By Barry Janoff
January 21, 2015: Among the people expected to be on the red carpets and hardwood courts in New York next month in conjunction with the NBA All-Star Game and surrounding events are basketball stars, Hollywood and Broadway celebrities, musicians, politicians, media from around the world and a bevy of superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash.
That latter group comes courtesy of DC Entertainment, which for the second year has teamed with Turner Sports for a mash-up featuring the crew from TNT's Inside the NBA and some of the most iconic heroes in comic book history.
The alliance is being brought to life in The Justice League Goes Inside the NBA All Star 2015, a special-edition comic book with TNT's NBA studio team – Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal (among whose nicknames is Superman), as well as commentators Marv Albert, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and Kristen Ledlow — and DC Comics' quartet of action stars.
The release is part of Turner's multi-platform marketing effort, also including TV, print, Internet and social media, to support TNT's broadcast of All-Star Game weekend, Feb. 13-15.
Among the events, the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge (Feb. 13) and the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, featuring the Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk (Feb 14) will be held in Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The 2015 NBA All-Star Game will be played in Madison Square Garden on Feb. 15.
The comic book adventure is a follow-up to last year's The Justice League Goes Inside the NBA: All-Star Edition, which was released in conjunction with the 2014 All-Star Game in New Orleans.
The Justice League Goes Inside the NBA All Star 2015 (written by Brian Buccellato and drawn by Beni Lobel and Tony Shasteen), follows the action that sees a member of the TNT crew teaming with a superhero in an Amazing Race scenario to see which pair can get from Barclays Center to Madison Square Garden first.
The four teams, of course, encounter obstacles en route that require the services of the superheroes, including a collapsing construction crane in midtown Manhattan, a minor collision between two Staten Island ferries and cars burning on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Ultimately, the TNT crew and superhero teams converge at Madison Square Garden in time for the festivities.
This year's 16-page, limited-edition comic book will be available in comic book stores nationwide free of charge as well as in the NBA Store in New York this week, while supplies last.
It is also available in a digital format.