League source: Knicks, Nets to co-host NBA All-Star Weekend in 2015
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The Knicks and Nets may be developing a heated rivalry, but for one weekend their organizations will be united and working together.
The NBA will announce at a news conference Wednesday that the Knicks and Nets will jointly host the 2015 All-Star Weekend, a league source said.
The All-Star Game will be played Sunday at Madison Square Garden, according to the source. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be the site of the Friday and Saturday events, including the Rising Stars Challenge, three-point shootout and slam dunk competition, the source said.
NBA commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, MSG executive chairman James Dolan, Garden president and CEO Hank Ratner, ONEXIM president Irina Pavlova and majority owner and developer of Barclays Center Bruce Ratner will be at the news conference.
The NBA chose New York because the two teams boast new or transformed arenas. The Garden is completing its third and final stage of a $1-billion transformation, and the Barclays Center opened last fall.
The Knicks last hosted the All-Star Game in 1998 when Michael Jordan scored 23 points and won his third All-Star MVP trophy at the Garden. The only All-Star Game hosted by the Nets was in 1982, at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.
During the Nets' first season in Brooklyn, the Knicks and Nets played some intense games. Their rivalry could grow more heated with some of Brooklyn's offseason moves and the barbs that have been fired back and forth over the summer.
The Nets hired one-time Knick Jason Kidd to be their coach. Kidd relished beating the Knicks when he was a Net. They also acquired noted Knick haters Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and outspoken Jason Terry from Boston.
"Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it's grown to another level," Pierce said on ESPN Radio. "I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."
Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith responded, saying Pierce was "bitter" because he was traded by Boston and said he was "100 percent sure" the Knicks would win the title this year.
When Terry was asked about Smith, he said, "Maybe the Rucker Park Championship. I don't know, not the NBA championship."
Pierce also was asked about Smith's comments and he answered, "Who? Who? Who are we talking about right now? Exactly. We're talking about nothing."
The two teams will face off four times this season and are expected to battle for the Atlantic Division title, which the Knicks won last season.
It's been reported that New York could host the NBA's midseason exhibition again before the 2020 season with the Barclays Center housing the game and the Garden having the other festivities. That hasn't been confirmed, though.
But the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend is the latest in a number of major sporting events in the area. Citi Field was the site of the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The 2014 Super Bowl will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford in February.
New Orleans is the host of the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend.
The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square
Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.