The NBA will maintain the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7 regardless of quite a lot of high gamers expressing issues about staging an exhibition sport amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it stated on Thursday.
The NBA will organize non-public journey for All-Star Game members and, along with the National Basketball Players Association, will commit over $2.5 million towards Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and COVID-19 reduction efforts.
“NBA All-Star in Atlanta will continue our annual tradition of celebrating the game and the greatest players in the world before a global audience,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated in a information launch.
“In addition to the festivities on the court, the All-Star Game will honor the vital role HBCUs play in our communities and focus attention and resources on COVID-19 relief, particularly for the most vulnerable,” he added.
LeBron James, the league’s most high-profile participant, has been amongst those that voiced displeasure about staging an All-Star Game amid a pandemic and through an already compressed regular-season schedule.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” four-times NBA champion James stated two weeks in the past when talks surrounding a possible exhibition had been ongoing. “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.”
Among the well being and security protocols that can be in place for the All-Star festivities is the creation of a “mini bubble” atmosphere inside a single lodge for gamers and coaches, and enhanced COVID-19 testing.
All collaborating gamers can be required to stay on the designated lodge apart from All-Star actions whereas there can be no fan actions or ticketed occasions.
Rather than schedule a number of occasions over the course of a weekend, the NBA stated it can maintain the All-Star Game, three-point contest, abilities competitors and slam dunk contest on the identical day.