Atlanta may host NBA All-Star Game

NEW YORK • The National Basketball Association ( NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) are engaged in discussions about the possibility of holding an All-Star Game in early March, with Atlanta targeted as the host city, ESPN reported on Monday.

The NBA cancelled its traditional All-Star Weekend, which had been scheduled for Indianapolis on Feb 14, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But both sides are discussing the rescheduling of the game, along with scaled-down All-Star Weekend events, to Atlanta on March 7, which falls in the middle of the six-day mid-season break until March 10.

The game could be held at the Hawks' State Farm Arena or at one of the city's historically black colleges and universities campus gyms (HBCUs) and Atlanta-based Turner Sports may televise the game.

NBPA president Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns supports the idea, which would feature HBCUs and provide Covid-19 relief funding.

But holding an All-Star Game will be a massive undertaking amid the pandemic.

The game would require a significant effort to coordinate travel arrangements for players, staff and officials during a time of uncertainty.

The match-up also would not include hosting any sponsors and attendance would be extremely limited, if fans are permitted to attend at all.

Meanwhile, the league continues to be disrupted with Monday's game between the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans postponed because Covid-19 contact tracing left both teams without the minimum eight players to take to the court, the NBA announced.

The game is the 22nd postponed by the league already this season, with all but one occurring this month.

Just six out of the 30 teams have not had games pushed back because of Covid-19.

  • 6

    Of 30 NBA teams not affected by Covid-19 rescheduling.

NBA teams are already playing a shortened 72-game season, which started late last month, due to the pandemic.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2021, with the headline 'Atlanta may host NBA All-Star Game'. Subscribe