NBA All-Star Game 2021 to be held in Atlanta?
As we work towards the middle of the 2021 NBA season, we inch closer and closer to when everything went wrong and Covid-19 shut down the world. Last year the NBA All-Star game was held on February 16 in Chicago, with Team Giannis losing 155-157 to Team Lebron. All-Star weekend was exactly what it normally was, and fans could attend all of the events with absolutely no restrictions.
Kawhi Leonard walked away with All-Star MVP; Bam Adebayo won the skills challenge, Buddy Hield won the three-point contest, and Derrick Jones Jr. won the slam dunk contest. At this point of the NBA season, everything was still normal, and the coronavirus’s rumblings began to start.
A little bit more than a year later, NBA fans remember some of their final moments from attending events such as All-Star weekend and regular-season games as we are under a month away from when the 2020 season was postponed. Leading into the season, it was unclear whether the NBA would hold the events on All-Star weekend due to Covid-19, and recently the NBA and NBA Players Association agreed on having All-Star Weekend. NBA All-Star weekend will be held the first weekend of March, with the All-Star game being played Sunday, March 7, in Atlanta.
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All-Star Game Backlash from The King
According to NBA players, the NBA All-Star game was not supposed to be held this year as playoff teams were given an extremely short turnaround to this new season and time off is hard to come by. Lebron James has been and still is the best player in the NBA. James, a 16-time All-Star, had a lot to say when hearing about the NBA’s plans on holding the game on March 7.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” said James. For James to say this, it means he and other NBA players are beginning to feel extremely fatigued from the lack of an offseason and time off since the NBA bubble.
“I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game, and then coming into this season, we were told that we were not having an All-Star Game, so we’d have a nice little break.” James eluded to the NBA originally not planning an All-Star game and added, “It’s pretty much kind of a slap in the face, and we are also still dealing with a pandemic.”
Big Name Opt-Outs?
Now it is currently unclear if NBA players opted out of the All-Star game if voted in because voting has recently opened up; I wouldn’t be surprised if players do not play in the normally popular game. For players like Lebron James, who have been in the game plenty of times before, winning All-Star game MVP’s they need to take this time to get healthy and regain energy for the season’s final push before the playoffs. The pandemic makes things very difficult to figure out right now and could potentially affect the second half of the NBA season.
The NBA has already had a difficult time controlling the pandemic and bringing players from all over the United States and from different locker rooms, all to one arena could cause problems. Overall, All-Star weekend is one of the most looked forward upon moments in the entire NBA season, and hopefully, the NBA and players can put it on. Players like James, however, bring up key points on if it is worth it. No matter what, not having an arena filled with fans and celebrities will be missed as well.
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