All Star Weekend Denounced by the King


Credit: Bleacher Report

Ethan Chmura, Sports

Why? That is the question that many NBA players and fans are asking when hearing rumors about All Star Weekend taking place in the midst of a pandemic. The pandemic is still raging with more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases and thousands of deaths per day. So why would the league push to have all the league’s biggest and brightest stars together and put them all at risk? If one of the All-Stars contracts the deadly virus, then everybody’s favorite players will all have to quarantine. This will cause an uproar from the already unsettled players and would be a very bad look for the NBA.
All these concerns became real once the King voiced his opinion. “Zero energy and zero interest” a quote from LeBron James (16x NBA All-Star and 4x NBA champion) when asked about playing in the All-Star Game. “I don’t even understand why we are having an All-Star Game.” LeBron was told before the season that there would be no All-Star Game this year. He and the reigning champion Lakers already had a shorter off-season than most teams, having finished off his fourth championship run in October. Only to restart the NBA season in December. This mid season break would greatly benefit the players because they, like us, all have the unwanted stress of the pandemic. They are not allowed to see their families at some points during the season and that is just one of the things that is sacrificed to have an NBA season. Now they are being forced into a money motivated All-Star weekend event where none of them even want to play. James called it “a slap in the face” to the players and claimed “I’ll be there physically, but not mentally”.
Many other players have backed the Top Dog’s statements. DeAaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings said “I think it’s stupid. If we have to wear masks and do all this for a regular game, what’s the point in bringing the ASG back?” Former player Kendrick Perkins thinks the participants of the game should receive a nice bonus. “Straight Cash!” MVP candidate Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets said he would prefer rest rather than playing in the All-Star Game, but it is an honor to represent his home country Serbia in the game. Giannis Antetokounmpo backs LeBron in his stance, saying “The Big Dawg (LeBron James) says he has zero excitement, zero energy for the ASG. I’m the same way,”. The league seems to back the King’s opinion and they all lack excitement for this event that was typically a fun, loved, and exciting time of the NBA season.
The 2021 NBA All-Star Game will take place on March 7th in Atlanta, at State Farm Arena. Players will arrive on March 6th and stay in their hotels all weekend unless they are involved in events at the arena. The Three-Point Contest and Skills Competition will happen during the warm ups of the All-Star Game. The Dunk Contest will happen during Halftime. Players are allowed four guests and must be tested for COVID-19 daily. This event has caused so much controversy throughout the basketball world. Hopefully, even though the players are not happy, the event will be an entertaining success and the players involved will have a good time.