This year‘s NBA All-Star weekend was hosted by The Land aka the city of Cleveland, Ohio and 9450 Media got to check out some of the festivities.
First stop was the Toasted Life mixer at Barley House. Always good linking up with my TL fam especially during ASW, one of the co-founders has roots in Cleveland and it was great meeting some of their old running mates.
Next up was the Secret Gary Vee Wine party hosted by Coinbase. You had to know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy to get into this one but once you were in you knew you were going to have a great night. Getting to talk with folks from NBA’s social team, reconnecting with my SLAM family and even talking crypto with Baron Davis were all highlights of that event. Also sharing a few glasses of wine with the host himself, Gary Vaynerchuck. The Vaynermedia family had a welcoming presence and it was great to network with the team (shoutout Nick, Adam, and Mike).
Saturday morning, Toasted Life and Miami Tech Runs hosted an open run basketball event at Saint Ignatius High School. It was free to the public and attendees could play pick up plus network with some of the bright minds in the gym. It was great talking with DT the found of Miami Tech Runs and he helped get me up to speed on some of the latest trends in cryptocurrency.
Later that evening we ventured out to the B/R x HoH pop up where their influencer talent faced off in a few rounds of Knockout for $100k prize! It was gold to link with some of the HoH producers again, some that I’ve worked with on projects in the past. Shoutout to MMG on winning the check too, went back-to-back!
To cap off the night we ventured to The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland where the lounge bar doubled as a Saturday Night All Star Weekend watch party. The energy there was fun as we checked out the NBA talent on display whether it was Rookies vs. Sophmores, Team World vs. Team USA, and of course the main show, the NBA Dunk Contest. Congrats to the winner, New York’s own, Obi Toppin. With guests like Spike Lee, Toronto Raptors’ GM Masai Ujiri, and The Athletic’s own Shams Charania; The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland was the best place to catch NBA All Star Saturday Night if you weren’t at the arena.
Sunday morning was a mission to check out my hotel early then get a ride to Cleveland State University where Smoking Aces was hosting a sports media open run called “Battle of the Platforms”. Brands like Sports Illustrated, Complex, One37pm, SLAM, Overtime, and Uninterrupted were all represented there. It was good to connect with all the media members out there, definitely the highlight to the weekend.
After the sports media runs it was off to the NBA’s “The Power & Influence Brunch” where we met some of the movers and shakers of Cleveland today. To hear from the Mayor of Cleveland and see some of the city’s citizens get recognized for their hard work in the community was a remarkable experience. From Klutch Sports agents to former label executives at Capitol Records — it was insightful to hear their stories and network with people that are established in their careers.
I had an early flight and couldn’t stick around for the All Star game unfortunately. Almost missed my flight because my friend’s car got towed with my bag in it but we decided to persevere and luckily the flight was delayed so I was able to make it! All in all another All Star Weekend in the books and I’m proud to have been able to support my friends’ events as well as make new ones all in the name of covering the NBA. See you in Utah next year!