ASG Introductions Have Become As Memorable As Game
In each year's All-Star Game, new moments are carved into the NBA's rich history, adding to the allure of the three-day showcase.
There can be larger-than-life moments like Magic Johnson’s triumphant return in 1992.
You also have memorable moments such as when Allen Iverson wore Julius Erving’s number six jersey as a tribute to one of basketball's pioneers. There are hundreds more that range from the surreal to the simple, but there is no doubt about how specialness of the weekend.
One of the best moments of the weekend each season is the player introductions. Hearing their names announced has always been a moment when a player can look around and without a doubt say, “I’ve arrived.”
Something that was once so simple has grown into an event all its own. The pageantry that surrounds the presentation of the NBA All-Stars is unrivaled in the world of sports. The performance piece, generally by one of the industries’ hottest musical acts, reaffirms the magnitude of the game and greatness of its participants. It’s also a display of how well the league pays attention to their player’s musical tastes and the need to put on a show for the audience.
It has quickly become one of the highlights for many of the players.
“I look forward to that every year,” Kevin Durant said. “One of the most exciting things about being in the All-Star Game is being announced, especially as a starter. They do so many crazy things, there is so much creativity with announcing the starters, it’s going to be cool to see what they have planned this year.”
Similar to the other events of the weekend, the All-Star introductions create moments the players never forget.
Many of the guys remember laughing when Michael Jordan pulled Penny Hardaway’s warm-up pants off as he was introduced in 1996.
For Dwyane Wade, it was the dance moves of his larger than life former teammate during 2009’s introductions that made the moment memorable.
“I remember the one when Shaq danced, that was great,” Wade said. “When he was out there doing his dancing and stuff, I thought it was amazing to watch him do his thing. The NBA does a great job of making it a grand entrance for us; you look forward to see what they’re going to do next.”
It’s unknown to the players what the league has planned. The weekend is such a busy time for them that the player introductions take a back seat to meetings and appearances. But it’s never too far from their minds. In fact, Carmelo Anthony has been thinking about how the league will bring them out this year.
“At this point we don’t know what’s going to happen, we don’t find out until the day of the game,” Anthony said. “We’re always thinking about what we’re going to do, but we never know. Last year in Orlando it was pretty dope and it gets better and better every year.”
Don’t be surprised if the player’s come up with some type of routine to add to whatever the league has planned. For the players the moment is going to be a lot of fun and excitement, but there is always the feeling that they can make it even better.
“We always will make a few alterations if we don’t agree fully with what’s going on; that’s always fun,” LeBron James said. “But the league always does a great job, so we’ll see. I’m looking forward to see what they have planned.”