The 2011 NBA All-Star Game is finally here, as the 60th annual game will take place later today at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, LeBron James and more take the biggest stage tonight on TNT, the culmination of what has been a very entertaining All-Star Weekend. What are the details of tonight's event? Glad you asked...
- Official Name: 2011 NBA All-Star Game (a surprisingly normal name, although a title sponsor is KIA, in case you didn't know)
- Location: Staples Center, downtown Los Angeles
TV Broadcast: TNT, with Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller, Craig Sager, and Craig Sager's suit on the call
- Time: 5 p.m. PST
- Pregame Show: 4 p.m. PST, also on TNT, featuring a performance by Lenny Kravitz!
- Teams: View the rosters for the Western Conference and Eastern Conference.
- Local Competitors: Griffin continues his magical weekend with his third day of being the crowd favorite; Kobe Bryant is comparatively the elder statesman among local hosts; Pau Gasol is here, as are former UCLA Bruins Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.
Gambling Notes: Per our friends in Las Vegas, the Eastern Conference is a 2.5-point favorite. Kobe Bryant, who has won All-Star MVP in 2002, 2007, and 2009, is the favorite to win his fourth award, at +400. LeBron James and Kevin Durant are at +500 to win MVP, with Derrick Rose at +600 and Dwyane Wade at +700.
- History: The All-Star Game has been held in Los Angeles four previous times, with a future Hall of Famer winning MVP each time: 1963 (Bill Russell), 1972 (Jerry West), 1983 (Julius Erving), and 2004 (Shaquille O'Neal)
- What This Means For The Lakers: The good news for the Lakers is that in each of the four previous times Los Angeles has hosted an All-Star Game, the Lakers made the NBA Finals that season. The bad news is that in three of those years, the Lakers lost in those Finals, with their title coming in 1972.