Report: NBA in talks with union about holding All-Star game as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on league schedule

The NBA and NBPA are in discussions to hold an All-Star game on March 7, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Atlanta is on the table as a potential host, according to the report.

The league announced in November that it was postponing the 2021 All-Star Game originally scheduled for February in Indianapolis.

“Public health conditions prevented the Pacers, the NBA All-Star Host Committee and the NBA from appropriately planning and executing fan-focused All-Star activities in Indianapolis that were envisioned for this February,” a league statement on Nov. 25 read, while announcing that Indianapolis would instead host the 2024 All-Star Game.

NBA struggling with COVID-19 outside bubble

Monday’s news arrives as the NBA remains in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced 21 games to be postponed one month into the season. The NBA announced on Jan. 20 that 11 new players tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous week of testing. The week prior, 16 players tested positive for new coronavirus infections.

People line up to cast their ballots during early voting for the upcoming presidential elections outside of The Atlanta Hawks' State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., October 12, 2020.  REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
The NBA is reportedly considering re-upping the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta. (Reuters/Chris Aluka Berry)

According to the report, the NBA is considering incorporating support for historically Black colleges and universities and COVID-19 relief as part of the All-Star Game. The game could take place at the Atlanta Hawks’ State Farm Arena or in an HBCU gym in the city.

Phoenix Suns guard and NPBA president Chris Paul is in support of the idea, according to the report. Paul is a vocal supporter of HBCUs.

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