Despite several players and a large pile of fans and analysts speaking out against the idea, the NBA will hold an All-Star event this season.
The league officially announced their plans for a one-night All-Star extravaganza of sorts, deciding to put the Skills Challenge, 3-point contest, dunk contest, and All-Star Game all on March 7th in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to the league’s press release, the schedule of events will look as followed:
• 5:30 p.m. CT – Skills Challenge followed by 3-point contest
• 7:00 p.m. CT – All-Star Game
• Halftime of All-Star Game – Dunk contest
The game itself will follow the same format we saw last season in Chicago, which includes an Elam Ending with a target score of 24 points in memory of Kobe Bryant. The date for when each top-vote getter in each conference will draft their teams is still TBD, but the All-Star starters will reportedly be announced tonight on TNT before the Milwaukee Bucks face the Toronto Raptors.
Unsurprisingly, the All-Star event will also be under strict health and safety protocols. Teams will only be allowed to travel with a total of four guests, in addition to a “health-focused staff member” if they choose. All members of the player’s party will be privately transported to Atlanta, where they must remain in their hotel when not at the arena. For more on that, you can read the fine print below.
NBA All-Star is happening, and the health and safety protocols are lengthy. pic.twitter.com/2MGbZ3nS2f
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 18, 2021
To kind of makeup for the crappy decision to force all their best players to put on a mostly fanless event in the middle of the pandemic, the league has announced that they will donate more than $2.5 million toward HBCUs. I wish they would have just donated the money and canceled the event … but here we are.
In announcing All-Star events on March 7, the NBA and NBPA will commit more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward HBCUs and provide additional support and awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 18, 2021
See ya on March 7th, I guess.