The NBA stunned the basketball community with making plans to hold the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta instead of offering players a well-deserved break.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James quickly offered a blunt assessment of the league’s plans, saying he had “zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game” in the current circumstances. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still impacting the NBA, forcing the teams to comply with strict health restrictions in addition to playing a compact 72-game season after a mere eight-week layover.
Other stars, including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard, joined in criticizing league officials for their actions. Meanwhile, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league isn’t cracking under pressure but is now planning to incorporate player competitions into the event, which are usually the pinnacle of the All-Star Weekend on Saturday:
The NBA is progressing on a plan to incorporate the slam dunk competition into halftime of the All-Star Game on March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, sources told ESPN. A three-point shootout and skills competition are also expected to be part of the Sunday night event, sources said.
The 2021 All-Star Weekend was originally set to take place in Indianapolis, but the NBA decided to cancel the event after confirming the format of the 2020-21 season.
LeBron leads NBA in latest All-Star Voting returns
Although James isn’t looking forward to the All-Star Game this year, the 36-year-old forward said he would show up in Atlanta if selected.
And it’s unlikely the Lakers superstar won’t make the Western Conference’s starting five as he led the league in the All-Star voting according to the latest ballot returns.
James leapfrogged Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant raking in 4.4 million votes, around 100,000 more than the former Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder leader.
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