Adam Silver: All-Star Game During Pandemic ‘Right Thing To Do’

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In response to criticism of the NBA holding an All-Star Game during the middle of a pandemic, Adam Silver went on record to say he believes playing the exhibition game is the “right thing to do.”

“It’s a global event for us, and we’re making our best efforts to embrace all aspects of our league to the extent we can through this pandemic and this is just one more opportunity,” said Silver. “I’ll add that of course I’m listening to those who don’t think it’s a good idea, and I think that’s been the cases in terms of essentially everything we’ve done since we shut down [nearly] a year ago because of the pandemic.

“There were obviously those who thought we shouldn’t play without fans, thought we shouldn’t play in the bubble, thought we shouldn’t be playing in a very serious way because of the social justice issues roiling this country. So I certainly hear the other side of this issue here. And I’ll lastly say it seems like no decisions during this pandemic come without uncertainty and come without risk. This is yet another one of them, and yet it’s my job to balance all those interests and ultimately it feels like the right thing to do to go forward.”

The league will hold the All-Star Game with limited fan involvement in person.

“I don’t think it will be that difficult,” Silver said, of holding an All-Star Weekend without fans. “Our event will not be open to the public … there will be roughly 1,000 people representing those institutions but there will not be tickets open to the public, and I actually agree with the mayor.

“We don’t want people to gather for events around this All-Star. There will be absolutely no social functions in Atlanta. No ticketed events. No parties. It is a made-for-television event at this point, and it’s largely in Atlanta because that’s where Turner Sports is located who will host this event … that’s why we are there, so we agree with the mayor.”