Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the NBA erred on the side of caution when formatting the 2020-2021 season. One change was only unveiling the first half of the schedule, which is providing the league with added flexibility to make up games later in the year.
With that also came the cancellation of the 2021 All-Star Game in Indianapolis. That wasn’t much of a surprise considering restrictions still in place across the United States and only a limited number of markets permitting fan attendance for games.
Despite several teams experiencing outbreaks, there is consideration being given to holding an All-Star Game in Atlanta. It would be played at the Hawks’ State Farm Arena and take place during the first weekend of March, when players were already scheduled to be off.
On top of the exhibition contest, the NBA and NBPA reportedly are discussing including the 3-point and Slam Dunk Contests as well, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times:
The NBA and the players union are discussing the addition of both a dunk and 3-point contest to the proposed All-Star Game in Atlanta on the weekend of March 6-7 that the sides have been negotiating, sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 1, 2021
The Dunk Contest and 3-point Contest are staples of All-Star Weekend and certainly would help build buzz despite what’s likely to be a unique and otherwise subdued setting.
While plenty of uncertainty remains, the NBA nonetheless opened All-Star Game voting last week. It runs through Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 8:59 p.m. PT, and features days when votes count twice on Feb. 2, Feb. 4, Feb. 13 and Feb. 16.
Fan voting accounts for 50% of the total results while players and selected members of the media will each decide 25%.
Possible complications With All-Star Weekend
Amidst the optimism that the coronavirus will slow down by the scheduled March date, the NBA has more than 20 regular season games to make up. Furthermore, new variants of the virus are emerging that could cause complications with the event.
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