NEW YORK – NBA fans will have the opportunity to welcome the next generation of stars as tickets for the 2011 NBA Draft, which will be held at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on June 23, will go on sale today. Tickets start at $15 and will be available at ticketmaster.com or the Prudential Center Box Office.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who last had the first selection in the 2003 NBA Draft, will select first and fourth in this year’s Draft, the first team in the lottery era (1985-present) to have two picks in the top four. Minnesota will select second, the highest draft selection position in franchise history. The Timberwolves had the third pick in 2008 (O.J. Mayo) and 1992 (Christian Laettner). The Utah Jazz will pick third, the team’s highest draft position since taking Deron Williams with the third pick in 2005.
This marks the second time the NBA Draft is being held in New Jersey. The first was the 1996 Draft, which saw the Philadelphia 76ers select Georgetown’s Allen Iverson with the number one pick. Future All-Stars Ray Allen (fifth), Kobe Bryant (13th), Peja Stojakovic (14th), Steve Nash (15th), Jermaine O’Neal (17th), and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (20th) were also selected in the 1996 Draft.
The NBA Draft became a public event in 1979, and was held in various venues in New York City through 1991. It was held in Portland in 1992, followed by Detroit (1993), Indianapolis (1994), Toronto (1995), East Rutherford, N.J. (1996), Charlotte (1997), Vancouver (1998), Washington D.C. (1999), and Minneapolis (2000).
Prudential Center, which opened Oct. 25, 2007, is located in downtown Newark and is the temporary home of New Jersey Nets and the New York Liberty. It also is the home arena of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Seton Hall University’s Men’s Basketball.