After it was announced the NBA would organize the All-Star game on the 8th of March, despite the initial reports which suggested the league will not hold an All-Star weekend, many players shared their disappointment. Kawhi Leonard said he is aware they are doing it because of the money, which players have to respect. Giannis said he follows LeBron’s way of thinking, saying they are both uninterested and prefer staying home and spending time with their families. The all-in-all consensus around the league is that most players don’t wish to participate and would love to avoid it but understand the amount of money that’s in play.
Damian Lillard is another All-Star player who recently spoke about the All-Star game. In an interview for Bleacher Report provided a bit different view on the whole situation. Lillard himself became a father just a few weeks ago and would appreciate those few days off to spend time with his family. However, he understands NBA players are paid handsomely, so making a sacrifice like that is a reasonable thing to expect considering all the circumstances.
A lot of players are saying, ‘Why are we even having a game?’ And I understand that. If they said we’re not going to have a game, I’d be perfectly fine with it. I just had two newborns, and I would love to spend that extra time at home with my family. My fiancee went through a lot delivering two kids, so I’m sure she’d love to have that extra time with me at home, and the same with Dame Jr. and the rest of my family that I haven’t even been able to see because we’ve been under these strict protocols. But if they say we’re going to do it, I understand that because this is our job, and I understand that with the kind of money we make, you’ve got to make sacrifices and certain things just have to be done. Obviously, for that event, TNT or whoever is gonna want the show to go on. There are repercussions for us not doing that. It could be something negative for us not going along with that. If that’s what we’re going to do, I’m with it. But if we’re not, I’m fine with that too.Damian Lillard, via Bleacher Report
Asked Damian Lillard what he thinks about the NBA having an All-Star game. Here’s what he said: pic.twitter.com/0bNDrZYWAY
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) February 10, 2021
Even though it’s understandable, so many players are opposed to playing in the All-Star game mostly because of health and security reasons, the NBA has done a great job keeping players safe from COVID-19. There haven’t been many players infected, and so far, the situation regarding the health of players has been stable. It’s completely different if the players want to spend more time with their families, and that is understandable, but the NBA will make sure the All-Star weekend doesn’t last as long as it used to before, which may create a win-win situation for both the league and the players.