Keisha Lance Bottoms says she has concerns about NBA All-Star game
The Atlanta Mayor urged visitors and residents to stay home and not go out and party during the annual sports event.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms does not want the NBA All-Star Game to result in unwanted parties and crowds in her city.
As theGrio reported, the league announced the 2021 All-Star game will take place in Atlanta on March 7. Both the game and skills competitions will be held on that date. It would be Atlanta’s third time hosting the event, after doing so in 1978 and 2003. According to the report, the National Basketball Players Association and the NBA negotiated for weeks about if and how to have the All-Star Game, which was originally scheduled to be played in Indianapolis this year.
Now the southern city is faced the task of hosting the popular events during a pandemic.
“Under normal circumstances, we’d be grateful for the opportunity to host the NBA All-Star game, but this isn’t a typical year,” Mayor Bottoms tweeted. “I have shared my concerns related to public health and safety with the NBA and Atlanta Hawks. We are in agreement that this is a made-for-TV event only, and people should not travel to Atlanta to party.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the game will take place at State Farm Arena. There will not be tickets sold to the All-Star game, however, the expected attendance is between 1,200-1,500.
There will be mask mandates, contactless entry, and security screenings with rapid COVID-19 testing for people who plan to sit within 30 feet of the court. The NBA is also inviting and incorporating local health-care workers and students/staff from local historically Black colleges and universities to assist with the event.
The report detailed rules for players as well, including mandatory travel to Atlanta on March 6 using private transportation, testing negative for COVID-19 on March 6 and 7, and a limited number of guests. Those guests must comply with protocols and quarantine for seven days before travel and return four negative tests up to March 6. Players and guests are also only allowed to travel to and from the arena, and not attend any events or visit anywhere in the city.
According to theGrio, not all players are excited about this year’s event. Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers shared his opinion that the All-Star game should be skipped.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” James said, according to the report. “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game, but it’s the agreement.”
He added, “We’re also still dealing with a pandemic, dealing with everything that’s been going on, and we’re going to bring the whole league into a city that’s still open. Obviously, you guys can see I’m not very happy about it, but it’s out of my hands, and I’ll be there physically if I’m selected. I’ll be there physically, but not mentally.”
Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox shared similar feelings.
‘“If I’m going to be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid,” Fox said. “If we have to wear masks and do all this for a regular game, then what’s the point of bringing an All-Star Game back? But obviously, money makes the world go-’round, so it is what it is.”
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