Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007 | 7:19 a.m.
What: NBA All-Star Jam Session
Where: Mandalay Bay South Convention Center
When: 4 to 10 p.m., Thursday-Friday ; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday , 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday-Monday
D-League All-Star Game, 4 p.m. Saturday; Mandalay Bay
Ticket prices: $20 for adults; $12 for children 3 to 12 years old, senior citizens and military personnel; free for children 2 and younger
On sale: Mandalay Bay Box Office, Ticketmaster locations in Las Vegas, ticketmaster.com and (800) 462-2849
Celebrity game, 4 p.m. Friday; Mandalay Bay
Rookie All-Star Game, 6 p.m. Friday; Thomas & Mack Center
East practice session, 11 a.m. Saturday; Mandalay Bay
West practice session, 1:30 p.m. Saturday; Mandalay Bay
Dunk, 3-point shooting and skill contests, 5 p.m. Saturday; Thomas & Mack Center
All-Star Game, 5 p.m. Sunday; Thomas & Mack Center
Five years ago the Brothers Maloof sat together at an NBA All-Star game and thought out loud about Las Vegas one day playing host to that midseason marquee game and its many peripheral festivities. The subject did not get broached again.
Early in 2005 Joe and Gavin Maloof, who run the Sacramento Kings for the Maloof empire, placed a midnight call to brother George Jr., who runs the Palms for the family. They left a message:
We might be able to get the 2007 All-Star game for Las Vegas. Do you think it can happen?
When George, who left Albuquerque to play football and study hotel management at UNLV in 1984, called back, he had a to-do list as long as his arm.
Within the next 24 hours, he made about five dozen calls to key figures in the city, county and state. Less than four months later, the NBA agreed, for the first time, to play an All-Star game in a non-NBA city.
All-Star merchandise in the gift shop of the Palms, the players' headquarters, ranges from $22 caps to $20 T-shirts to $6 shot glasses. Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas, Dwyane Wade of Miami and murals of other players adorn pillars on the gaming floor and the wall of the registration desk.
Outside Junior's conservatively appointed office on the "hidden" third floor of the property hangs a 6-foot oil painting of his father, George Sr., in front of a building being constructed in Albuquerque. The day after the building opened, in 1980, Senior was struck by a fatal heart attack at 56.
With a camera crew from a cable show documenting his day last week, George Maloof Jr., 42, talked about working those phones, testing his network and the chances of Las Vegas landing an NBA franchise.
Q: After that midnight call from your brothers, whom did you ring first?
I think (Station Casino owners) Lorenzo Fertitta, then Frank (Fertitta).
Then I just went down the line, calling the closest people I knew: (Boyd Gaming Chairman and Chief Executive) Bill Boyd, (Wynn Resorts owner) Steve Wynn, (MGM Grand Chairman) Terry Lanni, (Harrah's Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive) Gary Loveman, Las Vegas Mayor (Oscar) Goodman, (Las Vegas Sands Chairman) Sheldon Adelson.
What did you tell them?
I told them the city had the opportunity to bring the All-Star game to Las Vegas, but that we'd have to take the NBA All-Star game off the (sports) books. I was sure the NBA would require it. How do you feel about it? Would you support it? I had to get a comfort level there. Everyone was on board.
Then I had to get a comfort level with the Gaming Control Board. I called the members of the board to make sure they were comfortable. Then I called the County Commissioners. I called Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (President) Rossi Ralenkotter. (Maloof attorney) Frank Schreck was a huge help with the whole legal process. Everybody was 100 percent behind it. There was a 24-hour period when every thing happened, and I didn't have one negative response.
Was that a test of your connections and relationships in the city?
We all get along. This is a great community. We've done business everywhere, all over the country. There's just something special and positive about Las Vegas. People make things happen here. We compete. But, at the end of the day, it's about the community.
Why will it be so great for the community and kids?
You'll see when the athletes show up. People are fascinated with the whole league. The marketing. It's just fun. Cool. The Jam Session at Mandalay Bay ... you've got to see it. In a town that has great events like the National Finals Rodeo, one of my favorite events each year ... it's just another great opportunity that makes our community special and different. We needed to go for it.
What was the biggest challenge?
Coordination, working together, is always the biggest challenge. The details. Making sure everything goes off. We've been meeting, internally, at the Palms for six months. We meet now on a daily basis. You know what to expect, but you don't know how it'll play out.
Do you like the sound of Las Vegas Kings?
(Maloof laughs) The Las Vegas Kings? Hmmm. It's hard. We're so damn loyal to Sacramento and the fans up there. That's my reaction. We just have great loyalty to that community. But we need an arena that's best for that community.
Mayor Goodman said playing host to an All-Star game is a "giant step" toward Las Vegas getting a team. Do you agree?
I would agree with that. I think it's a great step. Yeah. Absolutely. I would agree with that.
What needs to be done?
The first would be a comfort level with the NBA about the gambling part of it. That has to be solved. I think that can be figured out. Obviously, you have to have a facility. We don't have one in this community right now. That's probably the biggest hurdle. Then, (he laughs) a team.
Might there one day be a Maloof Arena in Las Vegas?
Us, the Maloofs, build an arena here? You can't finance an arena privately. Nobody does it. Doesn't make sense.
Wasn't Staples Center in Los Angeles a privately financed endeavor?
That was rare. You need help. You have to have public help. You can't do it privately. Doesn't make sense. No, I don't see us doing that.
Have NBA Commissioner David Stern and his lieutenants done their due diligence to learn how well gaming in Nevada is policed and regulated?
David Stern is a brilliant guy, first of all. He does his homework, unlike any human being I've ever met. I don't know if that answers your question, but he does his homework. He has a great understanding of what the NBA is and where he wants it to go. Obviously, with the owners' involvement, he gets it. He's a man who can change his mind. But he understands it. He has a great vision, he really does.
Isn't Stern adamantly against gambling?
Maybe the NBA sees it as a risk. Why take that risk? I think that can change. That attitude can change.
Could an NBA team come to Las Vegas without the Maloofs being involved?
I've never thought of that. Sure. We wouldn't be against a team coming here. That's an interesting question. For me, personally, it would be great to have our team here; I wouldn't have to fly anywhere. I don't know how my brothers or mother would feel. But it would be great to leave the Palms and see our team play (here, regularly). But our team is in Sacramento. I don't mind flying out there, either.
What about an NBA team coming here if the books only have to take down wagers on a Las Vegas team?
I think that could probably happen. I think that's a great idea.
What about only taking down Las Vegas games when its team plays at home?
That would be even better. I think that would be great. I think having an NBA team here and having no restrictions on any betting, like we do with UNLV, is just fine. The next step would be to restrict (bets) on that team, which I don't think is necessary. As a casino owner, I would be in favor of that, yes. Taking the entire league off? No. Taking the local team off? Probably.
It's the first time the game will be played in a non-NBA city, but Las Vegas isn't your average non-NBA city, is it?
No, that's why I think it's special. The anticipation is so unreal, and the excitement is just building. It's already here. We have the best events in the world. This is another one, but one that hasn't been done before. Having an NBA presence and event here is remarkable.
Eastern Conference All-Stars lead all-time series 3421.
YEAR, CITY, MVP
1951, Boston, Ed Macauley, Boston Celtics
1952, Boston, Paul Arizin, Philadelphia Warriors
1953, Fort Wayne, Ind., George Mikan, Minn. Lakers
1954, New York, Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics
1955, New York, Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics
1956, Rochester, N.Y., Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks
1957, Boston, Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics
1958, St. Louis, Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks
1959, Detroit, Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks; Elgin Baylor, Minn. Lakers
1960, Philadelphia, Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors
1961, Syracuse, N.Y., Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals
1962, St. Louis, Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks
1963, Los Angeles, Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
1964, Boston, Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals
1965, St. Louis, Jerry Lucas, Cincinnati Royals
1966, Cincinnati, Adrian Smith, Cincinnati Royals
1967, San Francisco, Rick Barry, San Francisco Warriors
1968, New York, Hal Greer, Philadelphia 76ers
1969, Baltimore, Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals
1970, Philadelphia, Willis Reed, New York Knicks
1971, San Diego, Lenny Wilkens, Sea. SuperSonics
1972, Inglewood, Calif., Jerry West, L.A. Lakers
1973, Chicago, Dave Cowens, Boston Celtics
1974, Seattle, Bob Lanier, Detroit Pistons
1975, Phoenix, Walt Frazier, New York Knicks
1976, Philadelphia, Dave Bing, Washington Bullets
1977, Milwaukee, Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers
1978, Atlanta, Randy Smith, Buffalo Braves
1979, Pontiac, Mich., David Thompson, Denver Nuggets
1980, Landover, Md., George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs
1981, Richfield, Ohio, Nate Archibald, Boston Celtics
1982, East Rutherford, N.J., Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
1983, Inglewood, Calif., Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers
1984, Denver, Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
1985, Indianapolis, Ralph Sampson, Houston Rockets
1986, Dallas, Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
1987, Seattle, Tom Chambers, Sea. SuperSonics
1988, Chicago, Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1989, Houston, Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
1990, Miami, Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1991, Charlotte, N.C., Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers
1992, Orlando, Fla., Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1993, Salt Lake City, Karl Malone, Utah Jazz; John Stockton, Utah Jazz
1994, Minneapolis, Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
1995, Phoenix, Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
1996, San Antonio, Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1997, Cleveland, Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets
1998, New York, Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1999, Canceled because of lockout. Scheduled for Philadelphia
2000, Oakland, Calif., Shaquille ONeal, L.A. Lakers Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
2001, Washington, D.C., Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
2002, Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
2003, Atlanta, Kevin Garnett, Minn. Timberwolves
2004, Los Angeles, Shaquille ONeal, L.A. Lakers
2005, Denver, Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
2006, Houston, LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
2007, Las Vegas
2008, New Orleans
Pos. Ht./Wt. School/Country
Gilbert Arenas (Washington)
G 6-4/210 Arizona
Chris Bosh (Toronto)
F 6-10/235 Georgia Tech
LeBron James (Cleveland)
F 6-8/245 St. Vincent/ St. Mary (HS)
Shaquille ONeal (Miami)
C 7-1/325 LSU
Dwyane Wade (Miami)
G 6-4/212 Marquette
Chauncey Billups (Detroit)
G 6-3/202 Colorado
Caron Butler (Washington)
F 6-7/228 Connecticut
Vince Carter (New Jersey)
G-F 6-6/220 North Carolina
Richard Hamilton (Detroit)
G-F 6-7/193 Connecticut
Dwight Howard (Orlando)
C-F 6-11/265 SW Atlanta Christian (HS)
Jason Kidd (New Jersey)
G 6-4/210 California
Jermaine ONeal (Indiana)
F-C 6-11/260 Eau Claire (HS)
Head coach: Eddie Jordan (Washington)
WESTERN CONFERENCE STARTERS
Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers)
G 6-6/220 Lower Merion (HS)
Tim Duncan (San Antonio)
F 7-0/260 Wake Forest
Kevin Garnett (Minnesota)
F 6-11/220 Farragut Academy (HS)
Tracy McGrady (Houston)
G 6-8/210 Mount Zion Academy (HS)
*Yao Ming (Houston)
C 7-6/310 China
**Carmelo Anthony (Denver)
F 6-8/230 Syracuse
*Carlos Boozer (Utah)
F-C 6-9 /266 Duke
**Josh Howard (Dallas)
F 6-7/210 Wake Forest
Allen Iverson (Denver)
G 6-0/165 Georgetown
Shawn Marion (Phoenix)
F 6-7/228 UNLV
Steve Nash (Phoenix)
G 6-3/195 Santa Clara
Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas)
F 7-0/245 Germany
Tony Parker (San Antonio)
G 6-2/180 France
Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix)
C 6-10/245 Cypress Creek (HS)
Head coach: Mike DAntoni (Phoenix)
*Out with injury; **Injury replacement
SLAM DUNK CHAMPION
Nate Robinson, New York, 2006
Josh Smith, Atlanta, 2005
Fred Jones, Indiana, 2004
Jason Richardson, Golden State, 2003
Jason Richardson, Golden State, 2003
Desmond Mason, Seattle, 2001
Vince Carter, Toronto, 2000
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers, 1997
Brent Barry, L.A. Clippers, 1996
Harold Miner, Miami, 1995
Isaiah Rider, Minnesota, 1994
Harold Miner, Cleveland, 1993
Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix, 1992
Dee Brown, Boston, 1991
Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta, 1990
Kenny Walker, New York, 1989
Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1988
Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1987
Spud Webb, Atlanta, 1986
Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta, 1985
Larry Nance, Phoenix, 1984
3-POINT SHOOTOUT WINNERS
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas, 2006
Quentin Richardson, Phoenix, 2005
Voshon Lenard, Denver, 2004
Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento, 2003
Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento, 2002
Ray Allen, Milwaukee, 2001
Jeff Hornacek, Utah, 2000
Jeff Hornacek, Utah, 1998
Steve Kerr, Chicago, 1997
Tim Legler, Washington, 1996
Glen Rice, Miami, 1995
Mark Price, Cleveland, 1994
Mark Price, Cleveland, 1993
Craig Hodges, Chicago, 1992
Craig Hodges, Chicago, 1991
Craig Hodges, Chicago, 1990
Dale Ellis, Seattle, 1989
Larry Bird, Boston, 1988
Larry Bird, Boston, 1987
Larry Bird, Boston, 1986