NEW YORK (AP) — David Stern joked Friday that the NBA All-Star game will have the largest crowd "in the history of the world."
Actually, it most likely won't even be the biggest in Cowboys Stadium.
That's OK with the commissioner, because he only wants to set the basketball record for attendance, not the stadium's. The All-Star game should do that with ease.
The league expects more than 90,000 fans next Sunday. The record for a basketball game is 78,129, set for a college game between Kentucky and Michigan State at Detroit's Ford Field on Dec. 13, 2003.
Stern said because of the collaboration between Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, "The result is now we're going to wind up having the largest crowd attend a game in the history of the world."
Both Jones and Cuban have said they hoped the NBA would try to surpass 100,000 fans. The building record is 105,121, set during the New York Giants' 33-31 victory over the Cowboys in the home opener.
"If we wanted to, we could easily beat that," Cuban said recently.
Stern said the league won't make that a priority during the reconfiguration of the venue.
"We made certain decisions based upon what would be best for the comfort of our fans to make it almost impossible to break a record — the record for attendance in that building," Stern said during a phone interview with The Associated Press. "But the record we're going to be proud of is the largest number of fans ever to attend a basketball game. In history."
Only the game will be held at the first-year stadium in Arlington, Texas. The rookie challenge and the All-Star events on Saturday night will take place at the Mavericks' American Airlines Center.