All-Star Weekend is happening? In a pandemic? The NBA was heralded last year as the gold standard for how to operate in this new world of quarantine and social distancing. I’m not gonna lie, I personally like the idea of All-Star weekend. 2020 was rough but it’s a new year and a new decade; we could all use a little more positivity and fun in our lives right now. Some of basketball’s most iconic moments have happened over All-Star Weekend.
With that being said, the players don’t like the idea so the weekend should be canceled. If the players don’t want to be there, they aren’t going to play a game worth watching and The King, Lebron James himself, has already expressed his distaste along with several other NBA players. Sacramento King’s guard, De’Aaron Fox, even was bold enough to ask about the elephant in the room: “If we have to wear masks and do all this for a regular game, what’s the point of bringing the All-Star Game back?” The NBA has been very restrictive and the players see a double standard because the safer option would be to just cancel the weekend.
The main reason players are averse to this year’s All-Star Weekend is due to the schedule. The league originally had expressed no intentions to have an All-Star Weekend so many players had already planned out how they were going to spend that time off. The past season getting stretched into the middle of October means that many of the league’s top players had a condensed off-season and were looking forward to a little rest or, because of COVID, were looking forward to getting a chance to see their families as many players are, understandably, spending more time than away normal. So just as you would be if your boss refused your time-off request, the players are pissed because they have to work and I feel that.
The schedule for All-Star Weekend is also not that impressive anyways. It’s set to take place on March 7, in Atlanta, but rather than a weekend, it’s a single night. The 3-point contest and skills challenge will act as the pregame for the All-Star game and the dunk contest will be the halftime performance. It feels like a compromise, but it’s giving me more of a money grab/contract fulfillment vibe than anything else. It’s like the NBA has to have something that weekend and this is the best way to not upset its players or fans too much. A compromise in the truest of senses. But I’ll remain hopeful. Maybe it’ll give us another iconic, poster worthy moment.