Day three of NBA All-Star Week looked like a vision of New England winter splendor, except it was North Texas. As the weather began to sink into the mindsets of out-of-towners and residents alike, the annual basketball love fest continued with no cancelled events or schedule changes. In fact, by the time Friday evening rolled around, Dallas residents seemed to be oblivious to the weather as they packed the convention center to the gills for the evening’s Jam Session of activities and the Celebrity Game.
The day began shortly after the crack of dawn for attendees to the exclusive, invite-only Tech Summit at the Ritz-Carlton. NBA TV’s Ahmad Rashad hosted the event. Other participants included:
- John C. King, Anchor & Chief National Correspondent, CNN
- Wolf Blitzer, Anchor, CNN’s The Situation Room
- Soledad O’Brien, Anchor & Special Correspondent, CNN
- Dave Alberga, Chief Executive Officer, The Active Network, Inc.
- Irving Azoff, Chief Executive Officer, Ticketmaster Entertainment
- Erik Bahr, Director of Sales, Facebook
- Charles Barkley, TNT NBA Studio Host, Turner Sports
- Chris Bosh, Forward, Toronto Raptors
- Alan S. Cohen, Vice President, Enterprise Solutions, Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Greg Creed, President & Chief Concept Officer, Taco Bell Corporation
- Mark Cuban, Chairman, Landmark Theatres, Co-Founder, HDNet Films & 2929 Entertainment
- James L. Dolan, Executive Chairman, Madison Square Garden, President & Chief Executive Officer, Cablevision Systems Corporation
- Daniel Gilbert, Majority Owner, Cleveland Cavaliers, Founder & Chairman, Quicken Loans
- Bob Johnson, Majority Owner, Charlotte Bobcats
- Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Magic Johnson Enterprises
- Staci Kramer, Co-Editor & Executive Vice President, ContentNext Media
- John Kosner, Senior Vice President & General Manager, ESPN Digital Media
- David Levy, President of Sales, Distribution & Sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
- Benjamin Ling, Senior Director, Product Management, YouTube / Google
- Jon D. Litner, President, Comcast Sports Group
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, scheduled to attend according to Los Angeles Sparks player Marie Ferdinand-Harris, was a no-show because he was in Haiti. Ferdinand-Harris, the only Haitian player in the WNBA, wanted to talk to him about the current situation in the country. She did, however, get to chat with Wolf Blitzer who she said was very interested in hearing her thoughts on the aftermath of the massive earthquake that hit Haiti last month.
Los Angeles Sparks guard Ticha Penicheiro and her former Sacramento Monarchs teammate Kara Lawson also attended the summit. Both tweeted about the confab after it was over as the organizers asked participants not to tweet or text during the event.
The Dallas Morning News blogged about it and reported that afterwards Charles Barkley responded to a question about some NBA players having access to social media tools:
“Giving these guys that stuff is like giving an insane guy a gun.”
Filmmaker Spike Lee also attended the summit.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists
Shortly before noon, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame held a press conference in Dallas to announce the list of players, coaches and teams as finalists to be considered for election to the Hall in 2010. The women’s committee finalists included:
- Cynthia Cooper – Player, competed at the University of Southern California where she won two NCAA Championships and participated in three Final Fours. As a member of the Houston Comets, she won four WNBA Championships and was named WNBA Finals MVP with each title. Cooper was named to three WNBA All-Star teams and was also selected WNBA regular season MVP twice. Cooper won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1988 and an Olympic Bronze Medal in 1992 to go along with two FIBA Women’s World Championship Gold Medals. She is the head coach of Prairie View A&M University, 45 miles northwest of Houston, Texas.
- Harley Redin – Coach, is recognized as one of the greatest coaches in basketball after leading the Wayland Baptist University’s women’s team from 1955 through 1973.