The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are progressing toward an agreement to an All-Star Game on March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, a single-night occasion that encircles a game between the Eastern and Western Conferences and skills competitions, sources told ESPN.
Even though a formal arrangement has yet to be finalized, the NBA and NBPA have been working through the details of a scaled-down occasion that centers around transporting gamers in and outside of Atlanta at a significantly shorter window of time than what is required on a typical All-Star weekend, sources said.
The NBA and union are increasingly confident that a lot of the league’s top players are willing to take part during a tight midseason break in this pandemic schedule, sources said. Outside of the conference and NBA Finals, the All-Star Game is traditionally on very top of fan engagement for the league — yet another motivating factor to salvage the event this season.
The raw fiscal impact of playing with the game is immediately unclear. Since the league decreased the regular season by 10 games and doesn’t have a different All-Star Game television deal, the team also could have generated more revenue by filling the weekend with more regular-season games. The NBA and NBPA share roughly a 50-50 split into basketball-related income.
The NBA has made the All-Star event mandatory for players previously, but opt-out clauses have been included in a lot of the pandemic, such as the Orlando restart along with the 2020-2021 regular season. That’s thought to be part of the discussions around the All-Star Game too, sources said.
The league is chasing a truncated 72-game regular-season program, which comprises a second-half schedule that has yet to be declared. NBPA president Chris Paul has been an advocate of the Atlanta All-Star Game thought, such as a plan to utilize the sport to benefit historically black colleges and universities and COVID-19 relief,” sources said. Nevertheless, this is a concept that’s been met with opposition and doubt among both players and team executives. In spite of protocol protects around the game, many view it as an unnecessary risk for the team , players and support personnel. The traveling and safety protocols are predicted to be like a regular-season NBA game — flying in the night before on a private plane and flying outside after the game.
Atlanta is the home of Turner Sports, which may televise the game without having to send its crew outside of the city. Even a match without lovers — or with sparse, socially distanced attendance — could still require significant travel for players, support team and staff officials in the teeth of the pandemic. The typical hosting of corporate patrons, a significant financial component of normal All-Star weekends, would not be possible amid the outbreak.
The NBA had initially postponed a February All-Star Weekend set for Indianapolis. Indiana has been rewarded with the 2024 All-Star Game.