A pandemic won’t stop the NBA from hosting an All-Star Game in 2021. The league and the Players Association reportedly agreed to host the game, which will take place March 7 in Atlanta, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The details of that plan are still being worked out, but could be finalized Thursday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 4, 2021
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the NBA and NBPA were getting close to a deal to host the All-Star Game amid the pandemic. Attendance at the game has been mandatory in the past, but the league is working on an opt-out clause for players who don’t want to participate in the All-Star Game this year.
Wojnarowski also reported Tuesday the NBA and NBPA were discussing a skills competition. It’s unclear if that’s still part of the plan, as it’s not mentioned in Charania’s tweet.
Will players take part in the 2021 All-Star Game?
With the league and Players Association reportedly agreeing on a deal, it will be up to the players to decide whether they want to take part in the event. While some players may not have an issue making the trip to Atlanta in March, others, like Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, don’t see the point in holding an All-Star Game during a pandemic.
De'Aaron Fox on the possibility of an All-Star Game this season: "I’m going to be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid. If we have to wear masks and do all this for a regular game, what’s the point of bringing the All-Star Game back?"
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) February 4, 2021
Despite COVID-19, the NBA was able to hold an All-Star Game in 2020. The event took place Feb. 16 in Chicago. Less than a month later, the league suspended play after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.
The NBA relaunched in the Orlando bubble in July. While in the bubble, no players tested positive for coronavirus.
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