Among the many changes in the NBA world these days, there will be no 2021 All-Star Game. On Wednesday, the league announced that the annual festivities have been postponed this year. While the 2020-21 season is still going on, the coronavirus pandemic makes it too difficult to safely hold the event.
The Indiana Pacers and the city of Indianapolis won’t completely miss out on their opportunity to host the All-Star Game, however, as they’ll now get to do so in 2024. Via Pacers.com:
The NBA and the Indiana Pacers announced today that NBA All-Star in Indianapolis, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 12-14, 2021, will now be held Feb. 16-18, 2024. Public health conditions prevented the Pacers, the NBA All-Star Host Committee and the NBA from appropriately planning and executing fan-focused All-Star activities in Indianapolis that were envisioned for this February.
The 2024 NBA All-Star Game will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Pacers, on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. Plans for a revised NBA All-Star 2021 will be announced at a later date.
This will be the first time since 1999 that the league won’t have an All-Star Game. The event was cancelled that year due to the league’s lockout. There will, however, be some version of All-Star festivities this year, though those plans will be announced at a later date. Something that could honor this season’s All-Stars and makes sure they’re recognized for their achievements would be nice.
While it’s a bummer there won’t be a normal All-Star Weekend this year, this decision was always expected for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it just wouldn’t be safe. Bringing a bunch of players together from different teams and cities, having them practice and play and share locker rooms together, then sending them back a few days later is just a recipe for a COVID-19 outbreak.
Plus, because of the pandemic, you wouldn’t be able to have tens of thousands of fans in attendance. And of everything in the basketball world, nothing is more about the fans than All-Star Weekend. There’s little point in putting on the show in an empty building. The thought of the dunk contest taking place in front of nothing but TV cameras is extremely depressing.
Furthermore, the league is already dealing with a condensed schedule, and removing the All-Star break gives them much more flexibility when trying to map everything out. They could still add in some sort of midseason break, but they now won’t be forced to work around a pre-determined week off.
Courtesy: CBS Sports