On Thursday, the NBA and NBPA announced that they will host the All Star game in Atlanta on March 7, and to be honest, I’m not really thrilled about it. In fact, it’s not a good look.
Granted, the rationale here is this will help the league in terms of money. Having 72 games plus All Star is great for the bottom line. Additional revenue and having it in Atlanta-home of Turner Sports and TNT – makes it feasible. OK, fine, but this doesn’t negate the fact that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic…first of all.
Secondly, in January, it seemed as if the NBA was postponing select games night after night due to infections and safety protocols. The players are already going through acts of congress to even play these games in the first place, so having an All-Star game in the midst of it all is reckless, irresponsible and greedy. The NBA will fulfill the 72 games required for broadcast revenue regardless. So, how much money do they really need?
Even the players themselves aren’t really thrilled about All Star. Sacramento’s DeAron Fox was candid in his thoughts about this blatant money grab.
“I’m going to be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid,” he shared. ” If we have to wear masks and do all of this for a regular game, what’s the point of bringing the All Star Game back? But obviously money makes the world go round so it is what it is. I’m not really worried about it. If I’m voted in so be it.”
According to the first round of voting results, Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic are the two leading vote getters in the west, so Fox shouldn’t have to worry about getting voted in. However, it doesn’t make his point any less valid. Why the extra risk when 72 games will be played and the league will be paid regardless?
Even Lebron James isn’t with this decision.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year. I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game… Five days [in March] from the fifth through the 10th, an opportunity for me to kind of recalibrate for the second half of the season. My teammates as well. Some of the guys in the league. And then they throw an All-Star Game on us like this and just breaks that all the way up. So, um, pretty much kind of a slap in the face… I’ll be there if I’m selected. But I’ll be there physically, but not mentally.”
I’m willing to bet Fox and James aren’t only ones with this sentiment. The elephant in the corner drinking wine here is that State Farm Arena is one of the few arenas in the league that allows some fans.
Again, I get it. The players get it- get all the money that you can if possible. It still doesn’t change the fact that this virus isn’t going away anytime soon. Despite the objections, the game will probably happen. Like Fox said, “It is what it is”.
But it still doesn’t make it right.