Through the last week, plans for an All-Star Game taking place in Atlanta have developed. The game would potentially take place during the midseason break in March, on the 7th. Recently ESPN reported that an agreement would be finalized by the end of the week. LeBron James, currently second overall in the All-Star fan vote, voiced his opinion on the game last night after the Lakers win over the Nuggets.
There will be a break from the 5th to the 10th of March to split the season in half. This was mainly scheduled to allow players to recover. Resting is especially important in this shortened season with a higher concentration of games. It could also serve as a good reset for any teams with players in the leagues’ Health and Safety Protocols.
LeBron didn’t understand the thinking about interrupting this break with an All-Star Game.
“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.”LeBron James
He also called the game a “slap in the face.” For him, the break would be a time to recalibrate for the 2nd half of the season. That rest time is imperative this year. COVID-19 isn’t the only health risk out there. In a shortened season like this, injuries are going to be a major concern for many teams. For a player like LeBron, who takes great care of his body, this always a worry. Some risks come with the event, and LeBron is voicing his concerns over them.
In terms of the pandemic, a multitude of problems exist surrounding the game. Bringing players and team personnel together into Atlanta, a more “open” city in terms of rules surrounding COVID-19, could result in a minor outbreak. A minor outbreak within a group of the league’s best players could potentially be catastrophic. If many players present went into contact tracing protocols, teams across the league could find themselves without their stars.
“Obviously, you guys can see I’m not very happy about it, but it’s out of my hands and, you know, I’ll be there if I’m selected”LeBron James
These comments come in the wake of De’Aaron Fox calling the game “stupid.” Players are taking an issue with the event, but neither James nor Fox said they wouldn’t participate. Both would play, with Fox citing the hefty fine for a player that chooses not to participate in the game.
There are pros to the event; the money made off the event would help a struggling league, which is a win for the players as well, considering they share in the league’s profits. These types of comments hold weight, though, and may cause the NBA to rethink its plans. LeBron’s voice holds a titanic weight, not only throughout the NBA world but the world in general, and surely Adam Silver will consider his thoughts. The date for a potential All-Star Game is still a month away, so plans can change.