Nets' James Harden calls 2021 NBA All-Star Game 'forced'

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Ryan Morik
·1 min read
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James Harden vs Sixers
James Harden vs Sixers

The NBA's decision to have an All-Star Game during the pandemic has not come without criticism.

It already is a risk to play at all during a time like this, and now, Sixers stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will not play in the game on Sunday after being in contact with someone with COVID-19.

James Harden voiced his opinion on the game occurring on Sunday, saying that it feels "forced."

“I feel like we basically have a game… [like] every other day in the regular season. You finally get an opportunity to have close to a week off and be able to take deep breath and be with your family, things like that," he told reporters on Sunday. "We just have this one-day event, which is pretty tough. This entire season is tough, it’s difficult, a lot of craziness has happened throughout the course of the year. It’s something that we just gotta live with."

Normally, the weekend is filled with festivities beginning on Friday night. This year, the Rising Stars Challenge isn't being played, while the Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Contest and Skills Challenge are all being held throughout Sunday night.

So this year, saying it's a bit different is an understatement.

“Get to Atlanta, get tested, stay in the room. Pretty much it," said Harden. "Stay in the room until it’s time to go out there and play.”

Nonetheless, Harden will be playing on Sunday alongside his teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant for Team Durant.