NBA All-Star 2009 - Phoenix, AZ
January 1, 2009
Los Angeles Lakers and West All-Star coach Phil Jackson exchanges good-byes with Shaquille O'Neal after the 58th Annual NBA All-Star Game.
Shaquille O'Neal, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, and the Gorilla pass the torch to Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki and owner Mark Cuban. Next years game will be played in Dallas.
Suns Ring of Honor member and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson enjoyed the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were named co-MVP's of the 58th Annual NBA All-Star Game.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots over Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat.
Phoenix Suns player Grant Hill enjoys the game with wife Tamia who sang the Canadian National Anthem before the game.
Director Harold Ramis took in the game.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre was on hand for the festivites with Terrell Owens sporting a Lakers shirt in the background.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers provided a monster dunk for the East All-Stars.
Shaquille O'Neal scores over Dwight Howard as Amar'e Stoudemire (1) looks for a possible rebound in the NBA All-Star Game.
Members of the 2008 Olympic basketball teams were presented their rings by the head of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo (far right).
LeBron James and Kobe Bryant admire their Olympic rings along with the head of USA Baskebtall, Jerry Colangelo.
The Phoenix Suns dancers provided entertainment throughout the NBA All-Star Game.
PHX Percussion also performed during breaks in the action.
Amar'e Stoudemire did what Amar'e does best, dunking. Amar'e had 19 points during the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Ray Allen of the 2008 World Champion Boston Celtics drives between Shaq and Tim Duncan.
Amar'e scores as the West All-Star beat the East All-Stars 146-119.6
Boston Celtics legend and Hall-Of-Famer Bill Russell celebrates his 75th birthday with current Celtics champions Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. Russell won 11 titles with the Celtics.
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal are on the same team for the first time since Shaq was traded from the Lakers.
Tamia, wife of seven-time All-Star and current Suns forward Grant Hill, sings the Canadian National Anthem prior to the 58th Annual All-Star Game in Phoenix.
American Idol winner and Glendale resident Jordin Sparks sings the United States National Anthem before the NBA All-Star Game.
That's Shaq. Shaquille O'Neal makes a production of his introduction at the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Shaq performed with the JabbaWockeeZ and stole the show.
JabbaWockeeZ highlighted the player introductions with Shaquille O'Neal prior to the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
The scoreboard told the tale as Shaq went through his introduction dance.
LeBron James led his East squad onto the court.
Amar'e Stoudemire ran into LeBron James in the training room prior to the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Shaquille O'Neal talks to former Suns player Kurt Rambis on the practice court prior to the NBA All-Star Game.
The Phoenix Suns dancers prepare backstage for a performance at the All-Star Game.
Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell chats with Muhammad Ali prior to the 58th NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Cedric Ceballos prepares some notes prior to his appearance at the All-Star Game on Sunday.
Muhammad Ali meets Shaquille O'Neal prior to the NBA All-Star game in Phoenix.
Amar'e Stoudemire and Muhammad Ali relax prior to the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Amar'e Stoudemire arrived at U S Airways Center to prepare for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
Amar'e Stoudemire stretches out and relaxes in the locker room prior to the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Shaquille O'Neal shares the moment with Chauncey Billups in the locker room prior to the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Former Phoenix Suns player and first-ever NBA Slam Dunk Champion Larry Nance takes part in the Jr. NBA/WNBA National All-Stars Exhibition at the Jam Session on Sunday.
Phoenix Mercury player Tangela Smith was part of the Jr. NBA/WNBA National All-Stars Exhibition at the Jam Session on Sunday.
Filmmaker and Knicks fan Spike Lee talks with Suns.com before the start of All-Star Saturday Night.
Dont adjust your monitor twins Brook and Robin Lopez made a dual autograph appearance at a local sporting goods store Saturday, sponsored by adidas.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson spoke at the NBA Legends Brunch on Sunday.
The 1975-76 Phoenix Suns were honored as the Legends Team of the Year.
Wayman Tisdale was presented the Legends Award for Courage by former teammate A C Green at the NBA Legends Brunch.
Suns Ring of Honor member and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson signs a basketball for a fan at the NBA Legends Brunch on Sunday.
Louis Amundson arrives at U S Airways Center on Sunday for the NBA All-Star Game
Grant Hill shared some of his NBA experience during a youth clinic at Jam Session Saturday.
Cedric Ceballos doing his thing at All-Star Saturday Night.
Dwight Howard continued his roll as Superman by emerging from a phone booth with a cape during the Sprite Slam Dunk competition Saturday night.
Howard then capped his performance with a dunk on a special twelve foot basket.
But Nate Robinson had the answer this year by emerging in a "Krytonite" uniform to negate the powers of Superman.
Robinson then proceeded to dunk over Howard to take the title as 2009 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk champion.
Robinson turned the current expression of "Go Green" into reality as the 2009 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Champion.
Judges for the Sprite Slam Dunk contest were all former Suns players: Tom Chambers, Suns assistant coach Dan Majerle, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Cedric Ceballos, and Larry Nance who won the first NBA Slam Dunk contest.
The Phoenix Suns alumni judges are introduced to the crown before the Sprite Slam Dunk contest: Tom Chambers, Dan Majerle, Kevin Johnson, Cedric Ceballos, and Larry Nance.
Dwight Howard either congratulates or its trying to influence Sacramento Mayor and former Suns player Kevin Johnson as he judges the Sprite Slam Dunk competition.
Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle enjoy the moment, even if they do disagree, while judging the Sprite Slam Dunk contest.
All-time Phoenix Suns three-poiint leader Dan Majerle, with Max Majerle, enjoy the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout on Saturday.
Shaquille O'Neal enjoys a front row seat for the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout.
The Phoenix Suns dancers entertained prior to the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout.
Jason Kapono was defending champion when the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout started Saturday night.
LeBron James enjoys the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout on Saturday night.
Daequan Cook drills the bonus ball from the corner during the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout Saturday night.
Daequan Cook took home the trophy as the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout champion.
Suns Dancers performed prior to the Haier Shooting Stars competition.
The Sol Patrol provided monster dunks to entertain the crowd.
The Phoenix team in the Haier Shooting Stars competition consisted of current player Leandro Barbosa, retired player and Suns assistant coach Dan Majerle, and Tangela Smith of the Phoenix Mercury.
Dan Majerle represented the Phoenix Suns as the former player in the Haier Shooting Stars competition Saturday night.
Thunder Dan, now a Suns assistant coach, brought his long-range game to the contest.
Tangela Smtih represented the Phoenix Mercury on the Suns team in the Haier Shooting Stars event.
Tanela Smith puts up a shot during the Haier Shooting Stars competition.
Kevin Durant probably wishes he could participate in the Haier Shooting Stars competition instead of watching. Friday he was named MVP of the Rookie-Sophomore game and earlier Saturday won the H-O-R-S-E competition.
The Detroit team consisting of Katie Smith of the Detroit Shock, former Piston Bill Laimbeer, and current player Aaron Afflalo won the Haier Shooting Stars competition.
A dejected Dan Majerle talks about his team losing in the finals of the Shooting Stars contest during All-Star Saturday Night.
The Phoenix Convention Center was packed for the Jam Session on Saturday.
A daughter gets a rest on her dads shoulders at the NBA Jam Session.
Phoenix Suns and Mercury dancers entertained the crown Saturday night.
Amar's Stoudemire signed his picture for guests at the Jam Session Saturday.
Tom Chambers high-fived the crowd during an appearance at the Jam Session on Saturday.
The Suns Dancers entertained at the Jam Session on Saturday.
Leandro Barbosa was the Suns current player during the Haier Shooting Stars event.
A fan gets to soar during a game of Slamball.
Anakin Skywalker and his pals pose with fans.
Courtney Sims (44) signed his second 10-day contract with the Suns on Friday and played in the D-League All-Star game on Saturday.
Sims, playing for the Iowa Energy, was named co-MVP of the D-League All-Star game with Blake Ahearn.
Yao, STAT and Shaq listen closely as Phil Jackson installs his All-Star offense for the West.
Shaquille O'Neal takes a breather during the West practice session on Saturday.
Shaquille O'Neal gives high-fives as he enters the court for the West practice on Saturday.
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were the center of attention before the West practice on Saturday.
Amar'e Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal in the locker room prior to the West practice on Saturday.
Seems like the entire building wants to talk to Shaq before practice.
Amar'e Stoudemiore gets ready for the West practice on Saturday.
Shaq was very accomodating and answered all the questions.
After Saturday afternoons media availability session, the West All-Stars returned to their locker room at the Phoenix Convention Center to autograph some basketballs for the NBA, while the East All-Stars held their practice.
The Suns forward has signed a lot of signatures this week.
Meanwhile on the other side of the locker room, Suns Chairman Jerry Colangelo talked USA Basketball with Phil Jackson.
Former Phoenix favorite Kurt Rambis will be on the Wests bench on Sunday night as part of Jacksons coaching staff
Shaquille O'Neal says hello to Marv Albert and Reggi Miller during the West team practice on Saturday.
Former teammates Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal take a jog before practice.
Amar'e and Shaq enjoying themselves during practice.
Amar'e Stoudemire doing what Amar'e does best.
Shaq was all smiles duriing the West practice session on Saturday.
At the close of practice, Shaq attempted to break a Guiness Book of World Records mark for the most blind-folded free throws in one minute. The Diesel drained four, but alas, the record was five.
US Airways Center during All-Star Weekend
Paul Pierce is excited to see the Harlem Globetrotters
Jerry Colangelo speaks with the media
Shaq speaks with the media
Media inundates Shaq and Kobe
Shaq and Phil Jackson do interviews "back to back"
Shaq gets a laugh from something Craig Sager asks Kobe Bryant
STAT ponders a question during media availability on Saturday
Amar'e Stoudemire speaks with a Valentine's Day-observing Craig Sager
Colangelo speaks to kids during the Jr. NBA /Jr. WNBA Basketball Celebration Day
The All-Star Block Party was held outside U S Airways Center Friday night.
Emerson Hart performed on the All-Star Block Party stage.
One of the popular Block Party attractions was getting your picture taken with Shaq--at least a cardbord representation.
Attendees could try their luck on the court.
Kevin Durant, for the second-year players, and Michael Beasley for the rookies, were the principal forces for their teams in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday.
Beasley led his team with 29 points and helped give the Rookies a slim halftime lead.
But it was Durant that brought his team back to win their seventh consecutive game for the Sophomores. Durant scored 46 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and handed out 4 assists.
Suns players Alando Tucker and Matt Barnes signed aoutographs at the Jam Session on Friday.
Jared Dudley (left) and Louis Amundson (right) answer questions on a TV screen even though they are only a few feet away.
Amar'e Stoudemire tried to be like Tiger prior to the McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night.
Shaq also showed up to give the celebs some advice.
Former Suns All-Star and current assistant coach Dan Majerle passes around two female defenders during the game/
Majerle vs. Kara Lawson of the Sacramento Monarchs
But it was the signature three-pointer that everyone came to see.
The Harlem Globetrotters provided some halftime entertainment as well as supplied a couple players for the game.
Leandro Barbosa is apparently ready to "finger" paint at the All-Star NBA Cares Day of Service on Friday, February 13.
Amar'e meets a new fan at the All-Star NBA Cares Day of Service.
Even the all-thumbs Gorilla helps out at the Day of Service.
Shaquille O'Neal enters the Sheraton Hotel during media availability on Friday.
Shaq helps plant a tree.
Ludacris discusses the NBA Cares Day of Service with Suns.com's Brad Faye
Some lucky kids get an autograph from Shaq.
Dwyane Wade shows Shaq how much he's missed him.
Dwyane Wade re-unites with Shaq during the NBA Cares Day of Service.
Shaq gets the spot no one else could reach while painting a pole.
Shaq uses his Superman strength to lift a tree into a hole.
What a nice tree! Let's plant it!
Shaq poses with best friend David Stern.
STAT gets serious with the media.
Amar'e enjoying the questions he is being asked.
Dan Majerle, Leandro Barbosa and Tangela Smith answer questions during media availability.
Tony Parker poses with Ludacris
Suns alum Ced Ceballos has his tickets for All-Star Saturday Night, not to mention a seat at the dunk judges table.
The nights entertainers featured a Phoenix flavor.
Former Suns center Jake Voskuhl returned to US Airways Center for a fun Valentines night with his wife.
Tim Duncan patiently waits for media availability to be over.
An ESPN reporter steps up to interview the Diesel during the media availability session at the Sheraton downtown.
LeBron James congratulated each of his Eastern Conference teammates and presented them with crystal trophies to commemorate the 2009 All-Star Game.
The trophies included the names of each player on the East's roster, including Boston's Paul Pierce.
Suns legend Dan Majerle talks about his upcoming appearances in the All-Star Celebrity Game and Shooting Stars event.
Suns Chairman Jerry Colangelo made an appearance at the Sheraton for the annual Hall-of-Fame nominations press conference.
Even though he wont be competing in this weekends three-point shootout, Jason Richardson was well represented at Jam Session.
Suns rookie Robin Lopez joined the Harlem Globetrotters for a free autograph session on Thursday, joined by
Legendary Harlem Globetrotter Curly Neal.
Another Hall-of-Famer in attendance, Julius Irving, is interviewed about winning the first ABA Slam Dunk contest in 1976 and participating in the first NBA Slam Dunk Contest held at the 1984 game.
Spurs great David Robinson and Bulls icon Michael Jordan were among those nominated for the Class of 2009.
Stoudemire strikes a serious pose for the NBA Entertainment crew.
The NBAE circuit includes several shoots on different backdrops.
"How do I look?"
Shaq arrived for his shoot dressed for success.
Stylin' and profilin'
The NBA's cameras are a little nicer than Suns.com's.
The NBAE photographers will shoot thousands of photos over the course of All-Star 2009.
Stoudemire's 2009 All-Star Portrait.
Shaq shows off his ring.
Amar'e just relaxing for a photo.
Amar'e takes the low approach.
Amar'e is a more meditative mood.
Sometimes the biggest people draw the biggest crowd. Shaq indeed attaracted the media during availability time.
And speaking of big! Is Yao Ming that big or is this picture just an optical illusion?
The US Airways Center will host the All-Star Saturday Night competitions, as well as the 58th annual NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
Mercury forward Tangela Smith will represent Phoenix along with Dan Majerle and Leandro Barbosa in the Haier Shooting Stars event as part of All-Star Saturday Night.
The city of Phoenix is rocking with the arrival of All-Star 2009.
Stoudemire's giant billboard overlooks the Block Party.
Steve Nash appeared at the NBA Jam Session on Friday to promote the Go Green event.
Nash of the Phoenix Suns takes part in a Cisco Teleconference at Jam Session
February 13: Phoenix Suns' Robin Lopez participates in a Cisco Teleprescence video conference with fans at the NBA Jam Session
On Thursday, Jason Richardson talked to the students at Percy L. Julian Elementary School about making the right choices in life, as part of his Man Up forum.
Jason Richardson hosted a "Man Up" Forum at Percy L. Julian Elementary School in Phoenix on Thursday. Jason spoke to 60 kids on issues from education to peer pressure.
Richardson took questions from kids addressing the importance of making positive choices.
Jason signed autographs for everyone in front of his All-Star jersey and current Suns jersey.
Thursday night was kicked off with appearances by (among others): Leandro Barbosa (second from left), Suns CEO (fourth), NBA Commissioner David Stern, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, and Suns President & COO Rick Welts (eighth).
NBA Legend George Gervin participated in the Legends Three Point Contest on Thursday at the NBA Jam Session.
Also participating were Detlef Schrempf, David Thompson, and JoJo White.
Leandro Barbosa held a clinic that included some questions and answers.
A little running with the kids, even the ones on shoulders.
An appearance by the Harlem Globetrotters included instructions to one of the wheelchair athletes.
NBA Commissioner David Stern congratulated the players after the wheelchair game.
Matt Barnes made an appearance and signed autographs on Thursday.
Stoudemire's Downtown hosted the "CNN All-Star Round Table" Thursday with Chris Paul, CNN's John King, Bill Russell, Grant Hill, Magic Johnson, and Steve Nash.
Russell and Magic shared a moment before the discussion started.
Russell also had Grant's ear.
Nash enjoyed a lighter moment.
Hill in a discussion with John King.
Shaquille O'Neal talks to Craig Sager during the media access time to the West All-Stars on Thursday.
The band Static performs for the crowd at the All-Star Block Party.
A fan celebrates making it to the top of the rock climbing wall at the All-Star Block Party.
Fans get a chance to dunk at the NBA All-Star Block Party.
NBA All-Star Block Party features a rock climbing wall.
Fans play Rock Band at a pimped out show car during the Block Party.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame exhibit at Jam Session features jerseys from the greats of the game, including those of Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille ONeal from the 1995 All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Fans at Jam Session can also size up against current NBA greats, like Steve Nash and his size 11.5 shoes.
Former teammates in Los Angeles, Shag and Kobe will once again team up as Western Conference All-Stars in Phoenix.
Even intergalactic NBA fans are taking interest in All-Star 2009 rooting for the home team in white, of course.
Former All-Star Bob Lanier led a group of former players and guests to Crockett Elementary School in Phoenix as part of NBA All-Star Day of Sharing.
Former Suns A.C. Green and Tom Chambers joined NBA Hall of Famer and NBA Cares Community Ambassador Bob Lanier as part of the All-Star Community Caravan, which visited David Crockett School to unveil the schools new reading and learning center.
Green and a new friend try out one of the newly donated Hewlett-Packard computers at David Crockett Elementary.
There are never a shortage of community goodwill representatives during any given All-Star week and that includes Go, too!
The entire school assembled for Lanier's message.
The Gorilla helped entertain the kids.
Lanier, along with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, read to the kids.
Staff members from St. Joseph's Hospital welcome the All-Star Day of Sharing crew.
Former All-Stars and Phoenix Suns players Tom Chambers and Alvan Adams were among the participants.
Phoenix Mercury coach Corey Gaines hams for the camera.
Bob Lanier and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon pose with hospital staff personnel with a very small patient.
A kiss is always a good thing.
Lanier and the Gorilla with the St. Joseph's staff.
Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns participates at the Rebuilding Together Project during the 2009 Day of Service as part of the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 13, 2009 at the Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona
Stoudemire participates at the Rebuilding Together Project during the 2009 Day of Service
Shaquille O'Neal enjoys his bus ride to the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service on Friday.
Shaquille O'Neal arrives at the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service on Friday.
A young fan runs the gauntlet of high-fives at NBA Jam Session.
A Storm Trooper gets a smile out of a brave kid.
Get your game face on. The latest games are on display at Jam Session.
Taking a break from walking, fans sit down to enjoy some basketball in the dream room.
Fans pretend to be anchors at the NBATV desk.
A young fan experiences trophy envy in the Mercury's tent.
The NBA Jam Session opened Wednesday night at the Phoenix Convention Center across from U S Airways Center.
The Dancing Dads made an appearance at the Jam Session.
Then the real dancers took the court.
The dancers also provided a little suspense to the monster dunkers from Sol Patrol.
Phx Percussion provided the opening act for . . .
. . . The Phoenix Suns Gorilla.
The Gorilla even brought some friends -- Hairy and Hairyson.
Former Suns player Cedric Ceballos showed some kids "the walk."
Former Suns All-Star Alvan Adams gave some pointers to a group of kids.
Alvan then tried to guard the basket against a group.
Former Suns player Mark West also gave some high-fives.
The convention floor was filled with hands-on activities for all, but especially kids.
The exhibit and activities continue through Monday.
As the All-Star game approaches, the windows on the North side of U S Airways Center are made into a giant billboard.
The All-Star floor is put in place at U S Airways Center.
Days before NBA All-Star 2009, Suns GM Steve Kerr announced the 16 middle-school teams that will compete in the Gatorade NBA All-Star Jam Session Invitational.
Kerr posed with coaches and players following the press conference on February 9.
The press conference was held at the recently rennovated Phoenix Convention Center, which will also play host to the 2009 NBA Jam Session.
The 2009 NBA All-Star Jam Session will take place Feb. 12-16.
Phoenix fans will enjoy more than 500,000 square feet of NBA entertainment.
Jam Session offers something for all NBA fans, but the Suns will be well represented with the event in their home city.
Be sure to check out the historic memorabilia on display.
Fans will get a chance to get their photos taken with lifesize cutouts and get autographs from actual NBA players and legends.
With the tip-off of Jam Session just days away, crews were hard at work getting everything set-up.
The NBA All-Star Store offers a wide selection of collectors item merchandise.
Across the street from the Convention Center, the Hyatt is now decked out for the big event, as well.
Suns players and NBA stars are on display throughout downtown Phoenix.
Crews install a giant All-Star logo on the US Airways Center.
Suns fans atttending the Golden State game on February 6 were treated to a halftime fashion show featuring All-Star merchandise available at the Team Shop and the NBA Jam Session.
These iems and many more are available at the Team shops and around the All-Star venues.
The first-ever wrapped Metro Light Rail train was unveiled by the NBA and the Phoenix Suns at the METRO Operations and Maintenance Facility in Phoenix on January 21.
The Phoenix Suns Gorilla posed with Western Conference All-Star images of Kobe Bryant and Amare Stoudemire.
Phoenix Suns President and COO Rick Welts (second from left) rode the Light Rail downtown with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon (right).
After stopping at the Third Street and Washington station, the train left to complete the first trip with the new wrap.
For the first time in his NBA career, Amar'e Stoudemire was voted into the starting lineup for the Western Conference.
Stoudemire credits his viral marketing campaign, featuring several humorous videos extolling the forward's virtues, for helping to generate buzz and votes.
Suns All-Stars Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire signed autographs for fans who purchased NBA Jam Session tickets at US Airways Center on January 12.
Stoudemire is hoping to play in his fourth All-Star Game this year in Phoenix.
Nash also greeted fans at the box office. Tickets for the NBA Jam Session are now on sale.
The Big Cactus helped unveil the big ballot for the 2009 NBA All-Star Game during a press conference outside US Airways Center in November.
Stoudemire put together a viral campaign to rally voters for his cause.
Phoenix was announced as the host city for the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend during a press conference at US Airways Center on Nov. 8, 2007.
NBA Commissioner David Stern was on hand for the announcement.
Suns Chairman Jerry Colangelo was proud to welcome the NBA's All-Star Game for the third time. Phoenix also hosted the event in 1975 and 1995.