Carmelo Anthony on 2021 NBA All-Star Game: 'I Don't Think We Need It Right Now'February 5, 2021
Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony said Friday he doesn't agree with holding the proposed 2021 NBA All-Star Game in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I don't think it's right. I don't think we need it right now," Anthony told reporters. "It'll be good to recognize those that got chosen to be an All-Star...But I just think it's a little bit too much in a short period of time."
Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported Thursday the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association reached an agreement to host the All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta.
The showcase is slated to happen during the scheduled March 5-10 break between the first and second halves of the regular season.
LeBron James, the NBA's longtime gold standard, spoke out about the idea, saying it's "pretty much kind of a slap in the face" to the players, especially those on teams that dealt with a short offseason like his Los Angeles Lakers.
"I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year," James told reporters Thursday. "I don't even understand why we're having an All-Star Game."
The Boston Celtics' Kemba Walker also agreed with James and Anthony.
"We all seen what Bron said. I agree," Walker said Friday. "He's a smart man. A lot of things he says is correct. I'm probably gonna be on vacation."
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday an opt-out clause for players who didn't want to participate was part of the discussions between the league and the union.
The NBA will have no choice but to scrap the plans if none of the top players want to take part, though.
Perhaps the league can borrow an idea from the NFL, which held a virtual Pro Bowl last week with players and celebrities joining the broadcast of the game played on Madden 21.