LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NBA All-Star Game is returning to Los Angeles in 2018.
Staples Center will host the annual midseason basketball extravaganza for the third time in 15 seasons, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed Tuesday night.
The arena shared by the Lakers and Clippers also hosted the All-Stars in 2004 and 2011. The greater Los Angeles area will host the multiday event for the record sixth time overall in three arenas.
Silver cited many reasons for the NBA's rapid return to basketball-crazy Hollywood, and the Southern California sunshine was just one of them.
"This is truly a sports town," Silver said. "The weather doesn't hurt, (but there's) so much to do here. Coming back here on a regular basis makes sense."
The game is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.
Silver made the announcement with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Staples Center officials before the Lakers hosted Memphis.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Clippers executive Gillian Zucker represented the arena's co-tenant franchises, who will serve as joint hosts of the game. They did the same in 2011 when Blake Griffin won the dunk contest and Kobe Bryant earned his record fourth All-Star MVP award.
"We couldn't be more excited to see the All-Star Game coming back," Garcetti said. "Let's think: It's 2004, 2011 and now 2018. We might just have to move it here permanently, Commissioner, but we certainly are ready for the task."
The nearby Forum in Inglewood hosted the 1972 and 1983 All-Star games. The soon-to-be-demolished Los Angeles Sports Arena hosted the 1963 game.
"I'm biased, (but) this is the greatest city in the world, so the All-Star game should be here every other year, anyway," said Lakers coach Byron Scott, an Inglewood native.
Charlotte will host the All-Star Game in 2017.
The All-Stars haven't played farther west than Houston since 2011, with the last two games being played in New York and Toronto. Some players said the wintry conditions in both cities, including record-low temperatures in Toronto, slightly dampened the usual festivities.
Good weather was mentioned several times during the announcement of the 2018 game, but Silver laughed at the notion that sunshine was a determining factor in the NBA's choice.
"Fortunately, our game is played indoors," Silver said. "And actually, I think it was very much a bonding experience in Toronto for our guests. In fairness to Toronto, it was cold, but it was even unusually cold for Toronto, and it was unusually cold for New York the year before, but it didn't stop anyone from having a great time."
The Rising Stars game will be held at Staples on Friday, Feb. 16, with the dunk contest and 3-point challenge on Feb. 17.
"An All-Star Game is so fun for the city," Garcetti said. "So while it's great to have visitors that come in, I hope there are kids that are right here in Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley and South LA and the Eastside that are going to take some time to participate in things. And if they need me to try to dunk with them, I'll do that, but I'll come up a little short."
The NBA likes Los Angeles for even more reasons than its sunny weather and deep experience with hosting big events.
Staples Center also is attractive because of the bountiful facilities available at LA Live, the $2.5 billion entertainment complex built just across Chick Hearn Court by arena owner AEG, Phil Anschutz's sports-entertainment conglomerate.
The complex, which opened in 2007, contains two luxury hotels, three large theaters and a large collection of restaurants, along with millions of square feet of exhibition space attached to the hotels and in the next-door Los Angeles Convention Center.
"When we think back to when we constructed LA Live, it was really built to host events like this," said Dan Beckerman, the president and CEO of AEG. "We look forward to activating the entire campus here at LA Live to host the variety of festivities that are going to take place."