The NBA is looking for a new city to host the 2017 NBA All-Star weekend. It was pulled from Charlotte, North Carolina for their anti-LGBT HB2 bill.
Failure of North Carolina to change discriminatory legislation targeting the state’s LGBT community pushing NBA to abandon Charlotte game.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 21, 2016
All-Star weekend joined a long list of events to leave North Carolina since March. Charlotte can place another bid in 2019 if the bill gets resolved.
There are a few cities that have never hosted an All-Star weekend. They are small market teams with only one big-4 sports team. 2017 gives a smaller market the chance to host the weekend. Every team deserves to host an All-Star weekend. These are the NBA cities have never hosted.
NBA Team: Grizzlies
Franchise arrived in 2001 (Vancouver Grizzlies began in 1995)
The Birthplace of Rock n’ Roll has rocked the NBA since moving to Memphis. The FedEx Forum is nicknamed “The Grindhouse” for a tough Grizz Nation. That’s why Memphis is the perfect city for Zach Randolph. Rock n’ Roll music would make the weekend fun. The NHL themed country music in Nashville and put on a show for hockey fans in 2016. All-Star weekends need great music.
NBA Team: Thunder
Franchise arrived in 2008 (Seattle SuperSonics began in 1967)
They don’t call Oklahoma City “Loud City” for no reason. Oklahoma City Thunder fans are among the loudest in the NBA. The Thunder have played in the Western Conference or NBA Finals in four of the last six seasons. Loud City shows up for big games. Bringing the All-Star weekend to Oklahoma City would show how much Oklahoma City loves basketball. Russell Westbrook could use it as a recruiting tool to lure in other free agents. Just imagine what it would be like for Kevin Durant.
NBA Team: Trail Blazers
Franchise began in 1970
The Portland Trail Blazers have been in Portland for 46 years. They are the only franchise on this list that stayed in one city for it’s entire existence. The Nets moved to Brooklyn and in their second season they teamed up with New York City to host a weekend. No NBA city deserves All-Star recognition more than Portland.
NBA Team: Kings
Franchise arrived in 1985 (Rochester Royals began in 1948, Cincinnati Royals: 1957, Kansas City Kings: 1972)
No fan base needs a bigger boost than Sacramento Kings fans. The Kings are on a 10-year playoff drought and have owned a top-8 pick since 2009. Their only good pick was DeMarcus Cousins in 2010. Nothing is working in Sacramento. The Cincinnati Royals hosted an All-Star weekend in 1966. This organization has yet to host another weekend since. The city of Sacramento needs something basketball related to look forward too. An All-Star weekend would bring basketball-life back to California’s capital.