Toronto hyped for All-Star Weekend


With the NBA All-star festivities being held in Toronto, the country will experience basketball like never before.

From jaw dropping dunks in the Slam Dunk Contest to long range shots in the Three-Point Shootout and everything in-between, All-star weekend is more than a break from the NBA regular season, it’s a celebration of basketball.

Orlando Lando is a Sheridan Accounting student avid baller and long-time Raptors fan. He has been following the Raptors since Chris Bosh was drafted.

“The all-star game being here means something. Toronto is finally on the map,” said Lando.

Over the last few years the resurgence of the Toronto Raptors has created a buzz like never before. They made the playoffs the last two years while taking the city by storm with the We The North campaign.

Thanks to the team’s rise in popularity, a rebrand, and Drake, Canada will host an NBA All-star weekend for the first time. Celebrities and people all over the world will be flocking to the Air Canada Centre on Feb 12.

With tickets going for around $1,000, average Joes will have to enjoy the game outside the arena.

“My friend is trying to get us tickets, but if not I want to go to Jurassic Park(Also known as Maple Leaf Square, west of the Air Canada Centre),” said Lando.

It doesn’t matter whether you are at the game, at a bar, or at home, All-star weekend should be a great once in a lifetime experience for all basketball lovers in Canada. With 29 other American teams in the NBA there is no guarantee Toronto will be selected to host again in the near future.

The Raptors are also likely to be represented by a couple players at the game. Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are both having great seasons respectively.

DeRozan is averaging 20.9 points and 4.5 rebounds while Lowry is averaging 20.1 points and 6.5 assists.  Both are former All-stars and could be selected to the game again this year.

Toronto native Andrew Wiggins is likely to be in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Basketball has never been this big in Canada which is why this is the perfect year for all-star weekend to be held here. For a long time Steve Nash was the only player Canadians could look up to and he was born in South Africa.

Today we have many more players to look up to such as Andrew Wiggins, The Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson and Raptors’ Corey Joseph.There are currently 12 Canadian born players in the NBA according to

Over the past three years two Canadian players have been selected number one in the NBA draft. Prior to that there were none.

Computer Programming student Matt Luu has recently become a fan since the We The North campaign. He believes the Raptors have contributed to the progression of basketball in Canada.

“They are encouraging a lot of young people to play. Seeing them motivates people to get outside,” said Luu.

Earlier this year the Canadian men’s national team claimed bronze at the FIBA Americas tournament, beating Mexico 87-86. This was the highest finish in team history.

First-year General Arts and Science student Turab Syed is a former Clarkson Secondary high-school basketball player who has been encouraged by the Raptors.

“Seeing this level of play in Canada shows anything is possible. It inspires a lot of young teenagers to follow their dreams and know that it’s possible to play in the NBA,” said Syed.