Daniel Singh ’22
After what has seemed like a year of anticipation, the 2021 NBA All-Star Game is set to take place on Sunday, March 7, and with it much controversy. Last season, the National Basketball Association was extolled for its management of operations during the coronavirus pandemic, as they established a secluded bubble at Disney World in which no players could enter or leave the area. Although this decision was excoriated by many, the NBA season was completed with no cases and handled in a fashion greater than that of any other sports league. Fast forward to the 2020-2021 NBA season, a year in which players have broken nearly intangible records and filled stat sheets in previously unforeseen ways.
LeBron James is again an MVP candidate as he plays in his 18th season, while the return of Stephen Curry has shocked the world with displays of historic numbers surprising for even the greatest shooter of all time. With an absence of fans, players have been able to focus and enter into the “zone”, allowing them to compete at their peak performance night in and night out. This has set the stage for an All-Star game in which the very best will go head to head in what should make for an entertaining showcase of the top talents.
However, many of these All-Star caliber players, as well as fans of every team, have speculated as to why this game would even be an option considering the social and medical climate in the country. As it currently stands, there are over 500,000 coronavirus deaths nationwide, and while the number of confirmed cases per day is slowly declining, new coronavirus strains have caused great panic within the country. Prior to confirmation by the NBPA, LeBron James spoke out against the proposition of an All-Star game, stating that he doesn’t have the excitement nor the understanding as to why “[they’re] even having an All-Star Game”.
One of the game’s best players, James has brought forth the question of morality into this event, believing that having a game would be insensitive considering what is occurring across the globe. Despite his outspokenness, the league has decided to continue with the scheduled All-Star game, bringing forth speculation as to whether the league actually cares about their players and fans, or if all of their endeavors are solely for money making purposes.