Stephen Curry and More Players React to Moving NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 21, 2016

T-shirts are placed on seats in Time Warner Cable Arena before Game 6 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series between the Charlotte Hornets and the Miami Heat in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, April 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Associated Press

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game was supposed to take place at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, but a controversial piece of legislation caused the league to relocate the annual exhibition.  

News of the Association's decision came Thursday through an official announcement. The league made its decision because of House Bill 2. Per CNN's Tal Kopan and Eugene Scott, the bill "bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex" and "reserves the right to pass nondiscrimination legislation to the state government, saying state laws pre-empt any local ordinances."

NBA players past and present have weighed in on the matter.

Golden State Warriors guard and back-to-back league MVP Stephen Curry, who grew up in Charlotte, said on SportsCenter: "It's disappointing that my hometown won't be able to host the All-Star Game as they had planned."

Curry's new teammate, Kevin Durant, voiced his thoughts on the NBA's decision, via Twitter, "I recognize this was a tough decision for the NBA but I respect the choice. Discrimination of any kind cannot be allowed."

Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay player in the four major U.S. sports, detailed his thoughts in a statement:

Jason Collins @jasoncollins98

My official statement on the @NBA moving the 2017 All Star game out of North Carolina. #NBAfamily https://t.co/65q0BBiKAU

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George told ESPN's Brian Windhorst (via ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne): "I'm huge on keeping your word. I'm not necessarily saying it's bad for the NBA to move it. Charlotte is a growing city, and the Hornets have picked that program up. It's a shame it's possible that we'd take that away from them."

Los Angeles Clippers star and North Carolina native Chris Paul also provided his thoughts on the league's decision, per the team's Twitter account:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Chris Paul on the @NBA's decision to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game. https://t.co/8PsXyiiJuE

Shelburne also spoke to New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and posted his reply:

Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne

I let @carmeloanthony read the NBA's statements about moving the ASG from Charlotte before asking for his reaction https://t.co/4lo6oxr5fv

Anthony was recently seen joining other NBA players at the ESPYs, speaking out against violence.

The NBA and its players have a big platform to comment on current affairs and have used it of late to make strong statements in search of justice.

Basketball coaches in the state of North Carolina have denounced the anti-LGBT bill as well.

On Wednesday, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski told USA Today's Scott Gleeson and Jeff Zillgitt, "It's an embarrassing bill. That's all I'm going to say about it."

North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried elaborated in the USA Today report.

"I'm against any law that allows discrimination, whether that's based on race, gender, sexual orientation," Gottfried said. "I don't understand how someone can support this. I think the people at N.C. State, we believe in inclusion. Being a resident of the state, for me and my family, it's been frustrating."

Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act into law in March. While multiple prominent residents seem put off by the legislation, it passed through the state House by an 82-26 vote.

The state's General Assembly put a high priority on the bill by holding a special session to push through the discriminatory legislation before it was passed.

As for the future of next year's NBA All-Star Game, The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the league is focusing on New Orleans' Smoothie King Center, but multiple cities are still in the running to host.


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