Over the years the NBA Jam Session has become one of the fans’ favorite All-Star Weekend traditions, with its countless challenges, stands and interactive exhibits serving as an entertaining prelude to the big show itself. Earlier today we were fortunate enough to be invited to take a sneak peek at the Los Angeles Convention Center as they prepared the space for the Jam Session festivities that will open their doors to the public this Friday. Naturally, we accepted, grabbed our cameras and hustled over to see what was happening in the shadow of the Staples Center.
The first thing that struck me on entering was the immensity of the space. There were perhaps a half-dozen full courts dotted about the convention center floor, but these barely began to fill the gargantuan show area. Likewise, the three-story-tall banners bearing the likenesses of the 2011 All-Stars were all but lost amidst the lofty girders that delineated the various displays. It was, in a word, big.
As I waded through plastic protective sheeting liberally sprinkled with sawdust to enter the main space of the Convention Center, I found myself drawn to a series of basketball goals arranged in ascending height like a row of Russian dolls. These, we were told, would give fans a chance to test themselves against the NBA’s high-flyers by attempting to throw it down on increasingly larger hoops, from a stumpy seven-foot stanchion to the full-sized ten-footers used in the league. Beyond this challenge I stumbled across a photo retrospective of the All-Star Game which featured some rare shots of the greats taking part in the NBA’s midseason showcase. There was also, to the delight of myself and the other press members assembled for the tour, a display case containing game-worn jerseys from as far back as the 1967 ASG.
Since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll shut my yap now and instead invite you to take a look at some of the exclusive shots we took home from the Jam Session hard hat tour. Also keep your eyes peeled for a video recap of the tour from our big brothers over at CraveOnline. Click here for the gallery of high-res shots.