Skip to main content

Why the NBA is pushing for the All-Star game

Adam-Silver-LeBron-James

LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Carmelo Anthony, and Giannis Antetokoumpo are just some of the players who spoke up against the All-Star game this season. COVID is still far from being under any sort of control, and having a party in Atlanta doesn't seem like a smart idea. If Kawhi Leonard speaks up on something, you know how strongly he feels about it. 

“It’s money on the line; it’s an opportunity to make more money. Just putting money over health right now, pretty much.”

Kawhi Leonard

LeBron went even further, saying the game is a “slap in the face” the players who started the season with an understanding there will be no All-Star game this year. It's no secret the NBA is doing this for the money and to support a good business relationship with one of its TV partners - TNT. Yesterday, Sam Amick from The Athletic reported on how much money is at stake. 

“In normal (non-COVID-19) times, All-Star weekend is extremely important for TNT — a tentpole event, if you will. There’s a corporate sponsorship component that will surely be lessened because of the COVID-19 concerns, but a source with knowledge of the network’s finances said Turner makes approximately $30 million in ad revenue alone during that weekend. That figure would be much higher when one considers the All-Star weekend in its totality, and others estimate that mark is much higher (as much as double). Either way, it’s a lot.”

Sam Amick, The Athletic

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Amick pointed out All-Star weekend isn't written in stone in the contract and not having it wouldn't be an automatic breach of contract. But wanting to keep a good relationship with TNT, the league decided to go forward with the festivities. The most jarring part of Amick's reporting is that the folks at TNT were a bit surprised, as they went into this season with the understanding there would be no game - and seemed OK with it. 

To be fair, players are playing this season, and played in the bubble, for the money as well. Let's not pretend they are here only for an altruistic love of basketball. Both players and the league worked hard to get to 72 games last and this year to maximize earnings from TV deals. If any of the players feel health is more important than money, they can take the year off and stay safe at home. 

Still, All-Star weekend seems like a terrible idea. If the $30 million number is correct, I don't think it's worth the risk. Bringing so many people to Atlanta has all the potential of a super spreader event. But I may not be just about the $30 million. 

Many people explained All-Star week is as much about networking as it is about partying. Basketball is a distant third. Leaders from the tech world, media, and finance all converge to wherever it's happening, and a lot of business relationships and deals are made during that week.

We'll see if all that will be worth it in the end. 

Brock Purdy & Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant on why Brook Purdy is one of his favorite NFL players at the moment - "He's ballin"

Kevin Durant is fascinated by Brook Purdy and he also shared his Super Bowl predictions

Toni Braxton & Jason Kidd

"I guess that didn’t help with the kiss and tell, whatever she said" - Jason Kidd on the Toni Braxton rumors

Jason Kidd insists he never dated Toni Braxton and there was no way he would've learned and cared about the singer and Jim Jackson

Gary Payton

I do think it will come" - Gary Payton on having his jersey retired by the Seattle Supersonics

Gary Payton remains positive that sooner rather than later, his jersey will be retired by his original and beloved team, the Seattle Supersonics

Stephen Jackson & LeBron James

“Not in my top 5” - Stephen Jackson gets brutally honest on LeBron James’ place in the current league

Former NBA Champion in 2003, Stephen Jackson names the Top 5 current NBA players, and excludes LeBron James

Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon

Why Malcolm Brogdon asked the Milwaukee Bucks to stop their Rookie of the Year campaign for him

Malcolm Brogdon's performance over the years reveals that his Rookie of the Year award is not a fluke.