Celtics

Homecoming for Jaylen? NBA close to finalizing All-Star Game, per report

Celtics

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game might go down after all.

The NBA and the NBA Players' Association are "progressing" toward agreeing to hold this year's All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday.

While All-Star Weekend traditionally spans three days, this year's festivities would be condensed to one night of skills competitions leading into the game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, per Wojnarowski. And rather than having two captains pick teams, the matchup would feature Western Conference All-Stars vs. the Eastern Conference.

How to cast your vote for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game

The Boston Celtics' two young stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, look like strong bets to make the East All-Star squad. And if Brown makes his first career All-Star team, it could be a homecoming for the 24-year-old, who hails from the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Ga.

COVID-19 obviously would be a major concern with players from across the country gathering in one city. The league and the players' union are still working through safety protocols, according to Wojnarowski, but they'll have to be very robust to prevent any spread of the virus after more than 20 games have already been postponed this season.

Players also could decline to participate in the festivities, so if Tatum and Brown get the nod -- Kemba Walker made last year's All-Star roster but has struggled in just six games played this season -- it will be interesting to see what they decide.