The NBA All-Star weekend and the All-Star game was in serious jeopardy this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was announced it would be held in Atlanta on March 8th. There was quite a bit of uncertainty on this issue, and even the players themselves said they don't have much interest in participating under these circumstances.
Kawhi Leonard said he understands the necessity of the All-Star game because it brings revenue to the league, and they're all playing for money at the end of the day. Giannis is another superstar that spoke about the All-Star game, openly expressing his discomfort and the inability for him to spend time with his family, which was his initial intent. He said players are already in a tough situation not being able to have their families on the road, which makes it more difficult for them, spending less time at home.
I thought about it obviously coming to the season; all we knew is that there isn't going to be an All-Star game. It would be time for us to spend it with our family. Obviously, with the protocol change, it's kind of hard because on the road, your family can't come, and back home, we can't leave the house. You can only go to practices and the arena. You don't even have the time to take your family to a nice dinner and just escaping the game. Every player was looking forward to having those days off.
Giannis also said he is following LeBron's lead, who was also critical because of the league's decision to have the All-Star game. He feels the same and doesn't care about the game but understands that it's his job to play and perform, and he intends to do it even though he doesn't agree with the decision.
We've got to all follow the big dog [Lebron]. The big dog says he has zero excitement and zero energy for the All-Star Game, and I'm the same way. I really, right now, don't care about the All-Star Game. We cannot see our families.I can't worry about the All-Star game, I want to see my family. I got zero energy, zero excitement, and at the end of the day, we have to show up and do our job, and I will always do my job and show up, but deep down, I don't want to do it.
The NBA has been really well organized in keeping players safe and look after their health by implementing various safety protocols. There is no doubt they will do a fantastic job during the All-Star weekend as well. Hopefully, every player that get voted as All-Stars will participate despite some of the concerns they had, like Giannis, who wants to spend more time with his family.