The NBA All-Star game is scheduled to take place on March 7th in Atlanta. According to ESPN, during the All-Star break, players will be allowed to travel in the United States, including Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Despite, the fact the league is taking many measures to try and make carrying out the All-Star game safe, is it the most sensible thing to do in a global pandemic? Probably not.
It is meant to be an event for the fans, although there may be fans to an extent as Atlanta’s restrictions are more relaxed, there won’t be anywhere near enough fans to create the usual atmosphere.
What do players think about having an All-Star game?
Players have also expressed being against having the games. Most significantly, LeBron James.
James said: “I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star game this year.
“I don’t even understand why we are having an All-Star game.”
He also touched on the lack of rest certain teams that went far in the playoffs had.
“We were told that we would not have an All-Star game so we have a nice little break.
James added: “An opportunity for me to recalibrate for the second half of the season, my teammates as well, some of the guys in the league. Then they throw an All-Star game on us like this.”
"Obviously, you guys can see that I'm not very happy about it."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 5, 2021
LeBron spoke out about the NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/fQ76OmB5Qt
James isn’t alone in his view. Sacramento King’s point guard De’Aaron Fox also raised his objections to the game and called having the game “stupid”.
Following Wednesday's Kings win over the Celtics, De'Aaron Fox discussing why playing the All-Star game during the COVID-19 pandemic is "stupid" in his brutally honest opinion.— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) February 4, 2021
FULL VIDEO: https://t.co/gLnS8Xo8Mq pic.twitter.com/vhhpFz6ln7
The reigning back to back regular season MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo also took the side of James. He said: “I’m the same way I got zero energy, zero excitement,” and also expressed how he wanted to see his family.
“I think every player was looking forward to those five days, seven days, whatever the days are.”
"We gotta all follow the big dog [LeBron], man. The big dog says he has zero excitement, zero energy for the All-Star Game, I’m the same way. … I want to see my family."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 6, 2021
Giannis shared his thoughts on the All-Star Game. pic.twitter.com/8Gk0QvC4XP
With so many big players in the league against it, its surprising why its going on. It seems the players don’t want it, and there won’t be many fans if any. So who is the games really for?
Leonard called it a “money over health” decision from the league and its hard to disagree with him. The schedule is very compact as it is and tough on NBA payers, so a rest is more than deserved.
When you combine that with the risks that come with holding the event during the pandemic, it just doesn’t make sense to go ahead with it.