The NBA's All-Star weekend festivities could be taking place in New York in 2015, but Fred Kerber of the New York Post reports that the weekend's action could be hosted by both the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. Such a decision by NBA commissioner David Stern and Co. would be a huge blow to both New York franchises.
In this rumored pact, the Knicks would host the actual All-Star game on Sunday of that weekend, while the Nets would host the skills competition, dunk contest and three-point shootout on Friday and Saturday.
Kerber cites that the two teams—along with the NBA—are in negotiations to switch that schedule for either the 2017 or 2018 festivities:
The league and both the Nets and Knicks still are negotiating on a proposal to have a reversal in either 2017 or 2018 -- Brooklyn would stage the game while the Knicks and the Garden would serve as host for the Friday and Saturday events.
Despite the potential agreement to swap dates in later years, this is an absolute lose-lose for both franchises.
For the Knicks, one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, sharing the All-Star weekend with Brooklyn is almost insulting. Madison Square Garden hasn't been host to the game since 1998. The Garden happens to be one of the most famous buildings in all of sports, and deferring some of the more exciting aspects of the weekend (dunk contest, skills contest, three-point shootout) to an arena in a different borough would be a slap in the face to the entire franchise.
Plus, comparing the essentially brand new Barclays Center to Madison Square Garden shows the upsides of one over the other. Sure, the Garden has undergone a big-time renovation in recent years, but that doesn't change the fact that the Barclays Center has brand new amenities and can offer fans a different viewing experience.
There isn't a situation where the Knicks are winners in regards to splitting the All-Star weekend. The Knicks are deserving of a weekend entirely to themselves—that being said, so are the Nets.
Brooklyn is a franchise that is seriously deserving of the All-Star weekend. The Nets franchise last hosted the game in 1982, back when they played in the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Times have changed, though, and the Nets now play in arguably the nicest arena in the NBA. Showcasing that in any way would be great press for the team and the city of Brooklyn, but sharing the weekend with their city rivals would take away from the arena.
Instead, the focus might shift to the rivalry between the two clubs. The All-Star weekend is more about the individual player than the relationship between teams, so such a focus would take away from the players so deserving of the All-Star distinction.
By 2015, the Barclays Center would be in it's third year of operation. Even so, hosting the entirety of the weekend would be the perfect way to showcase the arena to the world. Yes, MTV's Video Music Awards were held there in front of a worldwide audience this past Sunday, but those in charge of the arena should seek sporting events to broadcast what the Barclays Center is all about.
Deferring half of the weekend to the Knicks would create an opportunity for the Knicks to steal some of the Nets' thunder. As a team trying to recruit more fans from the New York City area, such an occurrence would negate that from happening.
Which team loses the most from having to share the NBA All-Star weekend?
By the time 2017 or 2018 rolls around, the Barclays Center will just be "another arena" and won't be in need of the press that it would be in 2015. That's why having the roles of each franchise swap at a later date wouldn't be enough of a compromise for the Nets.
Owners James Dolan (Knicks) and Mikhail Prokhorov (Nets) have already had a meeting with the NBA to iron out their discontents (via Kerber). The two owners met this past season to make sure that the league and the teams were on the same page and to make sure no lingering issues resulted in an all-out battle.
A final decision to split the All-Star weekend in 2015 by the NBA would be a very safe move for the league. They certainly don't want to step on the toes of one of the oldest franchises but letting the new guys steal all the action, but they also don't want to anger the Nets by bypassing their new arena to have the events in the Garden.
While it may represent a safe move for the league, it certainly does not represent a good move for either the Knicks or the Nets.