By: Randy Cruz (@cruzr83)
The picture to the left pretty much says it all. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, even Dikembe Mutombo is featured in the picture that last saw the NBA All-Star Game held at Madison Square Garden back in February of 1998. Only three players remain in the league from that game: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
On Tuesday, sources told ESPN the NBA will announce on Wednesday that the 2015 NBA All-Star Game will be coming to NY, being shared by the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.
From ESPN: "The All-Star Game itself will be played Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, at the newly-renovated Madison Square Garden. The Saturday night festivities including the Slam Dunk Contest and the Three-Point Shootout will take place at new Barclays Center in Brooklyn."
Regardless of whether you're a Knicks or Nets fan, you just have to be excited that the All-Star Game will be back in the New York City Metropolitan Area for the first time in 17 years.
The NBA has held the All-Star Game in an Eastern Conference arena only twice in the last 10 years (Atlanta 2003, Orlando 2012).
The NBA is also already looking into the location of the 2016 All-Star Game. More from ESPN:
"Earlier Tuesday, the Toronto Sun reported the NBA will soon announce the 2016 All-Star Game will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto."
That All-Star Game in Madison Square Garden back in 1998 was definitely a memorable one. Kobe in his 2nd year (youngest All-Star in NBA history), Garnett in his 3rd year, Shaq in his 6th year, Duncan in his rookie year and Jordan, in his 14th year, winning his last NBA All-Star Game MVP award.
I'm pretty sure the Knicks and Nets will be highly represented in the 2015 game, unlike the 1998 game, where only one Knicks or Nets player was selected to the game (Jayson Williams).
Here are some highlights from the 1998 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden: