Pictured above: Shaquille O’Neal and Harold Johnson – O’Neal’s picture courtesy of FOX 46 Charlotte
CHARLOTTE (WSIC) – Some 150,000 people are expected in Charlotte for the NBA All-Star game this weekend.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the queen city hosted in 1991. FOX 46’s David Sentendrey caught-up with Shaquille O’Neal who’s impressed with the growth.
“I don’t remember none of this (expletive),” says O’Neal.
“Where did that building come from? It’s beautiful. You’ve got all of the top restaurants”
WSIC’s Harold Johnson was in the middle of his Charlotte sportscasting career when the QC first played host.
“It was great when it came to Charlotte, I mean, that was a big deal. Charlotte even getting a team in the NBA, that was fantastic. And now, that old coliseum where they played it’s torn down, it’s gone. There will be a lot of excitement, good for Charlotte. And maybe the area outside of Charlotte, Iredell County, we’ll get some benefits from it too.”
While Shaq may be impressed with the city’s restaurants and image now, 1991 was a different time.
“Charlotte was still a very young team as far as being in the league is concerned. The fact they even got the game was a lot of hard work and they did get it. So, that’s what you remember. You got the game boys.”
The game itself is Sunday night. Before that there’s practice and media day, plus numerous parties to celebrate all-star weekend in the queen city.
WSIC news partner FOX 46 Charlotte contributed to this report.