If you’re an avid fan of the NBA like me then you know that All-Star Weekend is the best weekend of the entire NBA season. It’s the weekend that everyone works hard for during the first half of the season because every player dreams of playing in the All-Star game that concludes the festivity-filled weekend and becoming an All-Star. It brings together all of the media, fans, and best players in the league. It’s an absolute joy just to sit and watch, let alone be able to attend.
Last season, the league was able to hold the traditional All-Star Weekend because it was held February 14-16, a month before the pandemic had everyone and everything stuck in quarantine. That Friday, the Celebrity All-Star game was held, followed by the Team USA vs. Team World Rookies game. On Saturday, the Dunk Contest, 3-Point Contest, and Skills Challenge were held, which was then followed by the main event, the All-Star game, on Sunday.
This season, however, things are looking quite different. With the pandemic still going on, and health-risks still at play, it seemed like an All-Star game was not going to happen. So much so that Commissioner Adam Silver had announced, prior to the start of the 2020-2021 season, that the game and other events would not be held, and a resting week would be given instead to the players to make up for the short offseason they had coming off the second half of the 2019-2020 season.
But Silver decided to change his mind roughly a month ago, stating that the league would indeed go on to have an All-Star game on Sunday, March 7. When players, and even fans, heard the news about the switch, some were excited, while most were disappointed. The week of the game was meant to serve as an opportunity for players who had a deep playoff run to get a well-deserved rest and to allow their bodies the chance to heal from any lingering injuries. A lot of players have come forward and said in post-game interviews that their opinions and health aren’t being taken into consideration because all the league wants to do is make money.
While this is understandable, I think Silver needs to take into account that if someone were to contract the coronavirus, it could ultimately lead to the shut down of the league. The All-Star teams are made up of a variety of players from different teams. They will be in contact with one another without face masks on, and it will make contact tracing almost impossible because of how many teams could potentially be involved if this outbreak occurs. It won’t just be one or two teams affected, but a handful or even more. There is also risk for injury of a player, which could affect teams because only the best of the best get to participate in the All-Star game, meaning a team could potentially be without one of their star players.
Overall, I think the league would be better off not holding an All-Star game along with all the contests in between this year. I think that waiting for the pandemic to go away would ultimately be the best option. For those who are interested, however, All-Star weekend is being held on Sunday, March 7, starting at 3:30pm PST with the Skills Challenge and 3-Point contest.