2021 is turning into a double-edged sword. How do we make up for last year’s setbacks, while letting people catch their breath from 2020? The NBA is finding this hard to do.
The 2021 NBA All-Star game has been set for March 7 in Atlanta, Georgia. Usually, this is a time when the most powerful basketball league in the world uses its platform to partake in a global celebration of its great game.Yet, this year we are seeing more negative reactions to this event than usual. LeBron James said that it would be a “slap in the face” if an All-Star game was played, especially when players thought they would get that time off to rest.
“I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star game,” James continued to say. From his point of view, this makes sense. He led the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship just a few months earlier, with him and his teammates only getting 72 days off until the start of the current season. In comparison, the average NBA off-season for teams in the championship is around 140 days.
Other big name players have echoed James’ resentment for an All-Star game this year. The “Greek Freak”, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has won back-to-back NBA MVP awards the last two seasons as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. When asked for his opinion about Lebron’s comments, he said, “We all gotta follow the Big Dog (Lebron James), man. The Big Dog says he has zero excitement, zero energy for the All-Star game. I’m the same way. I really, right now, don’t care about the All-Star game…”
The NBA lost around $1.5 billion dollars in revenue for 2020 due to the pandemic. They know it’s going to take a lot to make up that amount, and they believe the All-Star game is a big part of it. It’s an exhibition between the best current basketball players on the planet and is watched worldwide. With LeBron being a major part, he said he would show up if he’s voted in, but that he would “be there physically but not mentally.”