Both Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan and Tom Withers of the Associated Press report that Dan Gilbert will make a bid with the NBA for Cleveland to host an All-Star Game in the next few years. The Cavaliers' majority owner apparently told the media of his plan on Monday afternoon at Cleveland Clinic Courts, shortly after the presentation of Kyrie Irving's Rookie of the Year award. Via Withers at AP:
Gilbert, who opened his new downtown casino Monday, said he plans to approach the league about hosting a future All-Star weekend. He hopes Cleveland would be able to get one ''in the next few years.''
The Cavaliers have not hosted an NBA All-Star Game since 1997, when the league celebrated its 50th anniversary by honoring the its top 50 players in history, most of whom spent the weekend in Forest City. For Clevelanders, the weekend was highlighted by Vitaly Potapenko's appearance in the Rookie game, Bob Sura's less than strong showing in the dunk contest, and Terrell Brandon's participation in the main event on Sunday.
Gilbert is hoping to ride the momentum of his new casino, opened on Monday night, and the forthcoming convention center, to spotlight the city's appeal for the weekend. 1997 was a highlight year for the city, hosting both the NBA and MLB All-Star Games in the new venues at Gateway, and also enjoying the buzz of the recently opened Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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