The National Basketball Association have begun the possibility of reviving the discussions between the league and National Basketball Players Association over the postponed 2021 All-Star Game.
The 2021 NBA All-Star Game is an exhibition game to be played in 2021 that has been postponed due to NBA schedule changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and schedule conflicts with the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. It was to be the 70th edition of the event.
As the NBA said it will begin All-Star voting on January 28 and run it through February 16, the league also acknowledged “discussions surrounding a potential NBA All-Star Game are ongoing.”
The league in November postponed its planned 2021 All-Star Game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the Indiana Pacers, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. But multiple reports earlier this week pointed to a potential revival of the event in March in Atlanta, Georgia, that would be a scaled-down version of the usual midseason showcase.
Indianapolis will now host the 2024 NBA All-Star Game, while the league last fall stopped short of abandoning plans entirely for some type midseason event this year.
The NBA is scheduled to take a break March 5-10 and resume the second half of the season on March 11. That empty week would allow the league to play some version of an All-Star Game.
The Atlanta site for the revived All-Star Game would prevent several potential advantages, including the ability of key American media rights partner Turner Sports to be able to produce the game without needing to travel from its headquarters city.
The All-Star Game deliberations, however, come as the league continues to grapple with a growing series of regular season game postponements due to Covid-19, most recently a game between Chicago and Memphis set for January 27. Twenty-two NBA games have been postponed thus far this season.
If a deal is not completed for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game to happen, the All-Star voting will be a ceremonial designation. In either scenario, fan vote represents 50 per cent of overall selection, while media and player voting will each comprise 25 per cent. Results will be announced February 18 on TNT.