Is Having NBA All-Star Weekend the Right Move?

The safety concern grows throughout the league as we get closer to the weekend.

Lee Cook

Following the 2019 season, that was filled with a 141-day hiatus and a bubble to finish the season in Orlando, the upcoming one had many questions and concerns. The 2020-21 season began on December 22nd, which is far beyond the usual start date and just like the NFL, players were given the option to opt out of the season for health and safety reasons. Many players exercised that option, but so far, the NBA has done a fantastic job of keeping the league as Covid-19 free as they can get.

When the time came around, the league announced that there would be an All-Star game this year. Many players took to social media to express their feelings towards the idea. “I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” said Lebron James during a post-game interview, “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.” The Bucks’ star, Giannis Antetokounmpo also came out and agreed with Lebron, saying he would rather spend time with his family.

On the other hand, Kawhi Leonard had a different approach on the game this year. ““It’s money on the line; it’s an opportunity to make more money, said Leonard, “Just putting money over health right now, pretty much.”

It is no secret that All-Star weekend for the NBA is a massive income every season, so how much of a loss would the weekend actually be? As for last years’ All-Star weekend, it is estimated that $15 million dollars was generated for TNT, and it can total up to $24 million if the Slam Dunk contest is involved. For brands, they spent in the neighborhood of $8.3 million across all means of social media for the weekend. With the probability of no fans being in attendance, the need for the weekend is higher for the league, as with attendance income out of the window, it would be an even bigger hit if there was no weekend at all.

As All-Star weekend is right around the corner (March 7), the weekend is still on track to happen, and the lineups have been released. Only time will tell to see if the NBA’s biggest names will participate in one of the league’s most anticipated weekends. Story By Lee Cook

Sources: ESPN, CNBC, NBA