Who in the players’ union agreed to this? And did they talk to other members of the union first?
Those were my first two questions about the NBA’s decision to hold an All-Star Game.
The next one went like this — who in the NBA thought an All-Star Game was a good idea? This year? Come on.
But an All-Star Game is precisely what the NBA intends to hold, March 7 in Atlanta, according to multiple reports. An official announcement is expected soon.
Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox was right on the money when he called the idea “stupid.”
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was equally correct when he called it “a slap in the face.”
Both James and Fox said they would indeed play in the game, mostly because that’s what the league and fans would want. Fox also brought up the valid point that if you don’t play, you get fined. James added he would be there physically, but not mentally.
Again, if LeBron doesn’t want to go … well, that says a lot. He is the face of the league and senior spokesman.
But mostly, it just doesn’t make sense. On top of the game, the league will reportedly hold a skills competition. Why?
Look, everyone wants an All-Star Game. But that doesn’t make it a good idea.
The NBA has had to postpone more than 20 games already as a result of positive COVID-19 tests, or players who have been exposed to the virus. You can’t even get in the regular season and you want to put together something that doesn’t even count?
Makes zero sense.
“If we have to wear a mask and do all of this for a regular game, then what’s the point of bringing the All-Star Game back?” Fox asked. “Obviously, money makes the world go round, so it is what it is.”
Ah, yes. There it is. Money. That’s what this is all about — and like Fox said, the NBA needs money to survive, and lots of it.
I don’t know the league’s financials, but with most arenas entirely empty, money is likely a problem. No less than commissioner Adam Silver recently said at least 40 percent of the league’s revenue comes from “gate receipts.” That means people in the door.
Most of the rest comes from television, and if the NBA holds an All-Star game, it will indeed be televised by TNT. Turner Sports is in Atlanta, which is why the game would be held there and not Indianapolis, as originally scheduled.
The NBA postponed the event in Indianapolis (to 2024) and it should outright cancel this one. If you want All-Stars, fine. Hold the vote. That’s a good idea.
But holding an extra game in a season like this is not. It’s a terrible idea.