Orlando Mayor: NBA Has ‘Moral Obligation’ to Grant City Another All-Star Game

Orlando is the unlucky city that’s supposed to host the 2012 NBA All-Star game in this now marred season (assuming it’s not cancelled altogether), and the town’s mayor (with the backing of one angry columnist) claims that the League should feel bad enough to give them another shot at hosting the event, during happier times. From the Sentinel: “This is not the time and Orlando is not the place to hold a massive celebration of all things NBA. That’s why David Stern and NBA ownership needs to assure our city amid this cumbersome, contentious NBA labor dispute that we will get another All-Star Game at a more appropriate time. Even if the dispute is settled sometime soon, Orlando should not be stuck with an All-Star Game during what would be a dreary, lockout-shortened NBA season. ‘I would think they [the NBA] would have a moral obligation to give us a second All-Star game since we wouldn’t be getting the All-Star game in the fashion that it was promoted to us,’ Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer acknowledged. Let’s face it, no other city in the league will be more impacted by this year’s lockout than Orlando, which quite possibly could see its long-awaited All-Star Game and its most-beloved sports star — Dwight Howard — disappear in one foul feud over basketball-related income. The city and county invested $500 million for a new state-of-the-art arena because, in part, we were led to believe that Howard was staying in town and the All-Star Game festivities were coming to town. Now here we are and Dwight is talking about the allure of playing in a bigger market and our All-Star Game is already the biggest dud this city has seen since Doug Guetzloe. It’s time for Stern to announce he will make amends with the business leaders and hotel owners in Orlando. Quite frankly, they have been sold something that the NBA isn’t going to be able to deliver this season. Like an electronic Christmas toy that doesn’t work, Orlando should be able to exchange this year’s All-Star Weekend for one that actually functions properly.”