At the end of the day, you knew there was no way the NBA was going to pass up an opportunity to make money. Especially with all the revenue they lost in the bubble. At the same time, we live in this weird balance of being overly cautious in terms of player safety and actually having a somewhat normal season. It should surprise absolutely nobody that the league is leaning towards the side of making money, even if there really isn't a logical reason to even have All Star weekend while this pandemic is still going on. This is even more true when you see that things are actually starting to trend in the right direction!
Which is why I found what De'Aaron Fox said about this topic after last night's game so interesting
I mean….he's right. You can still name All Stars and whatnot so players can hit those incentives in their contracts, but when it comes to playing the actual game and adding in that unnecessary risk, I just don't see how that makes any sense. Not only that, but you're doing it in Atlanta. Do we think players are going to just sit in their hotels while being in that city? No chance. Is the league going to ban fans from the arena for this game even though they are allowed at Hawks games? Look at what is already going on in that arena
Not to mention all the shit that just went down with LeBron a few days ago. The same league that forbids players from shaking hands after a game is perfectly OK with this. It's all so confusing. If anything, the league comes off super tone deaf. Obviously, it had to be collectively bargained between the league and the Player's Association but I'm not sure that makes it right.
We're seeing players be held out of games for health and safety protocols on a consistent basis. Why take the risk at damaging your product over the second half of the season where teams are going to need to start preparing for the playoffs, all for a meaningless game? Since this would be a game that includes the best players in the league, you could have some drastic repercussions if one of them had to then be held out of games post All Star break because of contact tracing or worst case someone tests positive. Seeding will most likely be so close in both conferences over the second half of the season that the risk doesn't seem worth the reward. Yeah, the league makes money, but let's say someone like Luka has to sit for a long stretch and the Mavs are never able to right their season because of it. Maybe they miss the playoffs as a result because they fall too far behind. Is that better for the league?
There's a chance nothing happens and everything goes smoothly. That's certainly possible. But I just can't understand how it makes any sense to actually hold the game and other All Star weekend activities this year. We all know this is a weird season. Just tell us who made it as an All Star and call it a day. Guys can have that time to rest up for the second half and playoffs. I don't think it's crazy to suggest that the league will survive if there was no All Star game, and their sole focus should be on getting to the playoffs with their best players all being available. To add an unnecessary risk of an outbreak just to make a little money seems pretty stupid to me.