NBA community reacts to league's decision to move All-Star Game
Charlotte lost a lot of money over this one, that's for sure
On Thursday, the NBA announced it would move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte after repeated criticism over the controversial HB2 law passed last year. In the wake of that decision, many players, owners, and other league entities brought their perspective on the decision.
Stephen Curry was diplomatic in his approach, expressing "disappointment" over the decision due to what Charlotte lost in having the game in his hometown. Curry did say he supported Commissioner Adam Silver's decision on the matter.
Transcript via Sports Illustrated:
"Just, I know how much that would have meant to the city to be able host the greatest NBA guys and celebrate the game of basketball," Curry said on ESPN. "I know the league is in a position where they have to make a decision. And Adam Silver's made one, and we support that. But at the end of the day, I love my city. I love Charlotte. I love everything about it. I love the people there. I really wanted to see them celebrate the game. It's unfortunate they won't be able to do that."
NBA legend and Hornets owner Michael Jordan issued a statement of support over the decision, despite what the move will cost the team in peripheral revenue.
"We understand the NBA's decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season. There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so. With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star Weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019. We want to thank the City of Charlotte and the business community for their backing throughout this entire process, starting with the initial bid. We are confident that they will be just as supportive and enthusiastic for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game."
Duke University and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski was short and to the point on his feelings about the law itself in a brief conversation with USA Today Thursday.
"It's an embarrassing bill," Krzyzewski told USA TODAY Sports. "That's all I'm going to say about it."
Indiana Pacers guard Paul George was one of the few players who wasn't supportive of the move.
On the subject of potential NBA All Star Game move, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George told ESPN's Brian Windhorst, "I'm huge on keeping your word. I'm not necessarily saying it's bad for the NBA to move it. Charlotte is a growing city and the Hornets have picked that program up. It's a shame it's possible that we'd take that away from them."
Chris Paul, who hails from North Carolina and went to Wake Forest, was also disappointed in the game being moved, but ultimately said that"some things are bigger than basketball."
It's not clear whether Paul meant that there were larger forces at work politically to force the decision, or if he meant to indicate there are bigger causes that require such moves.
Kevin Durant was forthright in defending the decision, saying that discrimination (which the bill is often criticized as creating on a state level) cannot be tolerated:
I recognize this was a tough decision for the NBA but I respect the choice. Discrimination of any kind cannot be allowed— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 22, 2016
Carmelo Anthony, who in recent days has called for athletes to be more vocal about political issues, especially those involving race, talked to ESPN about the complex nature of the conversations.
New Orleans is reportedly the leader to assume hosting duties for the 2017 All-Star Weekend next February.
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