The NBA, barely a month after the start of the 2020-21 season, has doubts about the cancellation of its annual All-Star Game, according to a report released on Monday by ESPN.
The festivities scheduled for Indianapolis in February had been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. But a proposed mid-season 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 could look like. Atlanta is seen as the best option to host on short notice, report says; the NBA’s stated basis for letting gambling happen could be to “allow a game to historically benefit black colleges and universities and help with COVID-19.”
The Celtics and Wizards are among the teams that have been ravaged by cases of COVID-19 this season, which has resulted in game postponements and health issues for players. Bringing together athletes from across the league for an All-Star game carries the risk of an unnecessary epidemic.
While the NBA may cite social reasons for moving forward with the All-Star Game, there are also strong financial rewards for dealing with coronavirus concerns. The All-Star Weekend is considered one of the NBA’s most valuable television assets.