NBA All-Star Game

'Why not?' Draymond Green wants Warriors to make All-Star Game history


'Why not?' Draymond Green wants Warriors to make All-Star Game history

No team in NBA history has ever had four players in the All-Star Game in two straight seasons. 

"We're winning and everyone is playing well," Draymond Green told ESPN. "Why not?" Green is advocating for another year in which he, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all play in the game. 

The Warriors' defensive star knows how hard the feat would be to pull off. With a shift of talent and even more stars joining the West this season, it makes things even more complicated. 

"Just because probably so many guys came over to the West in the offseason," Green said. "With Jimmy [Butler] coming over, with Carmelo Anthony coming over, KAT [Karl-Anthony Towns] obviously an up-and-comer. That's probably why it's more of a debate now, but I don't see why it should change. Our record is pretty good."

The Warriors, through Thursday own the best record in the NBA at 33-9. They are currently three games ahead of the Rockets (29-11). At this time last season, the Warriors were 36-6. 

If voting ended today, Green would earn his first start in the All-Star Game. He would be joined by Curry, the leading vote getter in the West, and Durant. That leaves Thompson on the outside looking in. 

Thompson, who is averaging 20.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, is the fourth-leading vote getter of guards in the West. The likeliest route for him to get in is through a coaches vote as a reserve. Coaches select two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild cards.

After postponement due to HB2 law, Charlotte to host 2019 All-Star Game

After postponement due to HB2 law, Charlotte to host 2019 All-Star Game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NBA All-Star game is headed back to Charlotte in 2019, a couple of years later than anticipated.

The NBA announced that the All-Star weekend will be held Feb. 15-17 in Charlotte and the game will be played at the Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets.

The league had selected Charlotte to host the 2017 All-Star game, but later moved the game to New Orleans because of the state law restricting the rights of LGBT people. However, a compromise was struck in March to partially erase the impact of the House Bill 2 law limiting anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people.

"While we understand the concerns of those who say the repeal of HB2 did not go far enough, we believe the recent legislation eliminates the most egregious aspects of the prior law," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a release. "Additionally, it allows us to work with the leadership of the Hornets organization to apply a set of equality principles to ensure that every All-Star event will proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies.

"All venues, hotels and businesses we work with during All-Star will adhere to these policies as well."

Despite Silver's intentions, the Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign has concerns that no protections for non-discrimination policies for the LGBTQ community have been put in place by the Charlotte or the state.

"North Carolina's discriminatory law prohibits the city of Charlotte from implementing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents and visitors attending the All-Star Game. Nothing has changed that fact," said HRC senior vice president for policy and political affairs JoDee Winterhof.

The NBA is the latest sports entity to return events to North Carolina; the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference also are bringing events back to the state after changes were made to the law.

The now-repealed House Bill 2 required transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings. That's been dropped, but LGBT advocates have denounced the replacement law because state officials took no action barring sexual identity and gender discrimination in workplaces, restaurants and hotels and instead prohibited local governments from acting on their own.

Hornets owner and longtime NBA great Michael Jordan said in a release he is "thrilled" the game is coming back to Charlotte.

"We want to thank Commissioner Silver for his leadership throughout this process and for the decision to bring NBA All-Star back to Buzz City," Jordan said in the release. "All-Star Weekend is an international event that will provide a tremendous economic impact to our community while showcasing our city, our franchise and our passionate Hornets fan base to people around the world."

Jordan asked Silver to keep the city in mind for 2019 after the league moved the 2017 game - hopeful the HB2 law would eventually be repealed.

Silver honored that request.

Hornets COO and president Fred Whitfield represented the Hornets and Spectrum Center in doing whatever he could to help facilitate a resolution, spending time meeting with legislatures and other business leaders in North Carolina.

"From the very beginning I was in engaged to see if we could not only save the 2019 All-Star game, but the NCAA (basketball) regionals and the ACC Tournament, as well as concerts and events in the building," Whitfield said. "We are operators of the building and we felt like we had to get engaged to assist to get some resolution."

Even as talks to repeal HB2 stalled at times, the Hornets continued to move forward with the league's request to upgrade the arena.

The $41 million renovation - $33.5 million of which came from the City of Charlotte - is almost complete, and has included a new scoreboard, new floor and renovations to suites and hospitality areas, among other upgrades.

Charlotte previously hosted the All-Star game in 1991 at the Charlotte Coliseum, which has since been demolished.

Pete Guelli, the Hornets executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, estimates a $100 economic impact for the city, but said the reputational effect will be even bigger.

"This city has changed significantly since the last time it hosted a game 28 years ago," Guelli said, "and the opportunity to showcase that on an international stage is incalculable."

Kerr blasts players for effort in NBA All-Star Game: 'It's a joke'

Kerr blasts players for effort in NBA All-Star Game: 'It's a joke'

Defense need not apply when the best from the West face the best from the East in the annual NBA All-Star Game.

And according to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who coached the West to a 192-182 win in New Orleans two weeks ago, something has to change.

And he's not referring to the four-point line and 10-point half court gimmicks being suggested.

“I think we could talk about gimmicks and talk about anything we want, whether it’s the money or involves charity, it just comes down to the players taking it seriously. I don’t think they have to be out there taking charges, but it’s a collective thing. I think they have to decide, maybe with the players' association, they have to decide what they want that game to look like and right now, it’s a joke,” Kerr told ESPN on Saturday.

Kerr went on to explain what he thinks has caused the midseason showcase to turn into a game where defense is non-existent.

“In my mind, what’s happened is everybody is trying to be so cool out there that you almost feel guilty if you play hard. Maybe the best thing to do will be to watch a tape of an All-Star Game from about 1985, because it was a different game back then. It wasn’t like guys were diving on the floor for loose balls and taking charges, but it was competitive. And I think you’re just as likely to get hurt not trying than you are competing at 75 percent. And that’s all they need to do, is compete at 75 percent. Right now, they’re like at 10 percent, and that’s embarrassing,” Kerr told the publication.

So how do your restore order to the exhibition game?

“Players have to make that decision, and I think they need to understand that it would be good for the league if they did compete. Again, you’re not undercutting people in transition, you’re not taking charges, you’re not diving on the floor for loose balls. But if you’re staying in front of guys and if somebody throws a pass in your direction, you’re going to steal it. I mean, I saw guys in that game purposely not stealing the ball even though it was thrown right to them. It’s bizarre, but it’s the way the game has been trending for years. I think it would be great for the league if the players took it upon themselves to say, ‘You know what, let’s make this an entertaining game for the fans, because right now it’s kind of an embarrassment’” Kerr said.

In his three seasons with the Warriors, Kerr has coached the Western Conference All-Stars twice.