NBA Crossover Celebrates Basketball in Montreal

The NBA Crossover Event Has Montreal Fans Wanting More

  • The NBA Crossover event was just one of many recent displays of basketball fever here in Montreal, providing a space for the fusion of art and culture with the love of basketball. Graphic Aiden Locke

The NBA Crossover event came to Montreal to celebrate the connection between art, music and sneakers in the NBA the weekend of Oct. 6.

The event is an attempt to connect the city’s basketball fans with an up close and personal showcase. There were plenty of activities to participate in, including a video game lounge for NBA 2K lovers and a mini arcade which featured classic basketball games like NBA Jam.

For fans of sneakers there were limited edition shoes on display. The Like Mike collection, for example, is a collaboration between the Michael Jordan brand and Gatorade.

The event showcased many of the iconic Jordan Brand shoes such as the Jordan 11 and the Jordan 1.

“It’s a mixture, it’s the music and the culture,” said ex-Toronto Raptors shooting guard Morris Peterson. “You get to see some really cool shoes and some jerseys of Steve Nash up [and on display],”

One star from each NBA team hung in one room as people got the opportunity to test virtual reality gear which offered participants the opportunity to experience being at an NBA basketball game. The NBA Crossover event had something for every basketball fan to appreciate.

There were special question and answer sessions with hall of famer Gary Payton, and Morris Peterson, who spent seven years with the Toronto Raptors. Peterson couldn’t help but to gush over the excitement Montreal fans have for basketball.

“I think it’s a great event. The NBA culture and basketball culture is really big in Montreal,” said Peterson. With the smiling faces and excitement from fans in Montreal that came to this event, the eagerness for basketball in Montreal was on full display.

The Q&A session with Morris Peterson gave him the opportunity to relive some of his favourite moments as a member of the Michigan State Spartans and Toronto Raptors.

The excitement from the event reminded fans that Montreal doesn’t have an NBA franchise. With the closest team being in Toronto, the big question was whether Montreal would be able to support an NBA team.

“I wish that the NBA had basketball team here in Montreal,” said Peterson. “They really love basketball and they follow the players and follow the guys and support them as well.”

There are rumors of The Montreal Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce getting involved in the process of bringing an NBA franchise to Montreal. However there are many opposing factors. There are a handful of other major cities patiently waiting their turn for a franchise, including Seattle and Las Vegas.

Peterson is adamant on the subject and thinks an NBA team in Montreal may be closer to reality than some might think.

“I think they’re ready,” he said. “Hopefully in the next couple years they could talk about it more and make it happen because basketball culture here is big.”

Montreal is known as a hockey town because of its rich history in the sport. Events like the NBA crossover support the notion that Montreal can be home to more.

“They kind of surprised me because you hear that Canadian cities being more of a hockey town and the basketball culture is huge here,” said Peterson.

There were many different types of displays and murals of great moments in Canadian basketball history such as pictures of Mike Bibby’s time with the Vancouver Grizzlies (now relocated and known as the Memphis Grizzlies).

Numerous photos of Vince Carter as a member of the Toronto Raptors could be seen at the event, walking participants down memory lane of the rich basketball history Canada has.

Mark Starkey who lead the Q&A session with Morris Peterson noted the excitement Montreal fans have.

“To see people so excited to interact with athletes and also experience the space [is great],”said Starkey. “We have the official Larry O’Brien Trophy [the NBA Championship Trophy] here and that kind of stuff isn’t in Montreal every day.”

The NBA Crossover event was must see for basketball fans in Montreal. It’s events like these that show Montreal’s excitement of one day having a franchise of its own.

By commenting on this page you agree to the terms of our Comments Policy.