Cleveland has done its best to host the game, but Boston, with its rebuilt waterfront, luxury hotels and myriad attractions, would be a suitable host.
And according to NBA sources, the Celtics’ ownership group, led by Wyc Grousbeck and Steven Pagliuca, has decided to take steps to apply to host the game.
A franchise that honors its all-time great players better than any other in professional sport could use the weekend to bring back all its legends. If Boston got the All-Star Game in the next few years, what kind of reception would Bill Russell and Bob Cousy receive if they were reunited in the midcourt at halftime?
It’s beyond ridiculous that Boston hasn’t hosted this game in 58 years, while cities like Cleveland, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Orlando have hosted multiple times.
The Celtics don’t have a TD Garden, which is a big problem. The Boston Bruins own the arena, which is why the two franchises that are in a short relationship should team up to bring the game to Boston.
For current Celtics ownership, all the hurdles and applications aren’t worth it financially, so they’re over. It would likely require intervention from Mayor Michelle Wu, but there is an open slot for the game in 2025.
Salt Lake City will host the game in 2023 and Indianapolis in 2024.
Privately, the NBA would like to see Boston apply. The league wants the All-Star Game in one of its benchmark cities. But Commissioner Adam Silver cannot force the Grousbeck-led property group to make that decision. He can only encourage.
Teams have continued to apply for the game as it does not bring a financial boon in many cases. Why host the game if you’re not going to make real money from it?
That’s a sensible point, but the memories that created every All-Star Game, especially Sunday when the NBA’s Top 75 players were honored at halftime at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — including many former Celtics — is exactly why Boston needs this game. to organize.
An organization that will retire Kevin Garnett’s number on March 13, a franchise that constantly brings its former players back and shows them the love and appreciation they deserve, would use that weekend to make everyone jealous of everyone who wore green.
The Celtics could use the weekend to celebrate the Celtics and show those who think Boston is too cold, too secluded and too old-fashioned that it is one of the most innovative cities in the country.
And don’t worry about the weather. NBA fans traveled to Toronto in 2016 when it was minus-9 degrees on All-Star Saturday Night and to New York the year before when it was in the teens.
It’s time for the Celtics, Bruins and the City of Boston to team up to introduce the NBA to the new Boston. The city has updated TD Garden in recent years with additional restaurants, bars and even a theater and small concert hall. That should be enough to convince the NBA that Boston is suitable.
If Grousbeck, Pagliuca and team president Rich Gotham apply, the league could add Boston to the regular rotation. Los Angeles and New Orleans have each hosted All-Star Games twice within 10 years, and the league is looking for more candidates.
The fact that Grousbeck, Pagliuca and Gotham are stepping up their efforts to apply is an important development, as their interest was tepid for years. However, times have changed. Boston has been revived and the league has placed extra emphasis on honoring its greats of the past and has always contributed to local communities and economy.
It’s time for the All-Star Game to return to Boston. The competition has added events, activities and allure to the weekend that combines music, art, sports and technology. Why shouldn’t Boston be a part of that growth and development.
How does Delaware North, owner of TD Garden, fit in the equation? Will All-Star Weekend Bring Big Wins to the City? It looks like the Celtics property group and Mayor Wu and the city’s technology and economic experts could come up with a plan that would please all parties and make the NBA’s premiere event return to one of the most cherished franchises.
Bring the All-Star Game back to Boston.
Gary Washburn is a columnist for Globe. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe†