Archives For NBA All-Star Weekend

January and February were a bit of a blur for me. I started off the year with a live broadcast in Times Square for the ball drop. From there, it was off to Jamaica, Florida and Los Angeles to cover my third consecutive GRAMMY Awards.

The following weekend – we’re at Valentine’s Day now – I found myself back in New York City for NBA All-Star Weekend. Festivities were split between the Barclays Center (All-Star Saturday including the Slam Dunk Contest and 3-Point Shootout) and Madison Square Garden (Sunday’s All-Star Game). But of course, this is the Big Apple, so parties and events were taking pace throughout the five boroughs.

Our All-Star Saturday started in Times Square, where I covered a charity event that Dwyane Wade was holding in conjunction with the Sandals Foundation – the charity arm of the famed Sandals Resorts. After a quick trip back to my apartment uptown for a workout, shower and dinner – I hopped on the train and made the trek down to Brooklyn. Spike Lee was holding an event at an art gallery not far from Barclays Center, and I was invited to cover its red carpet.
Misty
From a content perspective, the soiree was a brick. But from a cultural and educational scope, it was a slam dunk. I met many personalities, including Spike (who I had just interviewed at The GRAMMYs and actually recognized me; surreal moment) along with some of the stars of his film “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.”

I also took a different approach to this red carpet: I decided that I would agree to interview anyone that the publicist asked me to speak with. I normally don’t do this but I decided that while I might not recognize the name of every person there, because it was a Spike event the people would all be at least interesting. And they were, tenfold.

Fast forward to last week – I sign on Twitter and see that Misty Copeland is trending. The ballerina became was named the American Ballet Theater’s principal dancer: the first female African American to hold this title in the organization’s 75 year history. The name sounded so familiar to me.

Because thankfully, I agreed to interview her at Spike’s event. She couldn’t have more graceful in speaking with me; some random radio DJ that has never even been to a ballet. I was able to connect the dots by a quick Google search. As soon as I saw that “Misty Copeland Under Armour” was a suggested term, I knew I had my woman, as I was able to recall us chatting about her cheering on fellow UA Athlete Steph Curry during All-Star Saturday.

Congrats “#PrincipalMisty,” and check out the audio below.

Even before landing on late night television, The Roots were one of the busiest bands in showbiz. Formed by emcee Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in 1987, the Philadelphia-based crew toured the globe extensively before landing at 30 Rock alongside Jimmy Fallon in March of 2009.

But regardless how road-tested you are, few could move through the schedule that the band held over the past three weeks and not feel at least a little worse for wear. First, The Roots traveled to Phoenix for “The Tonight Show” post-Super Bowl. Then they flew farther west for Fallon’s “LA Week” of shows.

“I’m tired,” Questlove said, pretty matter-of-factly, when I caught up with him the Thursday before The GRAMMYs at a party he was DJ-ing at in Hollywood. “I love the great weather but I can’t wait to get back to New York, to my regular New York routine.”

Still, it was far from all gloom for Thompson.

“(The west coast has) been great. People have been receiving us well,” he continued. “(We’ve had) some of the highest ratings we’ve had and the biggest trending topics we’ve ever done…it’s been awesome. I can’t wait for next year.”


The Roots’ resurrected its pre-GRAMMYs jam with a weeklong jam session, and Questlove backed Ed Sheeran’s John Mayer-assisted performance of “Thinking Out Loud” at Sunday night’s award show. Then the band returned to New York for a week of shows and events leading up to last weekend’s NBA All-Star Game, which was held at Madison Square Garden.

“We’re holding up as well as can be expected,” Trotter told me on Saturday, before The Roots played GQ’s All-Star Party. The emcee was in attendance at an event for a new partnership between Dwyane Wade’s “Wade’s World” and the Sandals Foundation called, “Game Changer.” “It was rough, the two weeks we were out on the west coast, just because we didn’t sleep much.”

However echoing Quest’s sentiments, Tariq felt a sense of accomplishment leaving Los Angeles, successfully completing the run on “The Tonight Show” in LA while bringing the band’s GRAMMY tradition back to life.

“It was definitely a homecoming for ‘The Tonight Show,’” said Trotter. “It was a homecoming for me. I lived in LA for quite a few years and I just love it out there. The only thing that could make it better would be the decision to pick the show up and move back to the west coast, especially during a time like now when the weather is so depressing here on the east coast.”

And that’s coming from someone who is not only well-traveled, but from Philadelphia.

It was a busy Saturday in New York before the NBA All-Star Game. We caught up with Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Jill Martin and others at the Wade Bowling Classic. The event at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square benefited “Game Changer,” a new partnership between Wade’s World and the Sandals Foundation.

After Saturday’s festivities at Barclays Center, it was off to the Bric Arts Center in Brooklyn where Spike Lee held his “Spreadin’ Love is Da Brooklyn Way” All-Star Weekend Sneaker Jam.