Phoenix landing the 2009 NBA All-Star game may appease some Suns fans who feel their team was robbed of a shot at the title last year when Amaré Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were suspended during the playoffs. But a league spokesperson said there is no correlation between the two.
Ski Austin, the NBA’s vice president of events and attractions, said although All-Star game sites are generally announced about a year before the event, they are planned two to three years out.
Between three and six cities are considered for every game, and Phoenix first expressed interest more than a year ago.
Suns chairman Jerry Colangelo “called and told me we were going to award it to (Phoenix),” Austin said, laughing. “He told me what time the press conference was.”
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS ...
Multiple shootings and hundreds of arrests marred last season’s All-Star festivities in Las Vegas. While the NBA had no control over such off-court activity, the league was still left with somewhat of a black eye.
Commissioner David Stern said that embarrassment was an isolated incident resulting mostly from a “shortage of personnel in law enforcement” and “an overwhelming of the resources,” but he doesn’t foresee any troubles overshadowing the ’09 game.
“That’s not a paranoid concern of ours in Phoenix,” he said. “Our relationship with the city police, the state police and a lot of other enforcement organizations —we just don’t feel there’s a problem we’re concerned about.”
SONIC-LESS IN SEATTLE?
Stern on the possibility of the SuperSonics leaving Seattle: “Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail. I’d love to find a way to keep the team there because if the team moves, there’s not going to be another team there, not in any conceivable future plan that I can envision.”