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All-Star weekend: Pop culture takes the court at NBA Crossover event downtown

All-Star weekend: Pop culture takes the court at NBA Crossover event downtown
NBA Crossover takes place Friday through Sunday at the Majestic Downtown events center. (Eduardo Gonzalez / Los Angeles Times)

The NBA All-Star weekend tips off Friday in downtown with events leading up to the All-Star game on Sunday. If you didn't get tickets to Sunday's game or are looking for an off-court and Instagrammable experience, then the NBA Crossover at the Majestic Downtown might be for you.

Back for a third season, the NBA Crossover — free to the public — is a highly curated showcase exhibiting the convergence of the NBA and pop culture, and dives into the art, music, fashion, technology and entertainment that surround today's game. NBA fans will experience a narrative that brings to life basketball's unique culture.

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"It's really exciting for us to be able to bring to life all that happens off the court," said Kelly Flatow, the NBA's senior vice president for global events. "The NBA and pop culture have a long history and we are really proud of what our partners are doing here to bring to life the NBA whether it's through technology, media, art, fashion, music, you'll be able to see all of that this weekend."

Fans at NBA Crossover will be able to enjoy a game lounge where they can play the latest "NBA Live" game with NBA players; get a haircut like one of their favorite players; learn to make NBA All-Star-game-themed drinks at a whiskey bar; get a picture taken with the Larry O'Brien Trophy; view NBA art installations by local artists; jump into a pit full of oversized NBA foam fingers, which fans will be able to use to create their own shares on social media via gif or video; warm up for a game on the court alongside Stephen Curry — or at least a life-sized simulation of him — on a video screen, an experience that will be recorded for the fan.

"We have an incredible, youthful fan base, and we program everything that we do to broad audience, and certainly here in Los Angeles to be able to bring to life the convergence of sports and entertainment, it's a great destination for that," Flatow said.

The key component for this year's NBA Crossover, according to Flatow, is to bring the character of L.A. to life. It's one of the reasons why the Majestic Downtown event center was chosen to house the exhibit.

The Majestic has "some character that is really unique to downtown L.A. and that was important to us to bring to life the character of Los Angeles and then incorporate local artists as well," said Flatow.

More than 30 current and former NBA and WNBA players and celebrities will be making appearances throughout the weekend, and participate in panel discussions and Q&As with fans.

There will also be an NBA pop-up store where fans can purchase official NBA All-Star merchandise.

The exhibit is free to the public. Fans need to pre-register at nbaevents.nba.com. The exhibit runs noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Sunday; and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. The Majestic Downtown is at 650 S. Spring St.

Twitter: @edmgonzalez

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