Live Like An NBA All Star: The Lowdown On All-Star Weekend In Toronto

Above: 1.Thompson Penthouse 2. Kevin Hart coaches team USA for the Celebrity Game 3. Notorious BIG photo by Chi Modu 4. The Sir Charles Burger from Jump
Above: 1.Thompson Penthouse 2. Kevin Hart coaches team USA for the Celebrity Game 3. Notorious BIG photo by Chi Modu 4. The Sir Charles Burger from Jump

Toronto is set to host NBA All-Star Weekend this coming weekend (February 12th-14th); the weekend promises to be a jammed packed with events showcasing the best from the basketball greats of the NBA – LeBron James, Kyle Lowry, Kobe Bryant and many more. The All-Star weekend will not only ensure great sighting of your favourite NBA players throughout the city but will also pack the city with their celebrity fans. There is even an All- Star Celebrity Game that will see the stars of television and film hit the court as players, coached by Kevin Hart (Team USA) and Drake (Team Canada). But if you are as big a fan of the NBA as we are, you want to know what the players do off the court as well as on the court. This is guaranteed to be a baller weekend.

Where they stay

The Thompson Hotel is the official hotel of the NBA All-Star Weekend, so expect to see many of the athletes lounging in luxury in this swank hotel. To prepare for their all-star guests the hotel has gone super-sized with extra large (up to 5XL) bathrobes and slippers. The Thompson has not only converted their 16th floor Rooftop Lounge into a private club for the players but they have gone one step further by also converting the in-house screening room into a private video game lounge for the players and visiting VIPs. Notable: the hotel is stocked with hundreds of bottles of Louis XIII by Remy Martin at $6500 a bottle. Now that’s pretty baller.

Where they eat

Apparently basketball players are just like the rest of us – they love bacon and poutine. The Thompson Diner has been asked to stock extra Canadian bacon for their St Lawrence Market sandwich and load up on the poutine supplies for this weekend. Other restaurants have gone a step further by adding new menu items just for the weekend – local restaurant Jump has added the Sir Charles burger (named after basketball great Charles Barkley) for a limited run. And you can bet Drake’s new venture, Frings, with all-star chef Susur Lee will be packed with celebs and players.

Where they play

The games might be the big focus of the weekend but what goes on off the court will be equally as impressive. True North – The NBA All-Star VIP Experience is expected to be the series of parties you must not miss. But expect to pay a hefty price to experience performances by Gwen Stefani, Usher, Snoop Dogg and possibly Drake. NBA great Shaquille O’Neal will be hosting (and DJ-ing) a party for Maxim magazine at Muzik Nightclub, while 2 Chainz and Tory Lanez will be hosting the All Star Celebrity Party on the CNE grounds.

Where they shop

Well we aren’t sure if the players will end up hitting the new Jordan store that is opening at Yonge and Dundas square (306 Yonge st) this weekend but if you want to look like an NBA great what better way than with a new pair of Jordans? Also be sure to check out the Nike’s SNKRS XPRESS – a streetcar that has been turned into a mobile Nike store. Furthering the tie between Hip Hop and the NBA, Open by Shopify is setting up a shop-able gallery with an art installation (Hangin’ Pictures On My Wall) featuring classic, and never before seen, portraits of 90s hip hop artists curated by NASKADEMINI and some great shopping via recognizable streetwear brands (952 Queen St. W).

Christian Dare

Christian Dare

Christian Dare spent much of his formative years working in the fashion industry as a Visual Manager before pursuing a Masters’ Degree in Design. He is the Principal at Christian Dare Creative, the co-founder of Stylist Box and runs a successful men’s lifestyle blog, Christian Dare Edited,focusing on menswear, interior design and craft cocktails. You can find him online at www.christiandareedited.com or follow him on Twitter @christiandare but he is more fun on Instagram christian_dare. 

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