The NBA All-Star Game Comes to Cleveland! (CLE Weekends, Pt. 3)

Thursday, February 24, 2022



Whew, what a weekend! If you follow me on Instagram (no pressure, but I'm fun over there), you know that I had a whirlwind few days here in the CLE. The NBA All-Star game was in town, & I had the honor of being one of a few locals invited to work with the NBA to help them create an authentic Cleveland experience. In return, I received tickets to most of the weekend's events.

I don't even really know how to recap it all here, & does anyone even care about recaps? So here's a highlight reel, the written kind. (If you want the video kind, check out my IG video, which doesn't include the All-Star game itself.)

Here were the best moments of the weekend.

Media night at the NBA Crossover

Before things opened up to the public & got really hectic, CraveCLE's Bailey & I headed to a preview of the NBA Crossover, an interactive fan event that showcases the convergence of the NBA, pop culture, tech, fashion, & more. 

We chatted with other Cleveland media folks, enjoyed great food by restaurants like Ninja City, Brewnuts, & Saucisson, & checked out all of the installations before they were slammed with lines & crowds. I even had my picture taken next to the Cavs 2016 NBA Finals trophy, a celebrity unto itself!


 Seeing stars at the the Celebrity All-Star Game

Our original seats were in the nosebleeds, wayyyy high up, but in the second quarter, my friend Annie led the way & we headed down into empty seats right above the bench of one of the celebrity teams. Megan Fox, whose fiancee Machine Gun Kelly was playing in the game, was sitting right below us! 

We had a great view of some of our favorite celebrity players, like former Cavs player Anderson Varejao, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, & Peloton instructor Alex Toussaint, who took home MVP. 

Enjoying the hype downtown

With Mike out of town, my friend Joey joined me for some events on Saturday afternoon. We went to the Crossover event to see it in full swing but were quickly overwhelmed by the crowds, so we wandered through The Arcade & some downtown installations. We also checked out Tower City, where the Black Business Expo was packed with shoppers & 100+ Black-owned Cleveland businesses.

Unfortunately, with 20-degrees temps, lots of wind, & more than four hours to kill until the NBA's Saturday night event, we ended up going home to warm up... & couldn't bring ourselves to brave the cold & the traffic to shlep back downtown. We sent our tickets to Bailey so she could bring extra friends instead, so at least they went to good use.

The All-Star Game itself

Our seats were all the way up in the nosebleeds (literally, the very top row), so I don't have many good photos. But can I just tell you what a joy it was to see LeBron play again, live & in person? When he was announced, he did this head-thrown-back scream that was, like, primal. It was so exciting to be there, even if everyone looked like ants to us.

Other basketball greats were honored, too, & it was cool to know that we were in the same room as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, &, fine, even Steph Curry. We screamed our throats raw, & overall, it was just a lot of fun.

***

Truth be told, I was exhausted by the end of the weekend, but it was the good kind of exhausted, the kind where you feel like you made the most of everything & maximized your adventures. 

Do I wish I'd gotten to have at least one close-up run-in with a celeb? I mean, Adele & Shaq & Bill Murray & Guy Fieri were in town, so, yeah, absolutely. But even without them, it was such a fun weekend, & I loved seeing Ceveland get to show off a little bit (despite the weather's refusal to cooperate). 

I love when big things happen in Cleveland. And with NBA All-Star 2022 in the rear-view mirror, I'm looking forward to whatever the next one may be!

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