After finishing the month of October with a 1-6 record, things are looking rocky for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tyronn Lue, the architect of the Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship, was let go. Kevin Love, Cleveland’s best player, is out for the foreseeable future with a nagging foot injury. To top it all off Larry Drew, Lue’s successor is refusing to take the title of interim head coach and the team will likely have to search for a long-term replacement. The Cavaliers are in the dog days of the NBA season and will look to move on from a shaky start to their regular season campaign.
Well, things already may be looking up for Cleveland only one day into November. On Thursday the NBA announced that the city of Cleveland and the Cavaliers were selected to host the 2022 NBA All-Star Game where the league will be commemorating its 75th anniversary. The 71st NBA All-Star will take place at Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cavaliers, on Sunday, February 20, 2022. The Cavaliers previously hosted the event in 1997, when the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 1981 at Richfield Coliseum.
The announcement was made by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski. Silver expressed plenty of excitement in bringing the event back to America’s north coast:
“Cleveland is a passionate sports city with a proven track record of hosting large-scale, global events,” said Silver. “We thank Dan Gilbert, Len Komoroski and the civic leaders for their commitment, and we look forward to a weeklong celebration of our game.”
After the team has been constantly kicked while it was down, this was a great turn of events for both the Cavaliers and the city as a whole. Financially, the 2022 All-Star Game will bring approximately $100 million to both the city of Cleveland and the surrounding area according to Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. This event, along with the MLB All-Star game being hosted by the Cleveland Indians in 2019 and the city hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention has helped bring a ton of money to the city. Once jokingly called “The Mistake on the Lake”, Cleveland has become a premiere destination thanks in part to hosting these events.
Another ongoing event that is also bringing money to the city of Cleveland is the remodeling Quicken Loans Arena. Dubbed the “The Q Transformation Project” will cost the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the Cavaliers ownership group $185 million combined to bring the 22-year-old arena to modern standards with the hope to host events like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and of course the NBA All-Star game. The remodeling of the arena also brought in tons of work opportunities for local companies, whether it is construction work during the remodel or the new restaurants that will be inside the Q. With the All-Star game now in the bag for Cleveland, the investment seems worth it for all parties involved.
For the Cavaliers, the timing of the event could not be any more perfect for the team to have representatives in the events. Even if he is playing off the bench Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton could easily see himself partaking in the All-Star festivities, whether it is the dunk contest or the game itself. The currently injured Love will still be under contract with Cleveland in 2022 is also an NBA All-Star regular, with his two Three-Point Contest appearances and five All-Star Game appearances. Through the Cavaliers rebuild the team will also acquire top-tier talent and they could partake in the All-Star events as well.
After a dour opening stretch for the Cavaliers, being given the opportunity to host the 71st NBA All-Star game is a pretty great consolation. After a disappointing end to the Indians’ season, the Cleveland Browns continuing to be the laughing stock of the NFL and the Cavaliers off to a shaky start, this gives fans something to cheer about. While it is still four years down the road, the fact that the event is returning to Cleveland is bound to give city hope. Also, Ohio native an NBA All-Star regular LeBron James is a free agent heading into the 2021-22 season and could maybe represent the Cavaliers at the All-Star game, this time in Cleveland.