“It’s stupid” NBA Stars speak out against All-Star game

LeBron+James+at+the+all-star+game+in+2020+pre-game.

Quinn Harris

LeBron James at the all-star game in 2020 pre-game.

Kaden Roumayah, Staff Writer

On February 5th, the NBA announced that they will have an NBA All-star game on March 7th, in Atlanta, while COVID-19 restrictions have already hindered the NBA season.

The game will have a three-point contest pregame as well as a dunk contest during halftime. The NBA will also have the same format to honor the late Kobe Bryant as it did last year; teams will compete to win each quarter and play to a Final Target Score during the untimed fourth quarter.

Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 114-93 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, NBA star LeBron James had choice words about the League’s decision to hold an All-Star Game. 

“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star game this year. I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.”

James, 36, has been in 16 All-Star Games in his 17-year career and is a top vote-getter by fans for this year’s annual all-star game. He has averaged 25.1 points per game, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists, so far this season. He currently leads the Western Conference in All-Star votes and was named a starter on February 18th.

De’aaron Fox playing the best he has in his career this season
(David Dow)

 

“[It was a] short offseason for myself and my teammates, 71 days,” James said, which started the day the Lakers defeated the Clippers in the NBA Finals and ended the day the teams met again to open the 2020-2021 season in December… “And then coming into this season, we were told that we were not having an All-Star Game, so we’d have a nice little break. Five days (in March) from the 5th to the 10th, an opportunity for me to kind of recalibrate for the second half of the season. My teammates as well. Some of the guys in the league. And then they throw an All-Star game on us like this and just breaks that all the way up. So, um, pretty much kind of a slap in the face.”

James wasn’t the only star to state his concerns about having an All-Star Game. Sacramento King’s guard, De’Aaron Fox, when asked about the All-Star game returning on that Wednesday night, said “it’s stupid” for the league to hold the event during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“If I’m going to be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid,” Fox said after the Kings victory over the Boston Celtics. “If we have to wear a mask and do all this for a regular game, then what’s the point of bringing the All-Star Game back? “Obviously, money makes the world go round, so it is what it is.” 

With many accomplished and rising stars alike voicing concerns about the usually popular annual tradition, it will be interesting to see how the league responds to address player concerns.