The NBA loves LA

After one of the busiest trade deadlines in recent history, the conversation around the NBA and its annual midseason All-Star Game weekend, taking place from Feb. 16-18, is more active than usual. That is especially true in the city of Los Angeles as it hosts the game for a record sixth time, passing New York. Even as East vs. West has now become Team LeBron vs. Team Stephen, the NBA All-Star Game remains one of the most engaging exhibitions, and even cultural moments, in all of professional sports. USC experts discuss.

Contact: Eddie North-Hager at (213) 220-1806 or edwardnh@usc.edu, or Matthew Simmons at (202) 277-4890 or matthew.simmons@marshall.usc.edu

[Image: (l-r) AEG Chairman Dan Beckerman, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and LA Sports & Entertainment Commission President Kathryn Schloessman at the announcement of LA’s record sixth game/Photo via Mayor Eric Garcetti]

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More than just a game

“Baseball’s Negro League All-Star Game was once the biggest national black social event of the year. The NBA All-Star Game continues to serve a similar purpose now, but on a much bigger platform.” (Adapted from comments to CNN)

Todd Boyd can discuss the social importance of the NBA, its relationship to other popular culture like hip-hop, and how it affects the perception of African-Americans both inside and outside the African-American community. He is a professor of critical studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Contact: (213) 740-3334 or tboyd@cinema.usc.edu

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The NBA and LA as sports business top models

“Holding the All-Star Game in Los Angeles provides the NBA not only with a tremendous media stage for its midseason showcase, but also an opportunity to highlight what comes next for the league as a business.

“From the superstars that drive conversation – and the league’s financial success – to new ways of connecting with the next generation of fans, the NBA has a bright spotlight on it at the moment. No place shines a brighter light on growing sports and entertainment businesses than LA.”

David Carter can discuss how the NBA has become big business and a model for other professional sports. He will be discussing these topics and more with NBA league executives at the “Business of the NBA” breakfast, co-hosted by the USC Sports Business Institute, the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers at the Galen Center on Feb. 14. He is the director of the USC Sports Business Institute and an associate professor of clinical management and organization at the USC Marshall School of Business.

Contact: david.carter@marshall.usc.edu

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Examining what makes peak performers tick

“Some of the most elite athletes in the world will be coming to one of the leading centers of performance science, mindfulness and sports technology. More than just a celebration of outstanding performances on the court, the game and surrounding events, like the Spalding and HYPE Global Sports Innovation Competition being hosted at Marshall, highlight new innovations and new thinking about how we train the whole person, from their personal mindset to the fine-tuned measurements of daily performance.”

Glenn Fox can discuss the psychology and training of elite professional athletes like those in the NBA. He will also be a judge at the Spalding and HYPE Sports Innovation Global Competition being held at the USC Marshall School of Business on Feb. 15. The competition will offer a showcase for some of the most exciting startups advancing the technology and innovation of basketball. Fox is the head of program design, strategy and outreach at the USC Performance Science Institute, which is on the forefront of research on gratitude and human performance.

Contact: (213) 821-4691 or glennfox@marshall.usc.edu

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It’s showtime!

“The NBA All-Star Game puts the ‘exhibit’ into ‘exhibition.’ When Major League Baseball sought to create some relevance for its all-star game by giving the game an impact on World Series scheduling, and the NFL moved its Pro Bowl, desperately seeking viewers, the NBA happily embraced the star-driven nature of its all-star exhibition.

“Los Angeles is the ideal venue for this exercise in exhibitionism. In the land of movie stars and Showtime basketball, the NBA has found the true home for its all-star game. The world of Kardashians, TMZ, and celebrity tour buses is the perfect home for the brash, meaningless, somewhat ridiculous fun of the NBA All-Star Game.

“There can be no better backdrop than Hollywood, and the NBA would do well to exploit that backdrop (this smog-drenched movie set) in its presentation of its annual exhibition of sports fun.”

Daniel Durbin can discuss the media spectacle of the All-Star Game, how coverage of pro basketball has evolved over the years, and how that coverage compares to other sports. He is the director of the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media & Society and a clinical professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Contact: (213) 821-6615 or ddurbin@usc.edu