Last November, ahead of the start of the season, the NBA announced that due to COVID-19 concerns there would be no All-Star Game in 2021. Indianapolis' turn as the host city would be moved back to 2024, and plans for revised All-Star festivities would be announced at a later date.
Well those plans have arrived, and it turns out there will be an All-Star Game, after all. On Thursday, the league and the players came to an agreement on holding the All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Details have not been finalized, but there is likely to be a Slam Dunk Contest and 3-Point Shootout as well.
Unsurprisingly, that idea isn't a hit with everyone. Following the Sacramento Kings' win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, De'Aaron Fox said it was "stupid" to hold an All-Star Game given everything that's going on with the pandemic, and how it's affecting players and teams.
"If I'm gonna 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? 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 so be it, if I'm not..."
"You know you get fined? If you're supposed to be in it and you're not hurt and you decide not to play, that's a hefty fine. So hell yeah I would play in it. Hope I don't get fined for saying that."
Fox summed things up pretty well right there. The league has already postponed dozens of games this season and recently had to issue stricter COVID-19 rules and regulations in order to combat the spread of the virus. If back in November it thought it was too unsafe to hold the All-Star Game, what's changed from a health perspective? Not much, that's for sure.
But, of course, the league would lose a lot of money by not having any sort of All-Star event, so it's going to go ahead and do it anyway. Hopefully it works out and everyone stays safe, but the benefits do not seem to outweigh the risks with this one.