Steve Kerr said Thursday he's happy he and the Warriors' coaching staff won't head to Atlanta for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
Quin Snyder's Utah Jazz staff gets that honor, as the owners of the Western Conference's best record. Kerr, diplomatic as ever, revealed that he's far more enthusiastic about the forthcoming time off than he would've been coaching in the event.
"I'm not excited for it," Kerr said of the All-Star Game on "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" on 95.7 The Game. "I'm never actually excited for it. It's the best time for us as a staff to get away, so I'm looking forward to the break. I'm not excited for Steph [Curry] and the other players who are playing in it, but I understand it's business, and it's the choice that the league made. And the players and coaches who are taking part are doing their part to keep the league going, and I respect all of that. But, I'm glad that we are not coaching it."
The NBA initially postponed the 2021 All-Star Game in November as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, giving Indianapolis another chance to host the game in 2024. The league's initial schedule release included an All-Star break after the conclusion of the first half of the season, but didn't list a date for a game.
That changed this month, when the league and the National Basketball Players Association agreed to hold the game March 7 at Atlanta's State Farm Arena. The NBA and NBPA will donate $2.5 million to historically Black colleges and universities while also hosting 1,000 people from those institutions for the game.
Prior to the agreement, stars around the league criticized the NBA for holding an All-Star Game, with players from all over the country congregating in the middle of the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Curry, the Warriors' lone representative in the All-Star Game, and other players will be required to self-quarantine at home "with limited exceptions" beginning Saturday and until March 6, when they arrive in Atlanta.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver echoed Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' call for out-of-town fans to come to the city for the event, telling ESPN's "The Jump" last week that the league didn't want fans congregating around the arena, which is off limits to the public. The mayor said she didn't want local establishments hosting All-Star events, but numerous bars and clubs in Atlanta have started promoting parties tied to the game. Bars in Georgia are allowed "whichever is greater" of 50 people or 35 percent of the total listed fire capacity, and the state doesn't currently have a mask mandate.