The NBA All-Stars come to Houston February 15-17 — several days jam-packed with events where fans of all ages can mix and mingle with basketball legends, rising stars and 25of the NBA’s best current players, including Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers), LeBron James (Miami), Kevin Garnett (Boston) and Dwight Howard (L.A. Lakers).
While you can still purchase tickets to an official NBA All-Star event, perhaps you’re interested in making a closer acquaintance. Private parties and events are happening all over the city, and it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Here’s where we think you’ll likely bump into an NBA All-Star:
Hotel Icon, located in the heart of downtown and recently acquired by a group partly owned by basketball legend Magic Johnson, is definitely going to be an NBA hot spot. Stop by the gorgeous, glowing bar for a late-night cocktail, or get a reservation at Line & Lariat restaurant, where the open design makes it the perfect setting to see any NBA players pass by. There are also fantastic suites and decadent private rooms upstairs, perfect for anyone throwing a private party. A few blocks away, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Hotel Houston has been known to entertain many a visiting NBA player. Visit the Lobby Lounge downstairs for an after-dinner drink or nightcap, or make plans for dinner at Four-Star Quattro for a chance NBA star sighting.
Farther out in Midtown, Hotel Zaza offers some of the most sumptuous rooms and suites in the city. If the velvet, mirrors and plush décor of the rooms doesn’t attract NBA players, then the bar and restaurant, Monarch, surely will. And out near the Galleria, Hotel Derek is transforming its lobby and public areas with NBA All-Stars logos and window treatments featuring life-sized images of NBA All-Stars — a sure sign it’ll be playing host to a number of these athletes.
It’s well known that Katsuya by Starck, the otherworldly, uber-hip California import with fantastical wall-sized backlit murals, is one of Houston Texan star Andre Johnson’s favorite spot. A place to see and be seen, it seems like a safe bet for NBA player sightings; in fact, word has it that several players have already booked either private parties or tables. Not far away in the same West Ave. complex, Eddie V’s, one of the hottest steakhouses in town at the moment, might attract some NBA heavyweights too.
If the shiny cars in front of Del Frisco’s and Vic and Anthony’s are any indication, these two steakhouses are also strong contenders for NBA action, along with Highland Village’s gorgeous, Swarovski-chandeliered bar at Up, and the always-happening scene across the street at RA Sushi.
Other likely dining destinations include The Pass & Provisions, which recently played host to Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps; Philippe Restaurant, a known celebrity hot spot with beautiful private dining rooms and a sexy wine lounge; Triniti, for its opulent surroundings and luxurious menu; and The Foundation Room at the House of Blues, with its Asian-inspired decor, and exclusive VIP access via elevator.
Photos Courtesy of Katsuya, RA Sushi, Triniti Bar, Eddie Vs, Hotel Icon and DeFrisco’s