All-Star Game Coming to Houston in 2013

There may not be any All-Stars from Houston this year, but next year that is where they all will be.

Recently the NBA announced the starting line-ups for the All-Star game scheduled to take place at the Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic, on February 26, 2012. No Houston Rockets were among the starting group for the Western Conference, but there is still a chance that a couple could be voted in by the coach’s as reserves.

Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin are thought to have a chance to be voted in by the coaches. An announcement is expected to come on Thursday as to who the reserves will be for this year’s game.

“At the end of the day, it’s not up to me,” Lowry said. “It’s up to the coaches.”

Come next season, should either player or any from the Rockets roster be named to the All-Star squad they will not have far to travel. On Wednesday, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that the Toyota Center will be the site of the 2013 NBA All-Star game.

“Houston is a spectacular sports city, and for one week it will be the basketball capital of the world,” said Stern. “I want to thank the city and the Rockets for welcoming us once again.”

The annual game was last in Houston in 2006 (and in 1989 prior to that), and went off so well that the team knew they wanted to have it come back. With new venues in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden being renovated (and shooting for later All-Star games) the opportunity became open for the Rockets to host an earlier event and they took it. With an estimated economic impact of $100 million, city officials had no problem with it either.

“Mr. Alexander [the owner] is the kind of guy, he wants to do it now,” Tad Brown, Rockets CEO, said. “We took an aggressive stance and really went after it.”

Neither Martin or Lowry are considered likely candidates, but should they not make it this season having the game on their home court may be the drive they need to get to the game in 2013.

For Martin being considered is nothing new although he has yet to be named an all-star. As dangerous a scorer as Martin can be, Lowry might be the team’s better bet to make the All-Star game next season. Statistically, he has improved in every major category this season (except three-point percentage) under the tutelage of new head coach Kevin McHale.

“If we won the games we should have won, with three or four wins, he [Lowry] probably gets the nod,” McHale said. “It’s going to be hard. There are a lot of guys out there. But he’s played well.”

Lowry’s average of 14.9 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists puts him among the top 25 players in the league.
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