The NBA seems to be initiating a new get-tough policy on its players and coaches, dictating that they wear beefed-up masks when not in the game. It’s probably a good idea -- as long as they get a mask that fits and doesn’t fall down under their nose all the time.
At the same time, the league has been reported to be in negotiations with its players association to hold a previously unscheduled all-star game.
Which seems at odds with all the safety protocols the league is trying to enforce.
An all-star game would require players, coaches, team officials, game staff and others to fly to Atlanta -- the apparent choice as site for the game. That city’s venue, by the way, is now allowing a limited number of fans to attend games.
I’m not sure if the NBA intends to make money off the game, grab additional TV ratings. schmooz high-end sponsors, raise funds for charity or just raise the profile of the league.
In the end, I would not be surprised if it turns into something of a telethon for a charity -- because there wouldn’t be a lot of new money associated with simply telecasting the game.
It seems to me, at a sensitive time when a lot of the country still has not been vaccinated, this could turn into a super spreader event. A lot of people coming in from various locales with the urge to turn the event into the party weekend that the all-star game has become could be dangerous.
That's all the league needs, right?
I have no trouble with all-star teams being chosen by the usual methods. Players have clauses in their contract for such things and it would be nice to recognize the ones who have had a terrific first half of the season.
Just don’t make them play. Play it on NBA 2k, if you want.
From what I’ve seen, the one thing NBA players need most in March is some well-deserved time off. They didn’t have much off-season and are playing too many games in a short amount of time.
Give them at least a week off. Let them recuperate and rest for what is likely -- with all the makeup games in the second half -- a very stressful second half.
Besides, would anyone watch this game? This is a serious question. All-star games in all sports are just not what they used to be, particularly in the NBA where everyone goes half speed on offense and no speed on defense.
All in all, stuffing an all-star game into the middle of this trying season is a bad idea.
Just stop it.