The NBA, just one month into the 2020-21 season, is having second thoughts about cancelling its annual All-Star Game, according to a Monday report from ESPN.
Festivities planned for Indianapolis in February had been nixed because of COVID-19 concerns. But a proposed midseason event could now take place elsewhere on March 7.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are reportedly discussing what a 2021 All-Star Game might look like. Atlanta is considered a top option to host on short notice, per the report; the NBA’s stated basis for letting the game happen could be to “allow for a game to financially benefit historically Black colleges and universities and COVID-19 relief.”
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The Celtics and Wizards are among the teams that have been ravaged by COVID-19 cases this season, leading to game postponements and health concerns for players. Bringing together athletes from around the league for an All-Star Game carries risk of unnecessary outbreak.
While the NBA might cite social reasons for moving forward with the All-Star Game, there are also strong financial benefits to push through coronavirus concerns. All-Star weekend is considered one of the NBA’s most valuable TV assets.