For the first year ever, NBA legends and executives participated in a relay in conjunction with the New York City Marathon as a part of an effort to get involved in the communities of New York City leading up to the NBA All-Star Weekend in February.
This year, the NBA made a concentrated effort to connect with the half million kids that live within the five boroughs of New York City, which will host the NBA All-Star Weekend, starting Friday, Feb. 13.
NBA executives and former NBA players teamed up on Nov. 2 to run a 26-mile relay, parallel to the NYC marathon. The plan was to connect with the different boroughs’ youth and promote fitness for the city as a whole.
The NBA has always tried to connect in some way with the host city of its various All-Star weekend events.
This year, however, there has been additional planning and real positive energy in doing so. This may be due, in part, to the enthusiasm of one fresh-faced commissioner, Adam Silver. Silver led the pack of the two dozen executives and former NBA pros at the relay race.
The NBA commissioner, a bit of a fitness nut himself, has run the New York City Marathon twice before.
The NBA Takes On NYC Relay
On Sunday Nov. 2, the team of 24 each ran a three mile leg of the relay, passing the baton, as they ran through the different neighborhoods.
The relay was a part of the NBA’s attempt to hold clinics, workshops and activities acting as an outreach to the kids of the Big Apple leading up the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend.
At the relay, young runners joined the NBA-affiliated team racing through the streets of NYC, spanning all five hubs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.
The plans for the NBA's partnership with the New York City Marathon began last spring.
The race was held in promotion of New York’s Road Runners program, which promotes youth fitness. The NBA donated $26 thousand to Team for Kids which supports the charity. The Road Runners reaches more than 200,000 students each year.
Several of the former NBA players who participated in the event were New York City natives themselves. Sixty-six year old Nate Achibald from the Bronx and Chris Mullins from Brooklyn, joined the effort.
The New York Knicks’ Charles Oakley and WNBA player Swin Cash were also among the players who participated.
Even the Knicks' and Nets' broadcaster, Mike Breen, and Knicks’ assistant general manager Allan Houston, were a part of the relay team.
An NBA Nation
The energy that the relay race brought was a great kick-off for the relationship between the NBA and New York City leading up to the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend. As one of the nation’s definite basketball cities, the participation in the events leading up to the weekend and prior to the game itself are projected to be high.
The event mirrored what many may have forgotten the NBA All-Star Game Weekend was founded in.
Although it is an opportunity to pin the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference, as well as for players to showcase their high level of talent, it is an opportunity to bring a community of basketball lovers together in a celebration of the sport. It is a chance to promote the positive influence the sport can have on communities.
In a way, the relay race was a way for the NBA to pass the baton to the five boroughs in an effort to unite under their love of basketball.
And unite they did!
Unite with the NBA at the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend
The NBA All-Star Weekend will begin Feb. 13, in New York City. The weekend will feature a full Saturday of contests and activities including the famous Slam Dunk Contest at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The event will then move to Madison Square Garden on Sunday for the NBA All-Star Game.
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With Official Ticket Packages, you can have the chance to attend meet-and-greets with former NBA players, participate in photo-ops, receive post-game on-court access, and attend all the Saturday festivities at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center!