All-Star Game proposal a ‘slap in the face’: Lakers’ James
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James said the NBA’s bid to stage an All-Star Game amid the COVID-19 pandemic was like a “slap in the face”.
U.S. media reported that the league and its players union had agreed to hold the annual exhibition event in Atlanta on March 7, with an official announcement expected this week.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” James told reporters after Thursday’s 114-93 victory over Denver Nuggets. “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game, but it’s the agreement.
“Coming into this season, we were told that we were not having an All-Star Game, so we’d have a nice little break … an opportunity for me to kind of recalibrate for the second half of the season.
“Then they throw an All-Star Game on us like this, it’s pretty much kind of a slap in the face. We’re still dealing with a pandemic, with everything that’s been going on, and we’re going to bring the whole league into a city that’s still open.”
James, a 16-time All-Star, was among the leading vote-getters in the first round of fan voting and said he would be there in body .
“I’ll be there physically if I’m selected. I’ll be there physically, but not mentally,” the four-times NBA champion said.
Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox said it was “stupid” to try to hold the game.
“If we have to wear a mask and do all of this for a regular game, then what’s the point of bringing the All-Star Game back?” he said. “Obviously, money makes the world go round, so it is what it is.”