The 61st NBA All-Star game is Feb. 26 at the Amway Arena in Orlando. The last time Magic hosted an All-Star game was 25 years ago with Magic Johnson making his return after his shocking announcement that he had contract the HIV virus. Johnson was the game's MVP with 25 points as the West romped over the East 153-113. Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls led the Eastern conference squad with 31 points.
ORLANDO -- It's pretty much a given that when the 61st annual NBA All-Star game is played here at the Amway Arena, Dwight Howard will be the starting center. But he may not be alone.
Three other Magic players are on the All-Star ballot: Point guard Jameer Nelson, shooting guard Jason Richardson and small forward Hedo Turkoglu. Richardson has had a phenomenal start in the early going of this contracted season following the lockout, but Howard is clearly the star attraction not only on the Magic squad, but the league as a whole.
All eyes will be on the four-time All-Star with the likely trade talk swirling gain as the NBA's best come to town with the likes of LeBron James of the Miami Heat, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The last time Orlando hosted the All-Star game was 1992, with Magic Johnson's return to the NBA after his shocking announcement that he had contracted the HIV virus. Johnson won the game's most valuable player award.
Highlights of the Feb. 9, 1992, game were shown Wednesday as the Magic and the league joined in announcing the start of balloting for the All-Star Game. Magic Johnson led the West to a 153-113 blowout over the Eastern Conference all stars.
Howard said he's pumped about the game: "It is special having it here. We've been talking about this for the last couple of years and how we were going to make this game very exciting and good for our city... We're looking forward to putting on a good show for Orlando.''