10 a.m. Friday at Calvary Chapel in Downey, located at 12808 Woodruff Ave.