Brett Martel of the Associated Press has broken a big story, that the New Orleans Hornets are going to play host to the 2014 NBA All-Star game, and the cool thing about the story is how the shifting Mardi Gras schedule for the next several years impacted the decision.
Commissioner David Stern was in New Orleans today to announce the news, which comes just three days after the NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the floundering franchise to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson.
Stern had already pledged that New Orleans would get an All-Star game once a new owner and lease extension were in place.
The 2013 game will be played in Houston, and Mardi Gras falls on March 4 in 2014, well after the usual mid-February date for NBA All-Star weekend.
Mardi Gras falls in mid-February in 2015 and 2016, so if the NBA had given the 2014 event to a different city, it would not make sense to hold the game in New Orleans again until 2017. By then, Benson would be 89 years old.
For more from the AP story, click here (link is to Yahoo, which is kind enough to give Mr. Martel a byline, unlike another behemoth sports distributor.