Toronto Showcases The 2016 NBA All-Star Logo
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
The NBA family got an up close look at the passion Toronto has for basketball during the 2014 postseason. On Wednesday they got another step closer to experiencing it for themselves. The Toronto Raptors unveiled the logo for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game on Wednesday afternoon at a press conference held at the CN Tower. The venue is important to note, because the logo features the “All-Star Toronto” branding wrapped around the infamous CN Tower silhouette with a 2016 scroll along the tower.
The 65th NBA All-Star Game will be held Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto will be the first venue outside of the United States to host the weekend and its festivities. Along with a devoted fan base eager to experience all that All-Star has to offer, the weekend will also provide an opportunity for the city to showcase all of the things that have made its players fall for the north.
Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry said as much in a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon:
— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) May 27, 2015
Global Ambassador Drake also posted the logo to his Instagram page:
Secondary logos for the weekend include the NBA’s “star “ logo in red, white and blue wrapped inside a red maple leaf as well as an All-Star toque featuring a clawed star in grey and black, a nod to the team’s new logo for the 2015-2016 NBA season. Merchandise is already available at Real Sports in-store and online.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 27, 2015
The logo was presented by Toronto Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Toronto Tourism Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Weir, NBA Canada Vice President and Managing Director Dan MacKenzie, CN Tower Chief Operating Officer Jack Robinson and 2014-2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins. The weekend will tip off on Friday, Feb. 12 with the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, with State Farm All-Star Saturday Night following on Feb. 13.
Wiggins was named MVP of the Rising Stars challenge during the 2014 All-Star weekend in Brooklyn two months before becoming the first Canadian-born player to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award. During the 2014-2015 season there were a record 12 Canadian players on NBA rosters, more than any country outside the United States. Canadian Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers will compete in the NBA Finals beginning next week.
The league announced via press release that All-Star 2016 would celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of basketball. Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian, invented the game in 1891. Toronto also hosted the first game in NBA history on Nov. 1, 1946, at Maple Leaf Gardens. The game has been growing rapidly in Canada and Toronto's fan base has earned the reputation of being one of the greatest across the league.
In addition to the unveiling of the All-Star logos, MLSE president and CEO Tim Leiweke also referred to the Raptors' plans for a D-League team in the near future to add to the team's development program. Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri addressed the team’s desire to push for a team during his season-ending availability. Getting to cross that off the to-do list is another huge positive in what is sure to be a big year for professional basketball in Canada with February's All-Star weekend serving as a much anticipated highlight.