In two years, Charlotte will host one of the most high-profile events in basketball: the NBA All-Star Game. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver officially made that announcement in uptown Tuesday.
North Carolina has a rich basketball history, and it turns out a young Pat McCrory had his own connection to basketball greatness. As he tells it, back in 1984, there was a college All-Star game in Kannapolis that Michael Jordan played in.
"In that game, a courageous, young 27-year-old referee called traveling on Michael Jordan," McCrory said as he took out a photo. "Here’s the picture of Pat McCrory calling traveling on Michael Jordan."
McCrory says Jordan still insists it was a bad call.
Now McCrory is North Carolina’s governor and Jordan is the Charlotte Hornets’ owner. They were part of the announcement at Time Warner Cable Arena that Charlotte is getting its first NBA All-Star Game since 1991.
Jordan played in the game that year and remembers how enthusiastic the community was.
"Over the years, I think that we have shown exactly what basketball means to us as a city and as a state," he says.
About a year ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Charlotte needed to upgrade its arena before it could host an All-Star game. The Charlotte City Council has since approved about $34 million for a new scoreboard and other renovations over 10 years.
Silver says that did the trick.
"We’re very satisfied," he says. "They were showing me around the building this morning. There’s actually construction going on as we speak on the other side of the arena."
Silver says Charlotte will get much more than a basketball game. The NBA has turned its All-Star event into a week of activities, including a dunk contest, celebrity game and basketball clinics for children.
"And our All-Star game is now carried in 215 different countries, in 50 different languages," he says. "The world’s attention will be focused on Charlotte for that week."
The game will be in February of 2017.